We all know times are tough. The financial meltdown and the slow recovery of world economies has put a strain on peoples’ budgets. So if you are fortunate enough to be a business traveller here are some of my tips on the best way to save money at home from your next work trip away in a hotel. Okay some are very frugal tips on saving money but every little helps.
Best way to save money when on a business trip
Yes, virtually every hotel in the world provides complimentary toiletries. You can build up a large collection of shampoo, conditioner, soaps and more for your toiletry bag. They are factored into the cost of your room so just take them. I can spend a week going through one complimentary portion of shampoo so when the cleaner adds to the pile it is fair game. This is the best way to save money on a whole host of things depending on where you stay. As I write this my current hotel has complimentary shower caps, vanity kits, emery board, comb, toothbrushes with toothpaste, mouthwash and Hand & Body Lotion.
Tea and coffee
Many hotel rooms around the world (although not all, I’ve had problems in Germany and Italy) provide you with tea and coffee making facilities. You’ll probably have a few to choose from so pack some away and take them home with you. Don’t forget the creamer and any free biscuits 😉
Charge your electrical devices
Let’s face it, utility bills are rising, fast! So for me the best way to save money on electricity bills is to use someone else’s electricity! Before you check out of your hotel make sure that all your devices:- shaver, tablets, ipods, mobile phones etc are fully charged. You don’t get an electricity bill at the end of your stay so make the most of it!
Lots of reasonable to posh hotels now provide free slippers for walking around the bedroom. If we are honest they are not going to be reused by anyone else if you open them. You might get a good few days wear out of them back home. Pack them up each day and take them home with you for luxury living in your town flat.
This might be a tricky one. Hotel laundry is expensive, very expensive. If your employer will pay for your laundry then you might be able to get a full load done before you leave. Alternatively if you stay in an apartment hotel there maybe a washing machine and dryer with washing powder. Okay you might have to do some ironing but you’ll save a fair amount in the cost of water and electricity at home.
Free pens and notepads.
A popular article on this site was one of my tips on the best way to save money through complimentary pens in hotel rooms. Almost every hotel has them in every room with a note pad. We all need a pen from time to time so use these to build up your collection.
In this day and age it is very rare for a hotel not to offer a wifi or internet service. If this is complimentary with your room booking or covered on work expenses what are you waiting for? Downloading your big files, films, music and so on from the hotel wifi is the best way to save money on internet usage charges.
Fruit from breakfast
It is not unusual for your employer to pay for your breakfast when they require you to stay in a hotel on a business trip. So I find the best way to save money on some food on the day you check out is to grab all you can, within reason. I’ll often pick at the fruit bowl and take away a banana or two. Then I always have something to munch on for the journey home.
Free telephone calls
Believe it or not many US hotels offer free domestic telephone calls. This has got to be the best way to save money when you want to catch up with your US based friends. Wait until you check-in to your US hotel then catch up with your long lost pal in Idaho.
Join hotel loyalty schemes
This for me is a real no brainer and sure to be the best way to save money in the future. Many schemes offer a chance for free wifi or complimentary water and snacks when you are a member. Also if your employer has no problem with you earning loyalty points you are in a great position. Not only has the EU ruled that loyalty points are not taxable but you can earn free nights for your future holiday. Also some hotels reward you with air miles on your favourite frequent flyer scheme, all paid for by your employer!
Drive on your business trip
If you are reimbursed for petrol / gas on your business mileage then driving for your trip could be the best way to save money on your car costs. With petrol allowances designed to cover not just the cost of petrol, but insurance and general wear and tear on your car you could receive a boost to the coffers for your annual car costs.
Pay with a cashback credit card
If you have a cashback credit card or even a loyalty points card then use this to settle your bill before claiming hotel expenses from your employer. If it is cashback then you’ll have something to pay towards your costs at home in the future. It may not be millions but surely this has to be the best way to save money and earn something back from your business trip.
Not the best way to save money from a business trip
There is of course a line to be drawn. Some things are fair game, they are the complimentary items but don’t be stupid and start thieving things. Items such as hotel dressing gowns, hair dryers, towels and pillows are for use in the hotel only. Don’t start sneaking them home as you might get some unexpected charges on your credit card.
Okay we may not be George Clooney from “Up in the Air” who is obsessed with collecting loyalty points yet you can find the best way to save money at home whilst on a business trip. These maybe frugal tight-arsed ways to help with costs at home but I suppose it all helps.
Please share below your best way to save money when on a business trip.