Remember the first time you drove a car
by yourself? I do. I remember thinking, “I could point this
wanted, and only the Sandinistas could stop me!” I drove all over the place and it was
awesome. I also remember my first
significant road trip with a passenger.
I was driving back to college from home after the summer was over and a
buddy of mine needed a ride. After
stopping three times for his bathroom breaks and to support his chewing tobacco
habit, I knew I was destined to travel alone.
Lots of decent, hard working Americans
are understandably nervous about their first business trip, especially if they’re
going alone. You wonder, “How much can I
spend on breakfast? Should I tip? Can I expense tips? What about tolls and laundry, and movie
tickets, and…” Since the answers to
those questions vary from company to company, the only easy answers come with
experience and with approved expense reports.
There are some unique ways to save money when you’re traveling alone,
however, and I’ve listed a few of them below:
where it’s actually cheaper to reserve a hotel room as a couple than as a
single traveler; I find the phrase, “My wife and I would like a King Sized
bed, please” very helpful. They
need not ever actually “see” my wife but if they think I have one,
I’ll take the savings. Just be sure to
remember to ask for two room keys. If
they look around suspiciously for your wife, just tell them that, “she’ll
be along in a few minutes.”
Breakfast buffets are notoriously expensive.
A healthy breakfast is needed on a trip, to be sure, but even the most
jaded travelers get a bad taste in their mouths when they spend more than $20
for a small omelet and a piece of fruit.
I always check with my host to see if anything is being provided. Quite often, the company I am there to visit
will have a Continental breakfast or bagels available for the meeting or
event. Also, some of the best breakfast
meals I’ve ever had have come from some local walk-in places off the
street. There’s a place in
the block from the J.W. Marriott that serves an outstanding fresh and hot
croissant ham & cheese sandwich for $3.29.
If all else fails, you know you can get a great breakfast from I-HOP,
Denny’s, or some old fashioned waffle-house.
It’s worth waking up 45 minutes early to sit down in a booth in one of
these places, enjoy some coffee, and collect your thoughts for the day over a
hot plate of pancakes and eggs for far less than the hotel would charge. Without a companion along to change your
mind, you’re free to alter your schedule to accommodate this.
encumbered by a roommate or traveling companion, I’m free to walk to work
instead of taking a cab (when I’m in the city).
I’m also free to rent the cheapest possible car they have in the lot,
since I don’t have to carry multiple people and/or their sets of luggage.