If your boss is like mine, he/she is on your butt to get your expenses down when you travel. I’ve been in on some meetings and heard the phrase, “Why does it cost you $3,200 to go
Seriously, there are some expenses that are regularly incurred on an average trip that can be completely avoided. Observe five of my top ten (the rest will come on Monday):
- Rental Car Insurance – I don’t understand why, but statistics show that an alarmingly high number of people still accept and pay for the added coverage when they rent a car. Your company is covering you. Your own auto-insurance is probably covering you. Your AMX card is covering you… It’s ok to decline the insurance!
- Bottled Water – Every hotel room has them and every hotel room charges way too much for them. If you have access to the lounge, go get your water from there for free. If not, get yourself a large bottle of the good stuff from a local convenience store and drink it with the hotel’s ice. Paying $8 for a bottle of water adds up over time.
- Rental Car EZ Pass Transmitter – I know several people who drove around town with their rental cars, always stopping to pay the tolls and to collect toll receipts. The trouble was, they were blissfully unaware that their rental car had an “EZ-Pass” transmitter in it. They could have been using the fast lane, and they should have since the rental car company charged them a $15 usage fee for the EZ-Pass.
- Room Service Fees – The next time you order room service, take a good look at the receipt. Chances are you were charged at least two additional “service fees” and probably a gratuity. I’ve seen fees for packaging, delivery, maintenance, and even a “Room Service Assembly” fee. It’s amazing to me that you can order two $5 snack items and by the time they’re delivered to your room, the bill is $34 and the room service deliverer has the gumption to stand there and wait for a tip. Go downstairs and pick up the stuff yourself! Better yet, eat in the restaurant where the food will be nice and hot!
- Hotel Menu Price Increases – Menu price increases go hand in hand with room service fees. Take the room service menu from your room and go downstairs to the restaurant. Compare prices. Isn’t it interesting that a lot of the exact same dishes cost more on the room service menu? I’ve asked and been told that, “Eating in your room is a privilege, sir, the prices reflect that.” So, I’m paying extra for the food AND I’m paying for several services to have you package it and deliver it to me? That’s quite a privilege.
Stay tuned Monday to see the next five, there are some “Doozies,” I promise!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.