Just got back from 4wks on the road!

Just got back from a nice little business trip that consisted of 1.5 wks in San Jose, a week in Tucson, and then a week in NY. This was my 1st and only trip of the year - in my previous job in IBM I was traveling the perfect amount; 3-4 2 week trips a year. As a single guy with girlfriend I love business trips because a) I get to see the world without paying for it out of pocket, b) I get to stay at nicer places then I would pay for and eat better food, c) I get hotel points and frequent flyer miles and d) I get to significantly cut down on discretionary expenses while I am gone.

I really love traveling now. When I reach my financial goal I suspect that I will spend a lot more time traveling to many corners of the world - I enjoying experiencing different cultures and foods! Business trips to new places really afford me the luxury of getting a jump on my travels without incurring the expenses.

I also love the perks with frequent flyer miles and hotel points. I am thrifty and these perks allow me to take vacations without the brunt of the associated expenses such as airfare and hotels. This summer my girlfriend and I took a weekend trip to Boston on miles and hotel points,as well as I flew my girlfriend out to San Jose for the weekend while I was there. I'll have to break down my strategies with points and miles in a separate post.

Probably the best business trip perk is the reduction in discretionary expenses during the trip. The company pays for transportation, food and lodging. So while I am on the trip (as long as i don't exceed limits I have no gas expenses, no grocery expenses, and no dining/dating expenses. A 2 week trip probably saves me $100-$200. I often think if I were to do things differently I would opt for a job out of school that required more travel - I think this could add up to significant savings. However I do see a risk - the more you travel the more you get used to eating steaks and such so you do run the risk of bumping up your lifestyle expenses when you are not traveling. Guess there is a downside!

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A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
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