Traveling For Business On The Cheap

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premade goodies I packed for my technology conference

Since I work in education often if we are lucky enough to get to go to a conference they do not reimburse us for gas, meals, or even lodging.  This year I got lucky and the person I went with was getting reimbursed on a grant for gas and I received a grant to attend the conference for my registration and my hotel.   By the way I can’t complain I have friends who have paid for everything so I feel fortunate however I still had to be mindful of my food not just expense wise but health wise too.  Trust me this is a far cry from my corporate america days where as an Administrative Assistant I gleaned off of the Executive Lunches in the break room.  Sometimes I brought food home for our family there was so much food left over.  Nope that doesn’t happen too often in the school system however the people I work with have heart and we do look out for each other just in different ways.

So even though they served us danishes and coffee at the conference and choices that are NOT the healthiest I brought much of my own food with me.  Sadly they no longer provide refrigerators at these conference facilities although last year when I went with another like-minded friend of mine we made a fridge with a trash can, a trash bag and ice….kind of our own little ice box but we did have to manage it.  The funny thing is that this year  when I came down my breakfast  which was my own home made instant oatmeal I poured my instant oatmeal into a coffee cup and added hot water and they did have honey sticks…YUM!  Everyone kept asking me where I got my oatmeal….I just laughed and said I packed my own and they did have fruit out at breakfast so I grabbed some extra and put it in my bag.

I learned through my  husband that many people work for companies that might not be as cheap as education in terms of the money you get for your per diem is often rather small these days.  So this blog post I hope will help those that are looking for ways to save money and eat healthier while they are traveling not just those in education.

So my approach was to feel empowered by my healthy decisions I packed apples, homemade instant oatmeal packets, and a couple of commercial granola bars,  nuts,  and some bottled waters in case for portability and I was so glad I did this because this was the first Technology conference I had been to in a long time that hardly had any water available for us to drink so if you did not pack your water or know exactly when the one break was you were out of luck because there were no functional eateries or kiosks very close by.  If I had to do it again I would have packed a couple of hard boiled eggs and a little bit more fruit but I sustained myself pretty well over all.

I was thankful to get the opportunity to connect with some of the greatest minds in Educational Technology and the thing that excited me the most is that most end users are getting more comfortable to try new things and take risks in their classrooms it was a lot of fun!




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2 thoughts on “Traveling For Business On The Cheap

  1. Your mention of the trash can cooler made with ice from the ice machine brought back memories of traveling to very expensive NYC with my Mom as a kid. (it was the pre microwave days, and we stayed in the less expensive places that had no breakfast.) Mom would bring a “Fry Baby” in the suitcase. On site she would buy eggs & dry porridge & juice. In the mornings, she made us soft cooked eggs in the Fry Baby (they boil water great) then empty it and make us porridge in the same pot, and serve juice. We ate like kings, and saved a fortune on overpriced city restaurant breakfasts! (for comparison, when I was in NYC recently, I went for the most frugal breakfast I could find and spent about $8 – for a family of 5, that would have been $40 just for breakfast!)

    1. Anna it is amazing isn’t it how prices add up? When we went to NY a couple of years back I offered to cover breakfasts before I knew how much they were and so just about everyday I ran around the corner and grabbed some bagels with my Mom they were delicious but a lot cheaper than going out to breakfast in NY and I brought them back up to our condo/hotel room! The trash can fridge works great your Mom sure knew how to travel in style 🙂

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