Last weekend, I flew to Denver to hang out with other financial bloggers, and learn more about finance and blogging. The Financial Blogger Conference featured some of the best and brightest from around the personal finance blogosphere, and I learned a great deal.
And, best of all, some of the costs are tax-deductible. If you want to save money on travel, attending a conference related to your business field is one of the best ways to do it. When you travel for business, you have the advantage of being able to reduce the overall cost with the help of tax deductions. You can deduct the costs of:
- Car mileage
- Some of your food costs/meals
- Dry cleaning services
- 50% of costs to entertain customer or clients
- Transportation to and from the airport, and to and from different venues
Save your receipts, and you can use them as documentation to help you back up your claims. This can be a great way to reduce the cost of travel. You can enjoy a new city, and have a good time, and experience a lower overall cost. While the tax deduction isn’t as good as a dollar for dollar reduction in your taxes, it still amounts to something. But if you really want to take advantage of free travel, you should get a sponsor to send you to a conference.
Conference Travel: Paid for By Someone Else
One of the most interesting parts of the presentation by Kylie Ofiu at FinCon was her take on how to travel for free by setting up sponsors for a conference. She pointed out that it’s a good idea to begin looking for sponsors early, and to put together a good pitch that shares what you will offer if you are sponsored for a business. Some businesses might be interested in sponsoring someone who can go to a conference and make good connections.
However, Kylie pointed out that most important things to offer might be links and social media mentions. The sponsor receives links to the site, as well as social media mentions, whenever the conference is mentioned. She also suggested adding the sponsor’s name to the back of your business card. She also pointed out that you can put a banner on your site acknowledging the sponsor. The idea is that this is a marketing experience for the sponsor. A sponsor can get the company name “out there”, and you can have your travel expenses covered.
This mode of travel is even better than getting a tax deduction, since you don’t have to front the money, and it is a dollar for dollar reduction in costs. You could even get help from multiple smaller sponsors if you aren’t interested in trying to get one sponsor to pay for everything. Think outside the box and look for ways to get someone else to pay for your travel.
In the end, there are ways to travel for a lower cost, or even for free, if you connect it to your business, and make it a business experience. You can still have fun, but don’t forget to do a little work, too.
Tom Drake writes for Financial Highway and MapleMoney. Whenever he’s not working on his online endeavors, he’s either doing his “real job” as a financial analyst or spending time with his two boys.