Well, I never did this when I was a “road warrior” but times have changed. Check out this article.
Your colleagues who stay in the office probably have the idea that business travelers live pretty high on the hog, eating and drinking in swanky restaurants and putting it all on the company tab. But a new report from Certify, a firm that tracks business travel spending, puts the lie to that notion.
The report lists the specific vendors that road warriors tend to include the most on expense reports from business trips, and the three that top the list are hardly five-star establishments — they’re more like the kind of places someone might rush into at the airport on the way to a flight. Starbucks tops the list, followed by McDonald’s and Subway.
Rounding out the top 10 are Panera Bread, Dunkin’ Donuts, HMS Host (the big airport concessionaire), Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Applebee’s.
By meal type, Starbucks was by far the busiest breakfast vendor for business travelers, with McDonald’s the favorite for both lunch and dinner.
The hotel company that turns up most often on expense reports is Marriott, the Certify report said, with average per-stay expenses of $225.96. Also in the top three were Hampton Inn ($195.98) and Courtyard by Marriott ($170.52). I chose the hotel chain with the best frequent stay awards.
The most expensed airline was Delta, with an average charge of $408, followed by United ($419), US Airways ($291), American ($352) and Southwest ($297). National was the most expensed car rental vendor, followed by Avis, Hertz, Enterprise and Budget. I always chose the one with the best upgrades or freebies.
I can understand why Starbucks is at the top of the airport list. First, they are in just about every airport. Second, they generally have a decent choice of food for both breakfast, and lunch, as well as handy snack items. Third, they have caffeine. Fourth, they have more caffeine. I just got an email from Peet’s, announcing their entry into the food business.
When I traveled on business, I tried to stay away from excess alcohol, and excess fat. On the alcohol, I stopped drinking hard liquor and switched almost exclusively to beer and wine. On the food choices, I preferred to eat at regular restaurants, not fast food joints.
One of my friends has been even more creative with his food choice. He just eats at the nearest hospital, figuring their dietician or nutritionist has a hand in menu planning. In some areas I have visited, the hospital is only non-fast food chain option in the entire town! Whatever you do, just try to find something healthy. Even a trip to Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods will yield healthier food choices!