If you’re a frequent traveler, then you’re probably aware that expenses tend to rise as vacation time nears. Although this doesn’t always mean that you won’t enjoy your trip more if finances allow, it does lean towards an answer in the affirmative. Luckily for you, resorts and hotels often provide expense reports as a courtesy. After all, how would they know how much guests are spending on food, drinks, and other side attractions? This way you can see where you could be spending more money on things that aren’t necessary. But what if you’re not at home during your vacation? Or perhaps only have access to your smartphone for about a week before or after your trip? Most people would struggle to prepare an accurate report during this short notice window. Fortunately, there are ways to help make the most of it. 

Check out these tips before preparing your travel and expense reports (t&e reports):

Define Exceptions

Many vacations are about relaxing and unplugging from the daily grind, but you still want to be aware of any possible expenses. If you have a health condition that requires you to be careful about certain foods, or you’re averse to certain activities, it’s important to consider what will happen if you can’t make the trip. For example, a lot of people are afraid to travel after working out because they don’t want to get sick from the loosening stomach juices. These are all good reasons to make sure you get a full refund if you miss the start of your trip because you had to be careful about what you were eating. This is the first critical step towards building a database for your t&e reports. 

Avoid the Luxury Tax

In addition to the above, many tourists are unaware that taxes are charged on most services when they’re not collected by the hotel. For example, taxes are charged on food and drinks, as well as attractions and activities, when you book outside of the hotel. Make sure that you know the tax rates for your destination before you travel. Some taxes are charged only when you stay at a luxury hotel, and others are charged on all hotels, including budget options. Look into your destination to see if any luxury taxes apply to your stay.

Have Staff Create Dinner For Your Travelers

Although you might think that you have time to cook for your guests, you don’t. Most vacations consist of at least a couple of days at the hotel, and you usually have very little time to make meals for your guests. Luckily, you can hire staff to help you out. A few resorts have full-time chefs who will cook for your group throughout your vacation. Another option is to buy ready-made meals. Almost every hotel has a grocery store you can use as a breakroom, and you can always find something on the menu at the resort that you like. You can also ask your staff to prepare food for you when you’re not around. This could be something as simple as a snack before a meeting, or as involved as creating a full menu for a special event. Eating out is never a nice thing to do with your guests, but having your staff do it makes it much easier.

Set Up A Special Website For The Trip

Many people aren’t familiar with the concept of expense reports, but the idea is to provide a centralized location for all of your trip details. You can add pictures, links to social media, and any other information that will help your guests know more about your vacation. When you set up your website, you can include a drop-down menu that will allow you to choose the destination, hotel, and other options you have for your trip. This way, your guests can see what they’re in for if they decide to book with you.

Don’t Forget About Airdates

Airlines and hotel websites are often late in announcements regarding a flight or hotel availability. This can lead to a painful situation if you book a confirmed flight only to learn that the airline won’t fly on certain dates. Or, you might find yourself stranded in some far-off city with no way to get home. Make sure you know the airdate for any events you’re interested in, or that you’d like to attend.

Key Takeaways

Travel expenses tend to rise as vacation time nears, so it’s important to be careful about how you spend your money while you’re away. Luxury taxes are charged on most services when you’re not at the hotel, so be aware of what you’re paying for when you book. Have staff create dinner for your guests, and bring it to them when they’re on vacation. Set up a website and have regular updates for your guests, so they don’t have to search through different websites when they’re looking for information. 

Don’t forget about airdates, and be careful about what hotel you book. If you need help planning your trip or want advice on which attractions to see, check out our guide to the best vacations in the world. You’ll find everything you need to know, including maps and tourist information, as well as our picks for the best attractions.


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