Are there any travel auditing/coding consultants out there that would like to share any tips, stories, pros and cons of the travel world? I have reached the consulting level and would like to hear of others experiences. Thanks in advance!
I travel almost every week , what do you want to know.. Or maybe where do I begin..LOL. I love my job it is wonderful to meet so many people from different areas. I gues one of the myths if you will is that you will do all this wonderful site seeing... not so much! You are working the entire time unless you schedule a day or two for yourself but then you cannot charge for that time, You need to build into your contract the travel time, a day minimum, most travel will involve one or two transfers by plane and can lead into a ton of time spent in airports waiting. Plan for delays and cancellations. Ask yourself just how far are you willing to put yourself out. For instance once I got as far as Washington DC for an Erie PA job but due to weather the flights were cancelled.. the best I could do was get to Boston on a different carrier and drive the 5 or so hours on in, I got there at 5am with no luggage. But I was there and had to buy clothes as soon as the stores opened. But there are so many rewards also. I have clients everywhere in the US. and sometimes I can double up and it works well, like I have 2 florida clients I will spend 2 weeks in florida with the weekend for me on the beach. You are your own boss, BUT have all your official references ready at hand and never take a job out of your area of expertise. Keep track of all expenditures and always have your vital information stored in 2 or three different places, I e-mail everything to my yahoo acct. Always be prepared to have to purchase something expensive if yours goes down, you cannot "borrow" the clients! I had my projector go down in the middle of a presentation and luck me it was close enough to lunch, so I went out a bought a new one for the rest of the afternoon. I could fill a book with stories of every kind, rental cars, hotels, restaurants, planes, you name it! Oh and ALWAYS check your credit or debit card on line every day, I have had hotel people and servers use my cards to buy things and you have to catch that quick!
I have the option to be home whenever I chose and work only Tuesday thru Thursday. I do work for a company for some things and on my own for others. The company I work for encourages us to also work independent jobs, you will not find this with most companies out there. They are a fantastic organization and I love working for them. But I also love the clients I have picked up along the way. I have been to 48 states and most major cities. But like I said it is not for the weak! There are so many things you get no control of like the weather, and mechanical failures. Once even a major accident which put off onto side roads for an additional 5 hours to the trip, Hey I found Sleepy Hollow! But that was when I learned the value of a GPS! I never go anywhere without one. Oh and a AAA membership can be worth its weight in gold. Just needing that one time pays for the entire year. As I said I could write a book! I have been doing this for 11 years now and I will never go back to an office job. Advantages? Yes! I do not have to deal with office politics, that is huge! I do not have to schedule my vacations around anyone but me! I control my income.
Oh and apply for every frequent flyer card, hotels, airlines, rental cars get every single one now before you book anything, even if you think you will never use that brand. I took a two week vacation last year with my boyfriend and only paid for meals, the flights the car and the hotels all came from points I accumulated. Even if someone else pays the bill the person traveling gets the points.
I could go on and on but if you want any other info just ask I will be happy to give any tips I can.
PS... I know the layout of every major airport!