Essentially as a contractor, you are out in the working world by yourself and are responsible for both your level of work and income received as well as the number of outgoings you incur. Modern-day contracting can require you to travel to your clients and places of work from time to time and these occasional (or sometimes more regular) trips can add up.
Unless your client provides you with the privilege of paying for your expenses, accommodation costs will have to come out of someone’s pocket and most likely it will be your own. Although, if VAT registered, a percentage can be claimed back from the HMRC as a contractor, the entire cost will not be covered. Due to the competitive accommodation market nowadays however, there are several ways in which extra pennies can be saved.
1. Firstly and probably the most obvious money saving tip would be to stall on booking your accommodation and visit sites such as laterooms.com last minute to book your room. This way you have access to late availability rates which can sometimes mean obtaining an upgraded room for a fraction of the usual price.
2. Alternatively, for the more spontaneous of individuals out there, another easy access route to last minute bookings would be downloading by the ‘Hotel Tonight’ application on your smartphone. Here you have access to thousands of hotel bookings on the go and the app prides itself on being extremely simple and easy to use, with just ‘3 taps and a swipe’ to result in a booking confirmation for the same evening.
3. Discount codes, vouchers and deals are continuously sent to us via email and promoted on the internet. Sign up to a few key voucher sites such as moneysavingexpert.com, vouchercloud.com and vouchercodes.co.uk to keep up to date with all the latest deals – this will generally include the high-street hotel chains however from time to time you may be able to pick an overnight stay in a boutique hotel as quite a pleasant change.
4. Another angle to take when staying away from home is to keep in mind the cost of your trip in its entirety. By this we mean calculate the cost of all meals, additional Wi-Fi charges, parking tickets and so on. These factors should definitely be taken into consideration when making a reservation as opting for the ‘breakfast included’ or ‘half board’ options may not be as cost effective as visiting the local café or pub for your meals.
5. Finally, if you regularly stay away from home for work purposes it may be worth considering looking into loyalty schemes or business packages that some major hotel chains have to offer. Regular overnighters can obtain access to discounted rates, offers and additional perks by joining such schemes.