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Old 09-19-2002, 10:09 PM   #1
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Per-diem makes me a good travel agent..

My new company pays me $100/day for food/shelter. I used to stay at Super 8s,Motel 6s, but i just found out that Hotwire.com and Priceline.com...Priceline has been great for me..u can't beat the $26/night in Denver Tech Center, $40/night Hilton in Manhattan and $25 Residence Inn at Pensacola,Fl.

I have been making a killing on the Per-diem...before i hated the Per-diem thing..but now i love it! the only downside is if i don't know how long i will be at a city it will be hard for me to make hotel arrangements..which means alot of time waiting on Priceline!
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Old 09-20-2002, 11:51 AM   #2
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You could really get burned if a trip was cancelled and you already paid for the hotel, right?

How long have you been pulling this off? I suspect that it's only viable while the travel sector is in a decline.
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Old 09-22-2002, 09:41 AM   #3
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Yes I do lose the hotel night.

Yes. it did happen to me once. Being a contractor, this way is the only way to go. I'm a lot luckier than some of other people where their per-diem is only set to $85/day!
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Old 09-22-2002, 03:47 PM   #4
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The concept of a fixed-rate per diem seems really ineffective to me. I support fully any policy which encourages thriftiness, but a fixed rate completely ignores the wide variance in costs that exists among destination cities.

I could cope just great on $85/day in Indianapolis, but $85 will just barely get you a room at a youth hostel with a communal bathroom in some cities. At the very least I'd expect to see a base per diem rate that's adjusted against any particular destination's relative costs.
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Old 09-23-2002, 10:40 AM   #5
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Per diem rates have always been a pain. My last company had different rates for different cities, but I could never make sense of the index that was used. I was always comfortable in DC, for example, but struggled to find a decent room when in Houston.

Just thankful that my current employer knows the value of good food and a good rest!

-jw
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Old 09-24-2002, 04:12 PM   #6
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I've never traveled on a per-diem rate. However, it seems to me that the best policy would to contract a travel agency to make reasonable air and hotel accomodations and ensure that people traveling for your company are as careful with money as the company would like.

Hotel and rental car rates can vary wildly based on the amount of advance notice. Additionally, the amout required for reasonable meals, tipping, taxi/towncar, train, etc, etc, can vary wildly by city.

Additionally, strict regulations could hinder performance. Beyond the obvious (the more you spend, the more comfortable you'll likely be), a more expensive hotel may be closer to where you're working or visiting for a few days and could result in more sleep, not having to fight traffic, and general convenience that can result in better performance.

I went out to dinner with a customer's technicians a few months ago and observed an interesting technique. We had a couple drinks while waiting for our table, but then had to settle the bar tab before sitting down at the table. Rather than just pay the bill, the technician ordered many more drinks and charged it to the company credit card. When he came to the table carrying four drinks, I asked him to explain what was going on. He said that they can charge meals, etc, but aren't allow to just go to a bar on the company's tab. By racking up a really high bar tab, it looked more like a meal than drinks on an expense report. I couldn't believe it.

It seems that you would be better off hiring responsible people than spending money trying to create and enforce such ridiculous rules about spending.
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