A Day In the Life: A Travel Blogger Using TravelBank on the Road

By Christina Vidal

As a travel blogger, no two days on the job look the same. One day may be spent editing articles from a cafe, while the next could involve a series of excursions around a destination as I gather information for an upcoming guide. And I’m frequently on the road. As a result, I’m always looking for ways to simplify the logistical parts of what I do, like keeping track of receipts and expenses.

I recently went on a business trip to New York City and used the TravelBank app to keep track of my business expenses while I was there. And, since one of my assignments was to review several rooftop bars and restaurants in New York City, let’s just say there were a lot of receipts and expenses.

Here’s what one day in the life of a travel blogger working on the road with TravelBank looked like for me.

10 PM – San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Before taking off, I run a budget on the app, which allots me a certain amount of budget for ground transportation and meals for each day of my trip based on current rates in the city I’m going to. I’ve already booked my flight and hotel, so I don’t include those categories in my budget.

For my trip to New York City, I learn that I have around $75 a day for food/drink and around $90 a day on transportation while I’m there. I also learn that what I save in one category, I can spend in another, and what I save off of my entire budget at the end of the trip, I can actually earn back in personal travel credits for things like Lyft, Uber and Amazon gift cards. Score. I’m excited to try it out, and I head to the airport to board my overnight flight to JFK.

9 AM – John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)

I arrive to JFK jetlagged and red-eyed but very excited to be in New York City! Instead of hailing a taxi (which would have cost me anywhere from $60-$100), I order a Lyft Line from the airport to my hotel, which only costs me $34. I take a screenshot of the email receipt and upload it into the app within seconds. TravelBank autofills pretty much everything, and already I’m loving how seamless and organized it is.

10 AM – Starbucks

It’s a little early for rooftop bars, so I head to Starbucks to grab some coffee. I spend about $5 on a latte, take a quick picture of my receipt in the app, and head into a WeWork office to get some emails and laptop work done. My hotel is only a 15-minute walk from WeWork, which is great because I make a mental note that by walking I’m not only burning off some calories and jetlag, but I’m saving more of my ground transportation budget.

12 PM – Refinery Rooftop

I take a friend to lunch at Refinery Rooftop. The gorgeous restaurant and bar is full of comfy outdoor couches that look out onto a stunning backdrop of the city and the Empire State Building. It’s perfect for a sunny Summer day in New York. I’m already loving this assignment. I order the Maine Lobster roll and some mid-day rosé. The menu here is a little more of a splurge than your typical salad or sandwich, but since I saved so much on my Lyft Line this morning, a swanky business lunch is well within my budget.

City Bar Views

5 PM – Happy Hour at 230 Fifth

After working from WeWork all afternoon, I meet up with a business connection at 230 Fifth, a famed rooftop in Manhattan’s flatiron district for a happy hour drink before dinner. The frosé is fabulous, but priced at a New York City premium, and I can tell this rooftop habit is going to rack up my expenses this week. Luckily, with all the walking I’m doing instead of using ground transportation, I know I have plenty to spare.

7 PM – Dinner at Salvation Taco

Margaritas and Mexican food are definitely in order to celebrate my first night in the city. A few local friends get to Salvation Taco early to put our name on the list (it’s super popular with the after work crowd), and assure me I’m in for some of the best tacos and margaritas of my life. They aren’t wrong. I take a picture of the group receipt and edit the total in the app to account for just my own margaritas and Mexican food.

8:30 PM – Pod 39 Rooftop

We head upstairs from Salvation Taco to the rooftop of the same building for some after-dinner drinks and some stellar nighttime views before walking back to the hotel and calling it a night. My legs are already sore from all the walking I did all day, but I’m determined to use as few Lyfts and Ubers as possible this week so that I’ll have more money to splurge on food and drinks and truly explore the city!

My first day using TravelBank was flawless. The ease of keeping track of all my business expenses helped to make my trip that much more efficient, and kept me focused on my assignment. Less time spent on expenses, more time drinking frosé. It was a good day.

Heading to New York City for work? Check out a roundup of my 10 Can’t-Miss New York City Rooftops for Happy Hour.

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