Monday, October 11, 2010

An Unusual Source for Estimating Per Diem Costs While On Vacation

Nantucket's Pricey Surf (photo by Miles Gehm)
Let the US government help you figure out how much you're going to spend on vacation. That's the sage advice from Jane Engle of the LA Times in a piece she did recently how the federal government, through the US General Services Administration, decides how much government employees can spend, per day, when they're on the road on official business. The per diem changes by both location and date.

And it turns out federal employees travel very similarly to the way I do. They don't stay at moderately priced hotels (no Ritz Carltons or Four Seasons), and they eat at moderate places, though they aren't expected to really scrimp by eating at chains.

Not surprisingly, the highest per diem in the US is for its most expensive city: New York. But its only king of the hill, top of the heap price-wise in the fall and early winter. In the summer months, the cost of hotels, meals and sundry items is higher in Massachusetts, on the exclusive little island of Nantucket.

To read the complete piece, click on the link above.

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