write off your travel expensesA guest post by Charissa Stuble.

Travel is a great equalizer.  It is enjoyed by people from all walks of life, from all ages and from people living on a shoestring budget to those who sail the seas on private yachts.  Travel is something that humans just yearn to do, as if it is embedded into our genetic code to want to see and experience as much as possible.  That’s why most of us are so quick to climb into ourcars, aboard ships and trains, and on airplanes to seek out all the beauty the world has to offer. With that being said, you can travel for free with very little effort.  Here is how anyone can legitimately write off their travel expenses and reap the benefits of exotic destinations and beautiful distant lands without breaking the bank:

1.  Contact an accountant to find out what expenses are tax deductible.  If you’re from the United States, you can visit the IRS website located at www.irs.gov to request the Internal Revenue Service Publications   #535 and #463.  The publications are free and can be mailed or downloaded.

2. Hold a meeting in the next city over.  You don’t have to travel far to get a deduction.  In fact, just as long as you conduct your business outside your tax home, you’ll be able to write off mileage, meals, and equipment rental.

3. Attend a conference, pursue a sales lead or schedule lunch with a prospective client.  Business-related activities like these help you write off a significant amount of your trip.  You won’t be able to go overboard and travel completely for free but you’ll be able to write off some travel expenses.  Special rules apply if you attend a conference outside of North America.  Your accountant can help clarify what is and isn’t deductible.

4. Look for a new job in another state or country.  If you schedule interviews for jobs in your industry, you can write off some expenses related to travel.  According to the IRS, you may deduct transportation, meals, and lodging just as long as you are looking for work in your current trade or business.  You cannot write off expenses if you’re looking for a job in a new industry or pursuing a career for the very first time.  Even career services are tax deductible while staying within the same industry profession including resume services, career coaching, etc.

5. Volunteer for a worthy cause.  That’s right!  You can get tax credit for donating your time.  There are a number of different organizations that could really use your help.  Contact the non-profit that best fits your values and take a travel expense deduction in the form of a charitable deduction.

Stop dreaming of traveling the world for free.  Find out what travel expenses can be written off and get your bags packed.  Who knows, your next vacation could be both relaxing and beneficial because it could put you into contact with people that change your life.

Do you have any other tips on how to write off your travel expenses?

You can read more about more ways to save money in everything you do at , Gen X Finance where Charissa frequently contributes.