The average company puts a considerable amount of planning into business travel arrangements. Normally, traveling for business can be costly due to last-minute bookings or traveling at peak times. Even though certain costs cannot be controlled, there are several ways your business can save on travel expenses.
When it comes to travel, a laissez-faire attitude will cost your company a lot of money. Traditionally, business travel does require some flexibility and sometimes trips cannot be foreseen or planned.
However, if you are able to plan your business trip with as much advance notice as possible, you can slash your airfare costs by as much as 70% and your hotel costs by as much as 40%. If your travels happen to be abroad, timely planning can provide you even more significant savings.
Location, Location, Location
Pick a mid-sized hotel as centrally located to your business meetings as you can afford. These establishments often can arrange transportation to and from the airport, or a car service to drive you around town. These services, especially when factoring in parking costs or cab fares, can save hundreds of dollars. In addition to the money saved in ground transportation, these mid-sized hotels come not only with a smaller price tag, but also with lots of free amenities, such as free Wi-Fi access and breakfast.
Use a Travel Pro
Using a travel professional instead of planning a trip yourself, especially if you are making arrangements for a large group, is a very cost-effective option. They are able to negotiate group discounts and find the most affordable air travel, hotel accommodations, and land transportation options without making huge sacrifices in quality.
A travel agency can track all your expenses and help you identify where your money is really going. They can also research and resolve any incorrect charges (which may otherwise go unnoticed), and compare invoices with receipts to ensure all travel expenses are valid and have been approved by your company before being paid.
Look into travel reward credit cards and travel alliances. If your employees travel frequently, it’s likely that you can quickly earn upgrades and free tickets. Look for corporate cards that offer a big sign-on bonus and that offer extra or double mileage when you purchase from a partner company. Most reward cards allow you to earn company travel miles and mileage for the employee as well.
Finally, consider technological services that will help you track points, miles, and expenses. Apps like TripIt Pro not only include robust planning features, but also give you the ability to track mileage and rewards across multiple accounts so you can book travel strategically.
Leveraging these simple efficiency tips in your business travel will cut waste from your expenses so that you can focus on what matters most about your travel needs, whether it’s growing new business, enhancing existing relationships or breaking into new markets.