It’s no secret that travel can be costly, but for many businesses, travel is necessary for generating new leads and expanding into new markets. However, often businesses spend more than is necessary. For many businesses, travel represents one of their biggest annual expenses. Fear not: these three tried and tested strategies can help save some serious money when planning your next business trip.
One of the golden rules of travelling at a great price is to book well in advance. Even tickets bought three weeks in advance are up to 50% cheaper than tickets booked at the last minute—the same rule applies to hotels. As soon as a business trip is on your radar, planning and prepaying will help shield you from rising prices closer to the date. Where possible, it also pays to be flexible with dates, airlines and airports. One flight may fly direct, but another route may fly into a different airport in the same city (or have a stopover) and therefore be several hundred dollars cheaper. The same can be said for travelling mid week instead of waiting for a Sunday or Monday flight.
Use corporate travel agencies
The expertise and cost savings through using travel agencies can be worth their weight in gold. Travel providers work exclusively to meet the needs of business travellers, accessing a range of different travel options geared towards businesspeople. Agencies also have relationships with certain airlines and hotel chains, meaning that they can often secure corporate discounts, including being able to negotiate business rates on hotel rooms. By packaging all a business’ travel needs together, travellers often get a better overall deal.
Also, if you’re travelling with a group, corporate travel agencies can coordinate the complexities of moving multiple people around the globe. For companies that travel often for business, establishing a relationship with your agent will mean they will also help you to save by going out of their way to search for the best possible deals and potentially securing add-on perks at no extra cost, such as upgrades and priority service.
Use alternative transportation
Taxi fares can be a major drain on the business bank account, so it’s a smart idea to make it a policy to require any ground transportation to be via shuttle or public transportation wherever possible. Most major cities have shuttles running to city hotels, and these are often provided for free (especially if the hotel is located near the airport). If travel is for a conference, most conference venues also provide free pick-up and drop-off services included in your ticket. Allowing taxi’s to be used only when multiple people are travelling as part of a group and removing daily taxi trips from the equation can save several hundred dollars over the course of a week-long trip. For those looking to cut travel costs, taking advantage of other transport options should definitely be considered.
These few tips will help you to reign in the cost of travelling for work and reduce spending while on the road. What other ways have you saved dollars on your business travel? Share your tips below with a comment.