Corporate travel is necessary for many companies despite the existence of technologies like cloud computing and video conferencing. Of course, meeting clients or business partners face-to-face will pay dividends, but one shouldn’t forget that traveling for business can be very costly.
As a small business owner, you might not be able to put an end to your corporate travels or reduce the frequency of your travels, but you certainly can slash expenses with proper planning and management.
Here are 9 tips that are guaranteed to help you save on your business travels.
Booking tickets and accommodation in advance might not be feasible if you have to travel for business unexpectedly most of the time. However, do book early whenever you can to get some good deals.
Stick to the Same Vendors
Flying with the same or partner airlines can earn you more frequent flyer miles and translate directly to more savings on flight tickets. Further to this, a lot of major hotels and car rental companies offer reduced rates to corporates that require employees to travel frequently.
To enjoy reduced prices and special discounts, book tickets with the same airlines, hotel, and car rental company. Also, encourage your employees to do the same.
Bear in mind that employees can pocket frequent flyer miles and reward points. To take ownership of air miles and other benefits, structure the purchase of tickets correctly.
You don’t always have to fly first or business class- if you’ll be flying a short distance, fly economy to save money. Furthermore, lay down guidelines that clearly explain when a business class ticket can be booked for employees.
Taking along a lot of stuff on your business travels means having to pay excess baggage charges. To avoid wasting money, pack light and carry only a single bag as your carry-on luggage. Taking just a carry-on bag also helps you check-in quicker, and eliminates the chances of your baggage getting lost. You will be able to get out of airports without having to wait at the baggage carousel too!
To pack light, ensure that you’re only carrying the basics with you- forgo things like towels, linens, and hairdryer that your hotel will provide. If you must carry your favorite shampoo, lotions, and perfume, buy small-sized packs or avail travel-sized freebies to keep your luggage light.
In addition to this, learn to mix and match your clothes so you don’t have to carry whole outfits for each day. And get soiled clothes laundered instead of packing a bundle of clean clothes for your trip!
Pick Regional Airports
Regional airports are very cost-effective as compared to international airports. Apart from that, regional airports also see shorter queues at security checkpoints!
Take into consideration the costs of flying in and out of both international and regional airports in your city before booking your flight tickets. If you have to travel to another city to attend a business meet or conference from the regional airport, calculate those travel costs too.
Look for Alternatives
You don’t always have to travel by air- going by road or rail can be a lot cheaper depending on where you’re going. When it comes to accommodation, try alternative lodging options like B&Bs or corporate housing options. These are not only comfortable, but relatively cheaper than upscale hotels.
Don’t Always Pay Cash
Paying cash might earn you some discount, but swiping your credit card can have better benefits! Purchase corporate credit cards that offer good rewards on travel-related expenses. Additionally, ask at hotels and restaurants if they offer discounts on specific debit or credit cards before paying bills.
Watch Wi-Fi and Data Charges
When booking accommodation, make sure your hotel room has free Wi-Fi. If not, ask what the charges are beforehand so that you don’t have to pay a hefty fee while leaving.
Using free Wi-Fi where possible will help reduce your hotel bills. Turn data roaming off and use only Wi-Fi so that you’re not paying for both services.
Get Expert Help
If you or your employees have to travel frequently, you might as well take the help of a corporate travel company to book flights and accommodation. You will have to pay the agency a commission, but you’re sure to get travel tickets and hotel rooms at discounted rates.
What’s more, you can rely on a travel company to take care of all your travel needs while you focus entirely on work!
As a small business owner, pinching the pennies wherever you can is important if you want to see your company succeed. But you don’t have to avoid traveling for work to cut down expenses!
With the tips given here, you now know what you need to do to control travel-related costs. So get into action and plan your business trips well!