From flights to accommodations and traveling on the ground, many components accumulate to create high business travel costs. Saving money on each of these elements can make a huge difference when it comes to your travel budget.
Fortunately, there are many ways you can find discounts to decrease your expenses every step of the way. This article will help you discover some strategies on how to find bargains for your business travel.
Have a corporate travel policy
First things first, if you want to save money, you have to know where that money is being spent. If you have a corporate policy already in place, make sure that it is as tight as possible. Many unforeseen expenses can slip through the cracks.
Make sure that it includes a proper approvals process, along with guidelines on bookings and reservations, on-site spending, and expenses. It should cover all the elements of a journey, from booking flights to meal allowances and handling expenses. Setting procedures will help your business travelers make decisions that stay within your policy and don’t incur any additional costs.
Save on airline trips
To save on your airline journeys, you need to be flexible with your travel dates and the airline you will use. You should be booking Economy flights only.
Only buy flexible tickets that give you an option of return dates if they’re necessary for your trip.
All of this works even better in conjunction with a tool that keeps track of airfare promotions and discounted rates. There are sites out there that keep track of discounts for you, such as Kayak, Airfare Watchdog, and many others. Give them all a try and remember to compare the prices they offer, as even those discounted offers don’t necessarily match.
Know the flight booking tricks
When you want to make a saving, timing is everything. The good news for you is that someone has already done the research on when it is the cheapest to book a flight and turned it into a science.
The lowest fare for any trip changes roughly every 5-6 days. You should book your tickets for three weeks to four months in advance. Generally, if you book way too early or last minute, you may end up paying more.
The Air Travel Outlook Report has shown that overall the cheapest fares for domestic and international economy flights were booked on a Sunday. Simultaneously, the cheapest fares for departing on domestic and global economy flights are generally on Thursdays or Fridays, so plan accordingly.
Get discounts on hotel rates
Once you have landed at your destination, the next step is to check into a hotel. If the money is not too tight, you can let your crew choose where they would be staying, as long as it fits within your predetermined budget.
However, if you want to be more in control of your spending, it would be wiser to check once again the websites that gather info on hotel discounts, such as Finder or Hotels Combined.
Your third option is to travel with style. You’ll be happy to learn that even the most prestigious hotels in the world offer special deals. For instance, you can find discounted rates for staying at the Premier Inn.
Look for hotels that provide an airport shuttle
Some hotels offer you an option to use their airport shuttle for an additional fee. Check a website such as Taxi Fare Finder to compare the costs of taking a cab from the airport to how much it costs to pay for this service.
In most cases, it is cheaper to use this option than to take a cab, especially if more than one person is staying at the hotel.
Remember to reward the employees that save you money
Each time one of your workers picks a cheaper option, they are saving your company’s money. Over time, all those small savings can add up to a substantial amount. Because of that, consider giving them an incentive to deliver further savings.
Reward those who save your money with some time off, a gift card, or any other way you deem suitable. What matters is that it is a way to let your workers know that you are aware that they respect your company and that you are going to treat them with respect in return.
For instance, Google employees get a budget before every one of their trips, and if they come in under budget, they earn credits to redeem on future travel upgrades. Folks that work for Google are motivated to save today so they can splurge tomorrow.
Join a corporate reward scheme
Another way to save a pretty penny on your business trips is by joining a corporate reward scheme.
These cost nothing to join and give your company points every time you make a booking. Once your points have accumulated, they can be redeemed against the cost of airline tickets, upgrades, and often hotels and car rental, so why not make the most of them.
The airline frequent flyer programs work the same and can save you a significant amount in the long run. The more loyal you are to an airline, the more upgrades and perks you can receive.
Saving money and finding discounts on business travels can be easy, as long as you know these tips and tricks.
Have a clear corporate travel policy that considers as many different expenses as possible, and stick to it. Remember to reward those workers who spend less than they could. Keep track of airline ticket prices and plan so you can utilize the money-saving tricks listed here.
Find the type of hotel that suits your needs, and do your research to discover discounts for it. And lastly, take advantage of corporate reward deals and frequent flyer rewards programs.
It is all about planning and sticking to the plan.