Business trips can be costly affairs. Not only do you have to worry about the cost of airfare, hotel, and food, but you also have to factor in the cost of lost productivity when employees are out of the office.
However, there are many ways your company can optimize its spending while planning a business trip. In this article, we will look at seven such ways.
1. Use Air Miles and Points
Many companies have corporate accounts with airlines and these accounts often have accumulated air miles and points that can be used to offset the cost of airfare. Be sure to check with your company’s travel department to see if you have any air miles or points that can be used.
Additionally, many credit cards offer rewards points that can be used for travel. If your company has a corporate credit card, make sure to use it for all business travel expenses to maximize the rewards. But even if your company doesn’t have a corporate credit card, you can still use your credit card to rack up rewards points that can be used for business travel.
2. Consider Travel Management Companies
Many travel management companies specialize in corporate travel and can often get better rates than what your company could get on its own. These business travel management companies have relationships with airlines, hotels, and rental car companies and can often secure discounts that aren’t available to the general public. Travel management companies can also save your company time and hassle by handling all the details of travel planning.
On the other hand, some companies prefer to book their travel arrangements, as they feel they can get better deals that way. If your company falls into this category, make sure you are taking advantage of all the discounts and deals that are available. For example, many airlines offer discounts for booking early or for traveling on certain days of the week.
3. Get Creative With Your Lodging
The cost of lodging can be one of the biggest expenses when planning a business trip. However, there are many ways to save on lodging. One way is to see if your company has any corporate rates with hotels in the city you’ll be visiting. This is often the case with large hotel chains.
Another way to save on lodging is to look for alternative accommodations such as Airbnb or VRBO. These options can often be cheaper than traditional hotels and may even offer more space and amenities. Just be sure to read the reviews carefully before booking to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Finally, you can also save on lodging by staying with friends or family in the city you’re visiting. This is often the cheapest option, but it may not be possible depending on the purpose of your trip.
4. Travel During Off-Peak Times
If your schedule is flexible, consider traveling during off-peak times to save money. This includes flying during mid-week and during shoulder seasons (the times between peak seasons). Mid-week flights are often cheaper than weekend flights, as there are fewer business travelers during this time.
And, shoulder season travel, in general, can also be cheaper than travel during peak season. This means that the rates for airfare, hotels, and car rentals are all lower.
Of course, traveling during off-peak times isn’t always possible. But, if you have the flexibility, it’s worth considering saving your company money.
5. Look for Bundled Deals
When booking airfare, hotel, and car rental together, you can often get a better rate than if you book each separately. This is because many companies offer discounts for bundled services. So, if you’re planning a business trip, be sure to check and see if any bundled deals can save your company money.
You can check for bundled deals on the websites of the airlines, hotels, and car rental companies you’re considering. Or, you can also search for deals on travel websites such as Expedia or Kayak.
You can sometimes get even better deals by booking your travel through a travel agent. Travel agents have access to even more discounts and can often get you a better rate than what you could find on your own.
6. Skip the Rental Car
If your business trip is in a city where you can easily get around by public transportation or by walking, then skip the rental car and save your company money. This is because the cost of a rental car can be quite high, especially when you factor in things like insurance, gas, and parking.
In addition, getting around by public transportation or on foot can often be quicker and easier than dealing with a rental car. This is especially true in large cities where traffic can be a nightmare.
Of course, there are some business trips when a rental car is necessary. But, if you can consider taking a taxi, to the furthest extent, or make use of public transportation, do so to save your company some money.
7. Save on Meals
Eating out can be one of the biggest expenses when traveling for business. However, there are many ways to save on food costs. One way is to find hotels that offer free breakfast. Or, you can also look for hotels that have kitchenettes in the rooms so that you can prepare your meals.
Another way to save on food costs is to pack your snacks and drinks for the trip. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling by plane as airport food can be quite expensive.
Finally, when dining out, try to find restaurants that offer happy hour specials. This can be a great way to get a cheaper meal while still enjoying some of the local cuisines.
On the other hand, if you have a group of people traveling with you, consider renting an apartment or house instead of staying in a hotel. This way, you’ll have a kitchen where you can cook meals for everyone. This can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re planning on staying for an extended period.
Now that you know some ways to save money on a business trip, you can start planning your next trip with confidence. Just remember to compare prices and look for discounts to get the best deal possible and consider professional travel services to save even more.