Do you want to cut down on business travel expenses without compromising your comfort? If YES, here are 20 guaranteed ways to save money on business travel.
If you are a businessman or woman, there are tendencies that you are going to be making business trips from time to time. As a matter of fact, there are businessmen and women whose businesses entail that they travel more often than they stay in their homes or offices.
There are companies also that are known to have high budget for business travels not just for their top executives, but also for key staff members.
If you are bound to travel to conduct your business, then it is wise for you to source for tips that will help you reduce your business travel expenses. These tips will help you reduce your local and international travels via any medium of transportation (air, land and sea). Here are 20 tips on how to reduce your business travel expenses.
20 Best Guaranteed Ways to Save Money on Business Travel
- Purchase Your Tickets in Advance
If you are an international business traveler or even someone who travels nationally, one of the options you have when it comes to reducing your business travel expenses is to ensure that you purchase your tickets well in advance. For example, if you are to travel for a business meeting, the best time to purchase your tickets is about six weeks before the date of your travel.
A recent research conducted from Airlines Reporting Corporation found that the best time to purchase your airfare is about six weeks prior to travel. The truth is that if you purchase your ticket just about the time you want to travel, then you are bound to pay more.
2. Source for Promo
Good enough, there are promos for both local and international flights and also rail and executive bus transportation. Most companies do this to attract customers or increase sales. You can read travel and tour magazines to source for airline companies offering freebies.
So, part of what you need to do to cut down on your business travel expenses is to source for promo. As a matter of fact, there are some promos that will cut down flight tickets for as low as 50% and some give out a free ticket for every two or more tickets purchased within the promo period.
3. Make Use of One Airline/Transport Company
Another tip that will help you reduce business travel expenses is to make use of just one airline or transport company for all your travels. This is applicable if the airline or transport company has a loyalty reward system. If they do, you will be rewarded for being their loyal customer.
Just ensure that you take advantage of rewards programs. Most hotel chains and airlines have a rewards program for its frequent customers, offering free stays or free flights. As a matter of fact, most airlines that run loyalty reward systems ensure that the more frequently you travel with their airline, the lower the fee you are to pay when purchasing their ticket.
4. Travel During Off – Peak Periods
Traveling during off – peak periods is yet another cool way to reduce business travel expenses. You will notice that during summer holidays and other holiday periods, flight tickets are usually on the high side. This is applicable if you have the capacity to schedule your business trips. If you do, then ensure that you schedule all your business travels during off-peak periods. The norm is that the higher the demand for flight tickets, the higher the price of flight tickets.
5. Buy Tickets Via Trusted Ticketing Agents
Another tip that will aid you in cutting down on business travel expenses as a businessman or woman is to buy your flight tickets from trusted and reliable ticketing agents. Of course, ticketing agents are bound to make profits, but there are some reliable and trusted ticketing agents with good track records that can help you get cheaper flight tickets. They can get your flight tickets cheaper than you can get on your own.
6. Buy Your Tickets Directly from The Airline/Transport Company
Buying your tickets directly from the airline/transport company is yet another cool way of reducing business travel expenses. This is applicable if you cannot get a reliable and trusted ticketing agent to purchase from. When you buy your tickets directly from the airline or transport company, you would have succeeded in eliminating the commission that ticketing agents will be making off you. Ensure that you visit the airline website to compare their fare with others.
7. Travel in Group
Another practical means of reducing business travel expenses is to travel in groups if practicable. The truth is that if you are traveling in a group of five or more, you are likely going to get discount from the airline company. This is applicable if it is a corporate organization that has more than five persons traveling at the same time for business trips in the same location.
8. Use Economy Class if Possible
Come to think of it, your aim of being in business especially as an entrepreneur is to cut down or minimize the cost of running your business and of course, to make good profits. One of the means of achieving this especially if you must travel for business trips is to make use of economy class if possible. The truth is that the amount you tend to save when you make use of economy class as against business class/first class when you travel is huge.
9. Travel Only if it is Highly Necessary
Another option you have when it comes to reducing business travel expenses in your company is to ensure that you travel only when it is highly necessary. The truth is that there are some business travels that can be put aside. Communication via email or on the phone can help take care of the need for traveling. So, if you are looking towards reducing business travel expenses for your company or business, then ensure that you only travel if it is highly necessary.
10. Travel Via the Cheapest Means of Transportation
Another tip that can help you reduce business travel expenses is to ensure that you travel via the cheapest means of transportation available. For example, if you are traveling to a city that is far away from your city, it might be economical to drive down there or make use of public transport systems like metro buses, electric train et al. If you are not running against time, there is no point flying if you know it will be cheaper traveling with electric train, with your car or company’s car.
11. Make Use of a Travel Management Company and Online Booking Tool
Making use of a travel management and online booking tools is yet another means of cutting down on your business travel expenses. A travel management company, or TMC, operates just like corporate travel agent, their core job functions is to help corporate organizations and business people book trips, and securing contractually discounted rates with airlines, hotels and other travel vendors.
Online booking tools, or OBTs, are booking engines built specifically for corporate travelers; the “content,” or flight and hotel inventory displayed in an OBT, is based on a company’s negotiated rates. TMCs and OBTs are cornerstones of the managed travel framework. Together they help ensure that employees book policy-compliant options.
12. Develop The Right Travel Policy
Another tip that will help your organization reduce business travel expenses is to ensure that your organization develops the right travel policy. The truth is that with the right travel policy, an organization can save a fortune from business travel.
For example, in an organization’s traveling policy document, they can clearly state that business class is reserved only for a category of management staff and that all business travels for the year must be booked well in advance. For example, all the travels for 2018 should be planned, budgeted for and booked in 2017.
13. Only Key and Essential Staff Must Travel
If you are looking towards reducing business travel expenses for your organization, part of what you need to do is to ensure that only key and essential staff would travel for business meetings. In a bid to cut business travel expenses, you can hire a freelancer to help you carry out some job functions under the supervision of your key staff member that will be traveling for the project.
For example, if want your team to take pictures or video a project site, instead of sending a project manager and a cameraman to embark on the journey, you should only send the project manager and source for a freelance photographer or videographer to handle the covering under the supervision of the project manager. With that, you will be cutting down on business travel expenses for your company.
14. Partner with an Airline or Transport Company
If your company is known to be frequent travelers, then one of the options you have to reduce business travel expenses is to partner with an airline or transport company. Take for example, if you run an oil servicing company that works offshore, you are expected to transport your workers to and from the rigs. In other to cut down on business travel expenses, you should partner with an airline company or transport company. It will save your company a lot on business travel expenses.
15. Leverage on Virtual Meetings
Another cool means of reducing business travel expenses is to leverage on virtual meetings. No doubt, meeting with your clients or business partner face-to-face is sometimes essential, but it is easier and cheaper to meet with them virtually.
You can leverage on platforms such as Skype or a business-centric tool like GoTo Meeting or WebEx et al. The truth is that you will be highly amazed at the amount you will save your company when you once in a while opt for virtual meetings as against traveling all the way to have a business meeting.
16. Take Advantage of the 24-hour Rule
One of the tricks that can help you reduce business travel expenses is to take advantage of the 24 – hour rule. This is how it works, after you have booked your flight, ensure that you go back to check the next morning to see if the price of your airfare has dropped.
In some cases, airfare usually drop when they don’t have enough passengers to fly. If you are lucky to find out that the airfare dropped, then you should give the airline a call to cancel your flight and usually, you can re – book the same flight without any consequences.
17. Make Use of Different Airlines for a Trip
Another tip that you need if you want to reduce business travel expenses is to once in a while make use of different airlines for a trip. You can fly to the destination of your business meeting with one airline and then fly back without another airline.
As a matter of fact, some airlines usually would not have enough passengers to fly back to base hence the need to reduce one – way flight fare. You can take advantage of this situation. Please not that in some cases, it will pay you to book return trips if you want to cut cost of business travel.
18. Book Early Flights
Do you know that booking early flights will likely help you reduce business travel expenses? Yes indeed, the first flight of the morning is usually the cheapest you can get especially local flights. This is applicable if your time of meeting is flexible or conform to your scheduled flight time or you have a lounge to hang around pending your meeting time. So, if you want to reduce business travel expenses, then you should book early flights.
19. Sign up for Free Airfare Alerts
If you are a frequent business traveler and you want to reduce business travel expenses for your organization, one of the things you need to do is to sign up for free airfare alerts. You can sign up with airfarewatchdog.com. They usually send alert for good airfare deals to their subscribers. You can also source for similar websites that are also into sending alerts when airfare drops.
20. Book Connecting Flights When Applicable
Lastly, another tip that can help you reduce business travel expenses is to book connecting flights where applicable. A research conducted by AP shows that booking connecting flights could save you as much as $100 round-trip. Just ensure that you have solid plans and you create enough time in case there are issues with your connecting flight or if your flight is delayed.