With all that has happened this year, your business travel budgets are more than likely under greater scrutiny. You might have a reduced number of trips or a reduced budget for already scheduled ones. To keep expenses at responsible minimums, you need to cut costs. Unfortunately, the most common cost-cutting strategies are geared towards leisure travel & are impractical or even impossible in business travel. Here are some tips that will help you reduce expenses without compromising quality.
Your budget should be realistic and based on the costs at your travel location instead of a per diem figure. You wouldn’t send someone to California with the same budget that you would send someone to Pennsylvania, and you wouldn’t send either of them to Paris or London without accounting for the drastic increase in cost. Regardless of the destination, a general idea of projected expenses is a must before your employee leaves for the airport.
Choosing The Right Flight
More times than not, flight costs are at the top of expense reports. Cutting costs here can and will save you a large percentage of your trip costs in both the short and long term. Although flying business class is preferred, it is not always necessary.
Changing the day of your flight can also reduce flight costs. Many studies suggest that the least expensive days to fly are Tuesdays and Wednesdays, while the most costly are Mondays and Fridays. However, this is not always the case, as many airlines have special offers like Southwest’s reduced walk-up fare or Frontier’s Frequent Flyer program.
Packing Your Bags
Packing lightly for a business trip is not always possible, but in general, you save more the less luggage you bring. Many business travelers take local mass transit to the airport with only a carry-on because it only costs them $5 to take the train instead of paying $25 to take a taxi.
Packing for trips can be stressful, but when done right, your luggage won’t slow you down or cost you more than expected. Many airlines will allow you to bring a carry-on bag and personal item along for free. Typically passengers can bring carry-on bags that measure around 22 by 14 by 9 inches. Be sure not to forget important personal items for your trip such as a backpack, jacket, or other golf rain gear that will ensure you are prepared for any surprise weather conditions while you are outdoors. This can be a great idea to have if you want to unwind after a big business meeting with your coworkers.
Saving Without Compromising Quality
After you land, your next step is figuring out how you’ll be getting to your hotel. Taking a taxi from the airport can be expensive, but you can save by booking your stay at hotels that offer complimentary shuttle services. If your hotel doesn’t have a shuttle service, using a rental car or taking public transportation is always an option. Splurging on your employees and clients is sometimes necessary. You wouldn’t buy a high-profile client a cheap steak, and you wouldn’t want to have to stay in a roach-infested motel. There needs to be a balance between providing quality accommodations and staying within your budget.
You can use the internet to book your flights, hotels, and even make restaurant reservations ahead of time, all of which make so-called splurging a lot less expensive. For example, Priceline, Hotwire, and Trivago sometimes offer three, four, or even five-star rooms at a fraction of the cost. In most cases, inviting clients to lunch instead of dinner is less expensive. Usually, a restaurant that is too expensive for dinner is well within budget around lunch. However, if you have to meet up for dinner, there are many online menu guides you can use to find restaurants that are upscale enough to impress a client without being outrageously expensive.
In conclusion, saving money on your business trips can be difficult, but it is not impossible. A lot of sites and companies have offers and information that can make planning your business trips easy and affordable. By comparing prices, speaking with representatives directly, and utilizing careful planning, you can get the best information to make smart decisions that will save you and your company the most money.
You don’t have to sacrifice comfort & quality to stay within your budget. Be sure to keep you and your employees as informed as possible and stay on the lookout for great deals.