Many entrepreneurs constantly travel to meet clients or partners, explore new markets, and engage in team-building activities. While most of these trips are necessary, the costs can quickly add up, especially with the current economic situation. Luckily, you can employ some tricks to save money on such business trips and ensure your entrepreneurial venture remains profitable. Below are some tried and tested savvy ways to reduce travel expenses.
1. Save On Air Ticket
For long trips, airplanes are the most convenient and fastest means of transport. However, flight prices have lately been rising due to increasing fuel prices and inflation. Nevertheless, you can still save on air tickets using a few tricks.
One option is booking mid-week instead of end-week flights. Many people like traveling over the weekend, as these days are usually free of commitment. Getting a ticket during such peak times could be more costly than midweek.
Another option is appropriately choosing the travel class. You can save more by flying economy class than business class, as they are typically less expensive. However, choosing economy class may compromise comfort and privacy. Luckily, some airlines have very affordable rates, even for business class. On that note, you’d want to book your business class flights to Paris here. The rates are reasonable and can result in considerable savings in the long run.
2. Carry Minimal Luggage
You can avoid paying extra when you travel by limiting your carry-on luggage. Some airlines have strict policies on how much baggage you can carry in the overhead bin. You’ll have to pay more for the extra luggage you bring on the flight. Thus, it would be best to pack less for your business travel.
You can achieve this by limiting your outfits to a few must-have essentials. You can also avoid carrying unnecessary things like jewelry, extra toiletries, heavy cameras, several heavy jackets, and items you can buy at the destination, like bottled water or shaving cream.
On the other hand, remember to carry essentials like your work laptop, official wear, chargers, and phone.
3. Invest In Smart Technology
Manually booking your travel consumes considerable time, energy, and money. Manual ticketing is also prone to errors, which can significantly cost you. Stories abound of people booking a flight only to be told they can’t travel on the scheduled day and time because it was erroneous.
Canceling your travel plans at the last minute means you must spend more on accommodation. You can avoid such inconveniences by online booking. Digital booking technologies have sophisticated algorithms to detect errors on the spot and find cheaper flights that can fit your budget.
Some advantages of this innovative technology include the following:
- You can avoid out-of-policy expenses as the system automatically takes care of them.
- The system offers consolidated invoicing; thus, you won’t need to follow up on reimbursements.
- You can access real-time travel spending data.
Investing in smart technology for your business travel plans helps you avoid extra costs. With one, you can bring a sense of order to your booking, which results in seamless travel arrangements.
4. Team Up With Travel Agencies
Another business travel tip that can reduce expenses is loyalty to your travel agency. It gives you an upper hand on discounts and offers, which can increase as you stay longer with the company.
As an entrepreneur, you must know the areas you’ll likely visit and how frequently you’ll go there. With such details, you can identify an airline that plies your desired routes and has loyalty programs. Then, stick to it year in and year out, and you’ll soon realize tremendous savings.
Additionally, you might score on bulk orders. If you travel for business trips with your team members, book their flights instead of allowing each to get an air ticket individually. Most airlines extend discounts for customers purchasing more than two tickets. Look for such deals, and you’ll save a lot on travel expenses.
5. Revise Your Travel Policy
Guidelines and rules are ideal for business travel. For instance, you’ll incur substantial extra costs if you have no policy for employees to differentiate between business and leisure travel plans. Again, last-minute bookings could be expensive compared to scheduled programs. Although some travel plans are abrupt, booking in advance is best.
Creating a travel policy ensures that discrepancies in travel decisions are avoided. For instance, you can limit air tickets to specific prices to regulate your team members’ spending. This strategy works best if your staff are responsible for booking their flights and making travel arrangements. It guarantees limited expenditure, which can help you reduce overall travel expenses.
Online travel agencies use online booking systems like FareHarbor to streamline and enhance their operations to centralized booking, real-time availability, secure payment processing, customization, and branding. Additionally, they support multi-channel distribution and customer management and provide reporting tools for data-driven decision-making. Integration with other systems further contributes to the overall efficiency of online travel agencies in managing and offering a wide range of travel-related services.
6. Reduce Your Accommodation Costs
Travel plans go hand in hand with accommodation costs. Spending in a high-end hotel will increase your expenses. While they’re luxurious, they may not always be necessary. You can enjoy time in a 3- or 4-star hotel instead of booking a 5-star accommodation. You’d want to compare several rates from different accommodation providers. Moreover, vacation homes could be cheaper than hotels if your team intends to spend more than a week in the same location.
Better yet, you’d want to partner with a hotel chain to provide accommodation services for your employees. It’ll be appropriate if you frequently visit a specific town. Most customer-centric hotels extend discounts to repeat visitors. By taking advantage of these promotions, you can have considerable savings.
Accommodation apps empower travelers to compare rates, access special promotions, and explore bundled deals for lodging. These platforms offer transparent rate comparisons, exclusive promotions, and real-time availability with instant booking. User reviews and robust filtering options contribute to informed decision-making, ensuring a personalized and cost-effective travel experience.
7. Offer Incentives On Staying On A Budget
Reducing business travel expenses is a teamwork effort. It would help if you encouraged your employees to remain within budget by offering incentives. For instance, if your team members are traveling to the same location, you can encourage them to make group bookings, which is cheaper than the individual approach. Then, you can offer cash incentives to those who spend within the budget.
Consider non-monetary incentives such as recognition and acknowledgment, flexible work arrangements, professional development opportunities, extra vacation days, employee of the month/quarter recognition, wellness benefits, team-building activities, gift cards or vouchers, parking privileges, and tech gadgets or equipment. Tailoring incentives to employees’ preferences enhances motivation for budget adherence.
8. Use Public Transport
There’s no denying the convenience and speed of private means of transport when visiting a city for business. However, private vehicles are usually more expensive than public transport. The good thing is that some public transport companies have significantly invested in state-of-the-art facilities to elevate the customer experience. Therefore, your team can comfortably ride a train or bus without compromising comfort.
Prioritize safety on public transport by staying vigilant, planning routes, and using designated stops. Keep belongings secure, be cautious in crowded areas, and wait in well-lit spots. Follow emergency procedures, stand clear of doors, and hold onto handrails. Report suspicious activity and know emergency exits. Adhering to these guidelines ensures a safer and more enjoyable public transport experience for all.
It’s possible to reduce business travel expenses once you master the tricks of the trade. Fundamentally, several transport companies and hotels offer discounts or promotions. Your responsibility is to know how to grab these offers.
Identify brands with quality services and affordable rates and stay loyal to them to enjoy long-term benefits. Also, consider cheaper alternatives to every service you require. As long as the quality isn’t compromised, go for the more budget-friendly options and save the cash.