Travelling is often a vital component of business, but it can also place a significant strain on your finances. However, there are ways to cut down on expenses without sacrificing on those all important business trips. Here are 7 ways in which you could save money on your business travel.
1. Look at alternative travel options
While flying to major airports may be the most convenient way to reach your destination, you do sometimes wind up paying a lot for that privilege. Therefore, it can be worthwhile checking out the cost of flying to somewhere further out. This can result in big savings – particularly if you aren’t able to book far in advance, and are arranging a last-minute business trip.
2. Revise your corporate travel policy
Going over your corporate travel policy, or putting one in place, is a great first step to saving money. Make it clear what your employees should be spending company money on whilst travelling. First, you should focus on the essentials, such as travel reservations, the use of other transportation like taxis, and how much can be spent at the location. You can then think about additional costs such as meals, entertainment etc.
3. Book as far in advance as possible
Booking in advance is a pretty straightforward tip, but it’s still one which can be easily neglected until the prices have unnecessarily shot up. Make sure you emphasise to employees the importance of advance booking, and perhaps even offer an incentive to encourage them to make their arrangements before the costs mount up.
4. Think about scheduling
Although this is not always feasible, it’s worth trying to put off business trips in the summer months, when airline prices tend to be higher. This is also true for school holidays, when travelling is popular so airline companies hike up the costs.
5. Plan and research further travel costs in advance
The cost of car hire can really set you back, but it also varies quite wildly from country to country, so it’s worth doing some research. Using a price comparison website – such as easyCar – will help you get the best deal, ensuring you save money on travel expenses.
6. Make the most of reward programs
Most hotel chains and airlines have rewards programs in place for frequent customers, so if you can take advantage of these, you can make some impressive savings. There are also some helpful tools around which can help you keep track and make use of rewards.
7. Consider a virtual meeting over business travel
Of course, the most direct way of cutting down business travel costs is to travel less. This is not always possible, but if your business is struggling to make ends meet, organising a teleconference using tools like Skype or GoToMeeting can be an effective alternative. Face-to-face meetings are obviously more personable and can help build business relationships, but prioritising the most important meetings and assigning money for those trips, while replacing others with virtual meetings could be a smart move for your company.
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