As more businesses expand their client base across countries, more associates need to travel around the world for work. Although the COVID-19 pandemic brought all travel to a halt for a moment, as borders started to open up again, the need for more face-to-face contact between associates and clients has increased.
However, as a business, you don’t want to spend a large portion of your budget on travel, especially when things like Zoom and Google Meet are now widely available. Luckily, there are various ways you can save money on business travel; you just need to follow some of the following tips.
Secure a cheaper flight
While you can’t always avoid emergencies, and you may have to sometimes book a last-minute flight, the best thing to do is always plan in advance. For example, if you know you must travel for business in the next few months, try booking your flight as early as possible to secure the best deal. This is the best option for grabbing a cheaper flight overall.
There are also other ways you can lower the price of your flight. If you’re travelling internationally, don’t opt for direct flights. Flights with layovers provide you with additional savings and can lower the cost of your travel. Similarly, browse for alternative airports that are still close to your destination, as you may be offered a much cheaper fee.
Utilise Rewards Sites
While rewards sites are often primarily used for personal holidays, they can also be used for business travel as well. So every time you travel, whether flying or staying in a hotel, there are lots of opportunities for you to earn rewards points that you can put towards future trips. Just make sure you sign up for loyalty programs and enter your membership number each time you make a booking.
Some of the biggest airline and hotel loyalty programs include:
- British Airways Executive Club
- Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
- Iberia Plus
You can also sign up for in-store rewards programs such as Tesco Clubcard and Nectar, where you can convert your points and use them for your business travel.
Grab an air miles credit card
If you tend to travel frequently for business, it’s always a good idea to sign up for an airline credit card, where you earn miles to put towards future trips. Each time you make a travel-related expense, you’ll be able to gain points to put towards future airfare, making the cost of your overall trip much cheaper.
There are many different air miles credit cards available at the moment, and some of the most popular ones include:
- Amex Preferred Rewards Gold
- Barclays Avios
- British Airways Amex
- Tesco Bank Mastercard
Use TrustedStays for large groups
When travelling for business by yourself, the obvious solution is to book yourself a hotel room to stay in for the entirety of the trip. However, travelling in a larger group can cost a lot for each associate to have their own hotel room. That’s when TrustedStays may come in handy, as you can make one booking in a house or apartment with multiple rooms.
TrustedStays is set up specifically for corporate stays and is a great alternative to check out if you are in a large group. You can also sometimes find the best possible solution and rate when you are travelling solo as well.
Schedule meetings tactically
When you’re travelling to secure a deal with a new client, or you just want to wow one of your existing clients, you may want to take them out for a meal as part of your meeting. However, the problem with this is that it can cost a lot and affect your budget for your trip negatively.
The best solution that ensures you can still wine and dine your clients while saving money is by scheduling your meetings for either breakfast or lunchtime. Dinner is always the most expensive meal of the day, and clients may feel more inclined to order more drinks and appetisers in the evening. This way, you are still taking them for a treat without it dipping too much into your finances.
Stay near your meeting spot
Depending on where you’re travelling to, transport in the area can end up being more expensive than you’re used to. For this reason, you want to avoid using taxis or renting a car during your trip. Instead, the best thing to do is ensure you book your accommodation near where you’ll be spending most of your time.
If you are travelling so you can attend a meeting with a client, ensure your hotel or rental is within walking distance of the location you’re seeing them, or at least it is near an affordable public transport option. By doing this, you may be surprised at how much you can save on your overall trip.
Set a budget and stick to it
It’s all well and good to follow the above tips when you go on a trip, but if you don’t set yourself an actual budget, you won’t know how much you can save. Typically, if you travel without a budget, you will splurge a little bit and spend more than you want. That’s why a decent amount of planning is necessary.
Put together an overall budget and allocate how much of it you want to spend on flights, accommodation, the client, food, travel, and any extras. You don’t necessarily have to stick to your budget by the dollar, but if you have these figures in mind, it’ll be much easier for you to stay within them throughout the trip.
Travelling has previously been one of the most expensive aspects of a business’s annual expenses, but it no longer has to be. With so many different reward options, air miles, and different forms of accommodation, it has never been easier to plan a trip on a budget.
If you stick to these seven tips, you’ll no doubt be able to minimise your business travel costs and put the savings towards other parts of your company to help you grow and thrive.
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