Business Travel Expenses: Simple Little Tips for Cutting Costs Considerably
When you think “business travel”, there’s probably only one thing that comes to mind: money. Lots of it. Business travel isn’t cheap. It’s not supposed to be. When you fly first-class, you don’t get to bask in the glory of discounts.
And, why should you? You’re being treated like royalty. At least, this is what the commercials say. Sometimes, it feels like business class it just plain expensive — without the features and benefits upgrade to go along with the price. Here’s how you can cut some of those costs considerably.
Use A Template
There are a lot of free travel policy templates on the Internet. You can use them as a reference to help you put together your own travel policy. This is important because travel policies help you figure out what is (and isn’t) an acceptable travel expense. It’s sort of like a travel budget, but a bit more in-depth.
And, for things that you need to spend money on, always look for ways to cut costs or increase value. For example, if you’re traveling in Europe, you might use an app like GoEuro travel planner to find the best transportation option. Sometimes, it pays to go by train, while other times it makes more sense to fly.
Have a Travel Manager
If you don’t have the budget for a full-time travel manager, and you don’t have the bandwidth on your team to designate someone as your manager, then you should go to a freelance website and hire someone. Sites, like Upwork can help you find virtual assistants who help you with planning on demand and they can do it at an affordable rate.
Do Your Homework
Some hotel chains are consistent. But, they can be expensive to stay in. They may charge extra, for example, for Wi-Fi or meals. Some hotels offer free breakfasts, but they may make it up on the cost for drinks and other paid services.
AirBnB can be a cheaper alternative, but it can also be less reliable if you need Wi-Fi. And, less secure if you need a direct connection to your company’s server (which is why you would need a VPN). Extended-stay hotels offer great value for the money, and charge less than traditional hotels. They also have more amenities included.
Research your options before making a choice.
Streamline Your Bookings
Booking flights, rental cars, and your hotel or AirBnB can create an administrative nightmare. Travel apps like Concur can be helpful and they automate expense tracking. So, that’s good for accounting and for your tax write-offs.
Getting More For Your Money
Who doesn’t want more bang for their buck?
Take advantage of travel rewards programs. These offset your business travel costs. From company-level frequent flier programs up to a hotel-loyalty spending programs, the points do indeed add up. Once you’ve got a solid travel policy in place, you can then start reducing your expenses. This increases your efficiency. Your team will thank you for it.
Traveling business class is often thought of as expensive. And, it certainly can be. But, it doesn’t have to be. Take advantage of discount programs, streamline your booking, and try to research all available options for better pricing. At the end of the day, the amount of money you save may be a little or a lot. But, in most cases, you can save just by putting in a little effort.
Megan King travels extensively for her job as a retail buyer in the homewares industry. She can pack a carry-on within an hour and has learnt the art of negotiating and cutting costs. She enjoys writing and often writes her articles when she finds herself on a long daytime flight.