Although we are living in an increasingly digitalised world, business travel still remains incredibly important because no matter how far technology has become, nothing beats face-to-face human interaction. Business travel not only gives your company the potential to close deals but it’s also very likely to open new windows of opportunity. The biggest downside about business travel is the money aspect, particularly when you take into account that more than 1.3 trillion US dollars was spent on business trips worldwide in the year 2016. If you are a business owner, then you will want to take heed of these great hacks on how to save money on business travel.
The more you plan ahead and book things in advance, the more money you are going to save in expenses. Sometimes this may not be possible, as you will on occasion need to arrange a business trip at late notice, but for all other trips, make sure you follow book early. Booking 28 days in advance can even save you 44.7% when compared to booking three days beforehand. You will be able to find a host of cheap flights when you plan ahead, but it’s also important to be mindful of the incremental costs that airlines now put in place. If you want to curb these extra costs, then make sure your employees travel light so they don’t have to check-in any suitcases. As well as benefitting from low cost flights when you book in advance, you should also book your car hire or airport transfers as early as possible as well because the rates will be considerably lower.
Regulate Per Diems
For each employee you send on a business trip, you will need to figure out how much their per diems allowance is. One of the most important things to remember is that every city has their own set of local standard when it comes to accommodation, transportation and dining. A business trip to New York would naturally be more expensive than in Las Vegas, so you wouldn’t want to give the same budget for both trips. Remember to always check the local rates of the city your company will be visiting, as this will give you a clear picture of pricing structures and prevent your employees from overspending.
Implement Travel Policy
Your business travel policy should go hand in hand with your per diems allowance, as it provides a guideline to all of your workers on what money should and shouldn’t be spent on. Implementing your business travel policy for all of your business trips will help you to limit any unnecessary or overzealous spending and removes any confusion going forward. You wouldn’t want some of your employees travelling more lavishly than others as this can breed resentment, so your business travel policy puts everyone on an equal footing.
Offer Incentives to Employees
Most people who travel on business aren’t concerned with saving money that isn’t theirs, and are more likely to want to end up spending as much as possible so that they can make the most out of the trip. Many companies are now encouraging their employees to be mindful of their travel expenditures, by offering them a range of different incentives. You could offer your employees travel vouchers, additional annual leave days or even a share of the leftover expenses, which are all proven ways to save your company money and boost the morale of your workforce.
Stay in Cheaper Locations
For the most part, business trips take place in either capitals or major cities, although many businesses send their employees to neighbouring towns to save money. For instance, if your company has business in Stockholm, then you could arrange a stay in nearby Uppsala, which is a small commute away. Venturing off the beaten track will be sure to reduce overall costs, and in most cases it will save your company in accommodation and food expenses. You should also consider selecting smaller or medium sized airports for international flights where possible, as these can often be cheaper than flying to major airports.
Businesses that take frequent trips throughout the year are able to take advantage of the many concessions that hotels and airlines offer. Most airlines and hotel chains offer corporate loyalty schemes if you choose to use their services each time you travel, while you can also reach out to companies and negotiate deals if they don’t have any deals outlined. Hotel reward schemes are especially useful for when you have multiple employees travelling at once, while airlines can give your company credits or air miles each time you fly out, which can eventually be redeemed on future flights.
With effective planning and organisation, you will be able to find various ways to save money for your business trips, particularly if you incentivise your workers as they will look for ways of their own to keep within their budget. Make sure to always be on the lookout for new corporate deals, explore alternative locations and always try to book as early as possible if you want to keep the costs minimal.