If your employment requires you to travel a lot, then business travel expenses are probably a major issue to you. And when you’re running a small or fledgling business, monitoring yours and your employees’ travelling budget becomes even more important. Thankfully, with all the resources available to business owners these days, saving on travel is now easier than ever. In many cases, just making some minor changes could make a significant difference to your annual travelling expenses. Here are a few simple ways business owners can save on business travel.
If you’re constantly travelling to the same destinations and all these destinations are relatively close to where you’re based, then you should consider going with a regional carrier. Regional carriers are able to offer better prices since they don’t have to subsidise less profitable routes and have much lower overheads as well.
But that doesn’t mean that they offer less of a service. As a matter of fact, since these airlines often see less passengers, they are able to offer a more comfortable and pleasurable travelling experience for them. Regional airlines like Porter, for instance, will offer additional perks like no middle seats, additional leg room, and spacious full-height interiors. If you’re based in eastern Canada, they cover most of the Canadian east coast as well as a few major destinations on the American east coast like Boston, New York and Washington, DC. If you want to book a flight and see what kind of deals they offer, there are a variety of options on flyporter.com.
If you can, try bringing only a carry-on bag with you when travelling. This will allow you to save both time and money. If you’re only bringing hand luggage, that means you won’t have to wait in line or pay for the baggage check and you won’t have to deal with baggage claim at the other end either. You won’t need to worry about going over the weight limit either.
While there is a certain element of luck when looking for the best time to get cheaper prices, there’s actually some science behind it. On average, flights booked during the middle of the week are usually cheaper than on the weekend. Booking flights so you can leave and come back during the week is a great way to save on your ticket. According to Expedia, travellers are able to save up to 20% on their ticket by booking flights leaving Wednesday and returning Friday versus those leaving Friday and returning Saturday. So, this is definitely something you should consider when booking your next flight.
Another thing you should do is make sure that you use your credit card whenever you can. Try to use credit cards with aggressive rewards schemes so you can leverage your business’s expenses. Purchase everything from office supplies to materials to vendor payments on your credit card and start accumulating points.
Speaking of credit cards, it would be wise to look for one that doesn’t have any foreign transaction fees either. If your total fees for overseas transactions are over 3 percent, then picking one like the American Express Platinum card could be a good option. And when you consider the sign-up bonuses, mileage rewards and additional perks like travel insurance, these start to add up and allow you to cut your costs even more.
Some service providers will offer you preferential rates if you agree to make them preferred vendors. These can include restaurants, lodging establishments or car rental companies. Make sure that you work towards forming these kinds of relationships with key service providers and make sure that your employees know who these service providers are as well.
Travel agencies have lost some of their relevance with travellers today because of the many options at their fingertips. But they still have some benefits for business owners, especially if you or your employees have to travel often. Working with a business travel agency will allow you to save time and money by qualifying for volume discounts on things like lodging, car rentals, and airfare.
A lot of companies will try to swindle you into taking some upgrades that you may not really need. Do you really need to pay for an upgrade for extra leg space if it’s just for a short haul flight? Not to mention that the price on different upgrades may vary greatly, so you’ll have to work these into your travel budget as well and see if you can actually afford them.
Credit card fraud is something no business wants to have to deal with. But risks of you or one of your employees falling victim to credit card fraud while abroad is very real. This is why you should take precautions to keep those risks to a minimum. One of the ways you could that is by having your employees travel using a virtual card that will be created for their trip specifically. They’ll be able to use this virtual card for most of their expenses and only use a physical card in case of emergency.
Hotel comparison sites allow everyday travellers and business owners the chance to save on their hotel stay. Sites like Travel Supermarket and Trivago are gold mines for last minute trips and will compare thousands of different sites the world over for the best rates. Just running a quick search will not only allow you to find great deals on accommodation, but other things like car rentals too.
While being able to park your car at the airport and take your flight may seem like a convenient option, on site parking is usually very expensive. You should be able to find cheaper off-site options around the airport if you take the time to look. You may have to shuttle to the airport if you use one, but that’s only a small inconvenience when considering the easy savings that you’ll be able to make.
Another smart thing you could consider is renting out your vehicle while you’re gone. This could be a great option if you’re leaving for a long trip. Services like Turo make it super easy to rent your car out. And what’s better is that you won’t have to worry about paying for parking either.
Uber can be a life saver while you’re abroad and it is much cheaper than other options like taxis or a private car hire. Using Ubers regularly will also give you some useful extra perks like free rides that you’ll be able to redeem on subsequent trips.
Saving on business travel is all about making the right adjustments and learning how to spend better. By following these few tips, you’ll be able to cut your annual business travel expenses significantly without having to sacrifice comfort or quality.
To read more on topics like this, check out the travel category.