5 ways to reduce your business travel expenses
18 November 2014
2 min read
Enlist a corporate travel company
If employees have to travel regularly for meetings and conferences, it may be worth paying a commission to a business travel company. As well as saving precious time, it means savings on fares and hotel rooms with certain airlines and hotel chains.
Staff will also have access to deals not widely advertised, such as date flexibility – often a necessity on business trips – thus saving cancellation fees and rebookings.
Extend your stay
This may seem counter-intuitive, but when it comes to conference or exhibition travel, staying longer than you need to – even by just a day in some cases – gives you access to cheaper fares and hotel room rates.
This flexibility also gives you the opportunity to network and build local contacts. This is more effective when you’re visiting a city you’ll be returning to, but it’s worth considering the options if you can.
Don’t pay cash and be loyal
Shop around for corporate credit cards offering the best rewards and use them for all your travel expenses. With a bit of research, it’s possible to benefit from the best deals on air miles. Sign-up offers are all well and good, but you can exploit them further by making use of an airline and hotel partnership by using that airline’s credit card to book your accommodation.
By buying through the right channels, you can rack up around four times as many miles – with occasional one-off deals offering even more.
Work out your expenses
Your everyday spending may seem reasonable on a trip, but those receipts soon pile up. However, there are ways to eliminate certain expenses before you even leave the office. Finding a local, flat-rate airport car service can save money straight away, as can exploring options such as taxi app Uber, or rideshare app Lyft.
Also book hotels with breakfast and Wi-Fi included in the price of the room – these services often come at premium prices as hotels assume that most people are on expense accounts.
Reconsider your hotel
This option depends on how spontaneous you can be, or how flexible you are about accommodation, but if you’re open to it, there are savings to be had. Apps such as hoteltonight.com give you access to very late hotel deals, and in a city such as New York, this can mean a couple of hundred dollars saved.
Many small business owners are using airbnb.co.uk for the chance to stay in high-standard private homes with hotel-like amenities. And universityrooms.com offers global accommodation during student holidays – city centre locations (sometimes in stunning buildings), fast Wi-Fi and basic, but clean and comfortable rooms, can be found for a fraction of hotel prices.