10 Best Ways To Save Money On Corporate Travel
As a manager or a business owner, it may be necessary to have out-of-state or international travel expenses to keep your company up and running. Corporate travel is essential to hold meetings with suppliers, to meet clients, and to find new ideas and resources.
However, the cost of traveling frequently may add up to the expenses within your company. Opting for business class, booking accommodations in luxury hotels and paying the expenses of your employees can quickly cost hundreds even thousands of dollars. This is why many companies are looking for ways to have corporate travel savings.
There are many benefits in becoming a minimalist in your corporate travel spending:
More money allocated for other expenses: If you're a startup business owner and budget is tight, saving on business travels can help you allocate much-needed profits for other vital purposes.
Stretching the travel budget to do more things: Another benefit of saving during business travel is stretching your budget to add more activities in your itinerary. You may end up being more productive and driving results that directly contribute to your business if you accomplish more tasks during your corporate travel.
Safety and security: Some business owners and managers prefer to be discreet by being economical on their choices. If you're going in an international destination, it is often advised to 'lie low' about your status to keep eyes away from potential wrongdoers.
These are just some of the reasons, but we are sure that as you adopt this habit, there will be many more. Now, what are some of the strategies you can employ to save money on your business travels?
The 10 Best Ways To Save Money On Corporate Travel
1. Improve your policies on corporate travel
Every company has their corporate travel policy. Lower management might send proposals and they must work within the guidelines you may have provided about the following areas: transportation, meal allowances, and itinerary expenses. Having a better policy in your corporate travel can save you money.
One of the ways to do this is setting budget limits in your business' travel expenses. For example, you may set a budget for lodging, meals, and activities done by your employees. Any activity outside the agenda of the corporate travel should be considered an out-of-pocket cost, and all receipts should be reported for reimbursement if this has to do with business affairs.
2. Have a stringent trip approval process
Some companies end up losing money on corporate travel because of verbal agreements without details about a trip. To avoid this problem, you must have a stringent trip approval process. This can help increase your corporate travel savings. When everything is put on paper and you can see each detail of the trip, every dollar is accounted for which can help you on your budget.
3. Strategize purchases on airline flights
A frequent traveler tip is to watch out for budget flights. Sure, it can be convenient to have a business class for every travel, but you may need to assess if this is actually a need rather than a luxury. For most corporate travel, the main objective of using flights is to get from point A to point B. This means that you can opt for economy class especially if you're going in large groups.
If scheduling is not an issue, there are strategies that you can do in booking and timing your flights. Many fare experts claim that it is best to shop on a Tuesday after holidays. You can also choose to use fare comparison websites to help you get the best deal.
4. Find more affordable hotel options
One of the largest chunks of spending on corporate travel is hotels and lodging. As a savvy manager or business owner, it can be wise to include policies for accommodations such as a budget limit or a star rating.
This way, your staff can work around the budget for the best value of the hotel, or they can find discounts. It is interesting that some hotels have promotions on various websites where the same room can be availed for large discounts. There are also hotel comparison websites that can help you get this sorted out.
5. Provide a general budget for the trip but allow your employees to decide
Another strategy that can be useful for saving in corporate travel is setting a ceiling limit for food, transportation and activities. This is called the general budget for corporate travel. After this, you can let your employees decide how they can use this budget.
Many of them would be happy to work around your limit and find budget-friendly options, making you save even more. This is a win-win situation since your employees can get their top choices, while you are comfortable with the limit you have set.
6. Don't forget to plan your trip ahead of time
There's a saying that goes: If you fail to plan, you plan to fail! This is applicable for setting a cost-effective corporate travel itinerary. Planning ahead covers most of the topics mentioned above. It can help you choose the right timing to book flights, get hotel deals, and also save enough money for the trip budget.
Last-minute bookings are often expensive because hotels and airline companies know that this is an urgent need. They understand that even if they hike up the prices, people would still be booking because of a need.
7. Consider miscellaneous travel charges
Some things that company owners and managers often overlook are the miscellaneous travel expenses that come as a price of convenience. For example, WiFi on the plane, in-flight meals, or hotel buffet breakfasts can be a costly addition in your corporate travel.
It is important to consider these 'surprise' travel expenses and ask your staff if they would really need it. Otherwise, it is best to cross it off your budget allocation list.
8. Find ways for your employees to be productive during travel
This may not be directly related to saving money on corporate travel, but it can help you increase your employees' output during their trip. Increased productivity during travel can help you save money as idleness may sometimes result in unnecessary expenses.
Some companies incorporate a software tool that integrates the travel schedule from the main database to their employees' smartphones. Another traditional way to do this is to have an agenda for the day and ask for output at a specific deadline. This way, your travels will be more purposeful and drive positive results.
9. Sign up for travel services or group promotions
Some travel companies offer promotions for people going in groups. If you are planning for a corporate outing, there is room discount available in some resorts that are geared for such types of events. Travel service companies also have affiliations with hotels, restaurants, stores, and attractions that can help you save more money rather than booking independently. You may want to consider this as an option if you're traveling as a large group.
10. Reinforce cost-effective strategies from your employees
Every time your staff makes a wise choice in corporate travel planning, it can be helpful to reward this behavior so it will be replicated the next time around. This can be done in the form of recognition or special prizes. Rewarding your employees can help them stay motivated in keeping budget limits at bay.
Corporate travel planning does not have to be stressful. By keeping these strategies in mind, you will have a productive yet cost-effective trip for your company.