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Travel expenses incurred by business employees or managers are among the most overlooked business expenses. They are also among the costliest. As the economy evolves with fluctuating prices for hotels, rental services, and airfare prices, businesses should reevaluate their expenses and look for ways to save on business travel.
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Fortunately, businesses can save on travel costs without sacrificing reliability and comfort. Identifying the highest and lowest traveling expenses helps business executives identify specific pain points. Below are a few crucial business travel expenses that business owners can target to save on traveling costs.
1. Reduce Accommodation Costs
Accommodation costs are necessary expenses for any business with a mobile workforce. However, most businesses forget one crucial factor when looking for accommodation. While your employees would like to reside in a luxury suite, your priority should be finding accommodation that benefits your trip. If your company policy is based on renting from only a few popular hotel chains, you are missing out on possible ways to save on business travel expenses.
Branching out and seeking cost-effective yet functional accommodation can provide a better experience. While most people think that Airbnb is a solution, it may not provide enough accommodation for your entire workforce. Working with reliable accommodation service providers, such as Globeo that can provide better crew lodging services.
This option is better if you want to save on costs while enjoying a tailored accommodation experience for your mobile workforce. If your team is traveling for longer stays, companies like Globeo ensure that you find a place that meets your criteria. Whether you need rooms with kitchens for those who want to prepare their meals or you are looking for a place close to your worksite, these experts have your back.
2. Save on Business Air Travel
If your business travel was for only a few days, air travel could easily consume the biggest percentage of your traveling costs, making it difficult to save on expenses. Most business executives and employees of major organizations prefer flying business class, which isn’t necessary. Even though business class offers more space to work in transit, you can compromise these costs without sacrificing comfort and productivity.
One of the best ways to save on air travel expenses is to book your flights at the right time. While finding the best flight prices primarily relies on chance and luck, there is an element of science. Before booking your flights, search for mid-week flights, preferably Wednesday or Thursday. It is thought that tickets bought for these days are cheaper. Booking mid-week return flights can save a lot on traveling costs.
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Traveling during the weekend is quite hectic for various reasons. Ticket costs are often higher during the weekend due to increased traffic. A report by Expedia analyzing air travel trends found that a return flight on Thursday and Monday costs 20% less than a return ticket on Friday and Saturday.
If possible, you can avoid flying out on weekends by extending your days. Combining a business trip with a leisure holiday is another cost-saving tip. If business executives or employees are due for a vacation, you should consider combining the two by adding them a few days more.
You can also save on air travel costs by searching for flight deals. While several websites can help you find flight deals from your office or home, they aren’t conclusive. The plethora of flight choices and having to aggregate several sites might be overwhelming, especially if you have to book for many people.
Besides, websites such as Kayak, Orbitz, and Expedia may not display all the available flights. Even though these platforms come in handy in making price comparisons, it is prudent to check individual airlines’ websites for special deals. Interestingly, you might find incredible fare deals on airline websites, making them cheaper than those on other websites.
That aside, you should encourage your team to travel light as a way to save on business travel. Packing for a business trip is tricky and overwhelming, especially if you have to carry all the essential equipment. Nonetheless, make sure that you take the essentials only to avoid unnecessary luggage costs. You can also ditch your equipment and hire from equipment rental companies in your destination. The key to avoiding these costs is reading the fine print.
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Once you have arrived at your destination, you should reevaluate your ground transport costs. These can cause a deep dent in your budget and make it difficult to save on business travel costs. Finding the best ground transport deals requires that you check your business’s travel policy and the set standards for travel. While you can opt for booking options that combine airfare and car rental costs, they may not be cost-saving.
You can search for relatively affordable commute services that allow you to travel to and from work sites. If you don’t fancy renting, taxi services like Uber can ease your movements.
Booking your travel flight and accommodation through reward websites also saves business travel costs. Fortunately, you can shop around for various partners, as most airlines and transport companies have reward programs for frequent customers. Even though it isn’t practical for large companies to use these rewards to reduce their travel costs, small companies with few employees can reduce their traveling costs by thousands of dollars annually.
Finding a suitable reward program for your business trip depends on several factors, such as close airports, hotels, and nearby amenities. You can also earn points and loyalty savings by paying with a credit card. Most credit cards offer additional services, such as rental car insurance.
Another commonly forgotten saving tip is ensuring that you review your company’s travel approval process. All the cost-saving tips mentioned above cannot be successful if you don’t have a straightforward travel approval process. To trim overall business expenses, you should review and restrict bookings, reservations, on-site spending, and other expenses.
It is important to lay down clear procedures to ensure that your employees stay within the travel policy and avoid incurring additional expenses that hurt the company’s bottom line. Your travel policy should include procedures for booking flights, meal allowances, ground transport, and more.
Before sending your mobile employees for remote assignments, map out all possible areas for savings. Note that saving on business travel requires combined efforts from both employees and business executives.