Are you looking for ways to minimize your business travel expenses? Take a look at the seven money-saving tips we explore in this article!
Business travel is essential for entrepreneurs. It’s one of the best ways to make new connections worldwide, attract new clients, and sign important documents that lead to the growth of your business.
Now, on paper, business travel sounds fantastic. It is often associated with luxury accommodations, visiting the world, and having some unique experiences. Yet, little is said about the downsides of traveling for your business, including stress, being away from loved ones, and high costs.
Business travel can be expensive. Everything from plane tickets, accommodation, food, and other expenses can leave a hole in your budget. So, when preparing to go on the road again, first take a look at these seven money-saving tips to learn how to minimize your expenses for business travel.
1. Plan ahead
This is a golden rule for saving money on travel, be it for business or pleasure. The sooner you start looking for flight or accommodation deals, the bigger the chances you’ll find the cheapest options out there.
Hotels and airplane companies offer better deals to travelers who book their tickets and accommodation sooner because companies believe that you are taking a more significant risk by booking and paying so soon. Thus, they offer travelers a reduced price for taking this risk.
Another great piece of advice would also be to book your trip, if possible, when there is no special event going on at the destination you’re visiting. Music festivals, popular product launches, or major showroom events are just a few examples of events that tend to spice prices up for both accommodation and flights. So, before you plan your next business trip, do some research and find that period of time when there’s nothing significant happening there.
2. Always have a travel budget
Budgeting is the no.1 rule for saving money. No matter if you want to save money on traveling or anything else, as long as you have a well-detailed budget, it is much easier for you to make sure that you don’t overspend.
So, make sure that before you leave on your next business trip, you create a realistic budget that you can respect during your trip. Here are a few expenses to consider and include in your travel budget:
- Plane tickets, other costs for traveling (train, bus, taxi, etc.).
- Accommodation and meals.
- Expenditures on visas (if necessary) and travel and health insurance.
- Extra personal costs like tickets to major tourist attractions, gifts for loved ones back home, etc.
Estimate how much all these things will cost you and total them up. That’s your travel budget. A great strategy to make sure that you stay within your budget and don’t overspend is to use a mobile app for expense tracking.
3. Source hotel deals and book less expensive accommodation
As a business owner, you rarely have the time to spend hours online, looking for the best deals for accommodation at your destination. But, here’s the deal: you don’t even have to.
Certain websites allow you to source the best deals for accommodation options in the place you are traveling to. In just a few clicks, you’ll be shown several options for accommodation that you can choose from.
Pro tip: when choosing accommodation, consider that it is best to be close to the places you’ll have to visit during your trip to avoid extra costs on travel there. For example, if you need to see a client at their company, book accommodation close to their company. This way you’ll avoid spending extra bucks on taxis or public transport.
4. Be smart when booking business class tickets
Business travel is rarely a one-time thing. You’re likely always on the road, and flying in the economic class is not a good option for your back, stomach, and your overall health since you’re almost always on board in different planes. Business class, in contrast, offers some perks that can make your life a lot easier as a business traveler. The only problem is that it can be pretty expensive to fly business class.
So, is there any way to get around the heavy price tags of Business Class plane tickets? Yes! There are actually many ways to get cheap business and first-class flights and travel more comfortably. Here are a few ideas:
- Sign up for airline loyalty schemes.
- Upgrade your ticket to business class last minute.
- Fly on less popular days for business travelers, which is the weekend.
- Look for ridiculously cheap deals that resulted from mistakes made by airlines when publishing prices.
5. Always ask for free Wi-Fi
As a business traveler, you always need to stay connected during your trips, whether to discuss important business matters back home or stay in touch with the clients or partners you’re planning to see during your trip.
So, since you’ll always have to be on your phone or laptop, phone data can turn out to be a pretty huge expense resulting from your travel when you go back home. So, make sure to always check for free Wi-Fi benefits from those accommodations you’ll be staying with. Wi-Fi services will save you a great deal of money since you won’t be required to use your mobile data.
6. Find cheaper ground transportation options
It may not be an expense that you think of before you go, but once you arrive there and realize that you need to spend a significant amount of money for a taxi to take you from or to the airport, you’ll quickly regret your ignorance.
So, one great way to avoid this extra expense is to look for accommodation options that offer a complimentary shuttle service. Or, another strategy is to check out airport transfer options prior to your trip.
7. Avoid unnecessary expenses by packing smartly
While most big expenses you make during your business trip will be deducted by your company, there will be some things you will pay from your own pocket. And, typically, one reason why business travelers find themselves in this situation is that they don’t pay attention to packing smartly.
For example, ensure that you don’t forget important documents and devices you’ll need for your business meeting. Next, make sure to pack the right personal items like clothes suitable for the weather in the location you’re traveling to, essentials, and whatever item you think you’ll absolutely need during your trip. Paying attention to what you pack will save you the money you’d be spending on buying those things at your destination, where they can cost twice as much of what they would have cost back home.