You really want to attend four conferences this year, but after crunching the numbers, you aren’t sure you’ll be able to swing that in your budget. Instead of loosing the chance to grow your business, consider tightening the budget of each of the meetings.
These tips can help in your endeavors to comfortably cut down costs of business travel so you can focus on the mission at hand, rather than the dollar amount on your company’s credit card.
1.) Work with a Travel Management Company
The cheapest flights don’t always appear online, which is why using a travel management company can often prove helpful to your bottom line. Travel partners such as local corporate travel agents can sometimes save significant amounts of money for flights, hotels and transportation.
2.) Use Mobile Apps for Flight Schedules
Missed flights and transfers can result in unexpected fees and additional transportation costs. Flight tracking apps such as Vision Travel and others will alert you to a sudden airport transfer or schedule change, so you can feel at ease you won’t miss your next flight connection.
3.) Book Early
If you book your own flights, make sure to book during a time when the flight offers its lowest fares. For domestic flights, book 57 days before departure and for international flights, book 171 days beforehand. Track fares more precisely with services such as Yapta or AirfareWatchdog to receive instant alert when fares to your desired destination drop.
4.) Pack Light
Depending on the airline, you could pay out the nose for some checked luggage. Some allow one free checked bag, but charge around $100 for the second bag, while many others charge for every single piece of checked luggage. Avoid checked bags altogether if you can by reading about the size of the in-flight luggage permitted by your airline. You’ll also avoid the time spent waiting at the baggage carousel once you land.
5.) Carefully Choose Hotel
When selecting your next hotel room, don’t choose the most expensive hotel chain, but a lower star hotel you can still expect high standards from, such as cleanliness and amenities. Sometimes you can negotiate corporate rates with hotel chains with loyalty programs or individual bargains. Look for hotels with useful amenities like complimentary breakfast and free wireless.
6.) Public Transportation
Don’t always assume a rental car is needed, since less expensive public transportation and shuttle services often fill your business travel needs. Large conferences often offer shuttle services between hotels and conference centers. If you do need a ride somewhere particular, a group taxi can save a lot more money than a week’s rental car.
7.) Affordable Food
The next time you hit the town on a business trip, don’t wander into the first place you see, but scope out the reasonable restaurant options near your hotel with apps like Yelp or Zomato. Hotel concierges can also help you choose a nearby option that tastes delicious, but won’t hurt your travel budget.