In these strained economic times, businesses are always looking for ways to save money, and cutting back on business trip expenses is one of the ways to do this effectively. Here are our top 9 tips for saving money on business trips.
1. Rental Cars
Unlike flights, car rental prices usually drop the day before rental. The best way to get a good deal is to book in advance, just to cover yourself and then have a look at the prices the day before you travel. Sometimes you’ll get a better deal and car rentals don’t usually take deposits when you book so cancelling your original booking won’t be a problem.
2. Credit Cards
Make sure that your business accounts and credit cards don’t have fees associated with them when they are used abroad. Also make sure that all employees have cards without foreign transaction fees: employees like to use card payments as they are easier to keep track of and the frequency that company credit cards are used rather than cash transactions means that fees can sky rocket very quickly.
3. Phone Bills
Speak to your service provider before you travel and make sure that you have the best deal that suits your usage needs. Even if you’re travelling within the UK, using your phone for business can be expensive. Use Skype and instant message facilities where available and make sure your hotel has reliable wifi so that you don’t use you own tariff to make expensive calls. You can almost always find a café or public place with free wifi to save on Internet and call charges.
Hotel chains often do frequent user discounts so make sure you sign up for all loyalty cards before you book your room. Follow hotels on social media sites to get offers and discounts too.
5. Alternatives to Hotels
If there is a large group attending a conference for example, look into renting an apartment as it can often work out cheaper. They also come fully equipped with kitchens so three meals a day don’t have to be eaten in restaurants, saving even more cash.
Booking flights early is sensible. Plan your business trips for the whole year and book the flights or trains well in advance. Train tickets within the UK can be 80% cheaper if you book two or three months in advance and flight prices fluctuate massively. Comparison websites like skyscanner.net can help cut down on research time and find you the best price.
Also, deciding on business trips for further into the future means that you could group trips together and cut costs that way. Flying from London – Madrid – Dublin – London could be cheaper than four separate flights.
7. Luggage Fees
Don’t pay them. If your trip is shorter than a week, luggage is easily fit into a cabin sized bag, even with airlines that have tightened their limits recently. A problem that occurs is the liquid limitation on hand luggage, but buying a shampoo and body wash when you arrive at your destination and throwing it away before you return is more economical compared to the £20 or more added to each flight you take when you store your bag in the hold.
8. Discounts or Package Deals
Travel agents can give great deals, whether it’s a train ticket to London with two nights in a hotel included or a trip halfway across the world – travel agents know best. They can advise you on many things, including when to go. For instance, leaving a day earlier could save on flight costs, making the trip more cost effective.
Frequent flyers, hotel rewards, food outlets or chains that offer vouchers or rewards, even if it’s just a free coffee after you buy the first six – it all adds up.