Did you know that companies spend an average of $949 per person for a domestic business trip? How about the fact that this number jumps up to $2,600 when traveling internationally?
With this in mind, employers and employees alike are always seeking ways to save on the cost of travel. While this is easier said than done, there are some basic tips you can follow to keep more cash in your company’s bank account.
Below, we’ll examine seven of the easiest ways to save money on your next business trip. Let’s get started!
- Compare Hotels
Even when two hotels provide a similar location and features, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the rate will be exactly the same.
For example, a night at Niagara Falls in one fancy casino hotel may cost $200/night while another is priced at $300.
By comparing the finer details of each hotel, with an eye toward the nightly rate, you can quickly pinpoint which one gives you the best opportunity to save.
- Be Flexible with Your Flights
Let’s face it: everyone has a preference as to when they fly. Some enjoy taking off early in the morning, while others would rather be in the air during the nighttime hours.
There’s nothing wrong with searching for flights at a particular time, but it’s important to remain flexible. A little bit of flexibility can go a long way in helping you save money.
Tip: not only should you be flexible with the time of the day, but try to do the same with the day of the week. This isn’t always possible, but leaving one day sooner or one day later could save you hundreds of dollars.
- Travel Light
It’s a challenge to travel light on some trips, but this tip is one that many business travelers have found beneficial for a variety of reasons.
First off, when you travel light you don’t have to check a bag. This alone goes a long way in saving you money on every leg of your trip.
Secondly, you don’t have to worry about your bag going missing. With a single carry-on, it’s easier to keep tabs on your belongings.
Finally, traveling light allows you to move fast. Forget about lugging that heavy bag through the airport and hotel. Instead, throw your carry-on over your shoulder and get moving!
- Opt for a Less Known Rental Car Company
The most popular rental car brands often have the highest prices. Conversely, if you opt for a less known provider, you can save at the counter while still securing the wheels you need in order to get around.
While some business travelers opt to book a rental car upon arriving at the airport, those who want to save money do this in advance. Not only does this give you peace of mind, but it also provides the opportunity to compare rates.
Tip: if you want to save even more money, forgo the rental car altogether. Instead, you can use Uber or taxis to get around.
- Choose Another Airport
When it comes to air travel, many people believe there are only two ways to save:
- Compare airlines
- Compare flight times
While both of these options should be considered, there’s something else you’re overlooking: the airport itself.
Depending on where you live and/or your destination, you may have access to more than one airport. For example, LAX is the most popular airport in Los Angeles, California. However, it’s far from your only option. You may be able to save money by opting for a flight into or out of Long Beach or Burbank.
- Don’t Make Airport Purchases
There is no denying the temptation of stopping off for a bite to eat before you board your flight. The same holds true for slipping into one of the many stores located throughout the airport.
Unless absolutely necessary, do your best to avoid airport purchases. These restaurants and stores know that people have no other choice but to buy from them, which is why their prices are extraordinarily high.
If you must make an in-airport purchase, stick to items that aren’t overpriced.
- Use a Private Jet
This sounds crazy, but you may actually be able to save money by booking a private jet for your next business trip.
It’s a common myth that you have to be a millionaire (or billionaire) to rely on this mode of transportation. Although you’ll spend more money upfront, it can save you both time and money in the long run.
The best time to use a private jet is when you have a large traveling party. This may not make sense if one or two employees are traveling, but if there are 5+ the cost of a private jet can rival that of flying commercial.
Tip: jet-sharing is growing in popularity, as this is more affordable than purchasing a company plane.
Learn from the Past
In addition to the seven tips above, it’s important to learn from every trip you take.
For example, you may look back and realize that you overspent on your accommodations. Or maybe you find that you didn’t really need to book a rental car.
As you learn more about what you did right and what you did wrong, it’s easier to adjust your approach to business travel in the future. Subsequently, you’ll slowly find new ways to save money.
Let’s face it: business travel is a necessity for many companies and employees. Even with today’s advanced technology, there is no way around this.
If you’re interested in saving money on your next business trip, the seven tips above should point you in the right direction.
Do you have any additional advice on how to save? Don’t hesitate to share your guidance in the comment section below.