As covered in last week’s blog post “The Rising Costs of Business Travel and Managing Your Company’s Expenses,” the cost of business travel is increasing. Despite the rise in gas prices which ultimately affects the costs of flights, rental car rates, and other transportation services, there are still ways that you can save your company some serious dough when it comes time to book your next business trip.
The eBook 10 Ways to Cut Corporate Travel Costs has lots of great solutions to save your company money when it comes to travel.
- Create a company wide travel policy. This policy should be in writing and distributed to everyone. It needs to include booking guidelines, expense allowances, and travel budgets.
Hire a Travel Coordinator. Having one person in charge of booking all of your companies travel arrangements will allow them to find the best rates on flights, hotels, and cars since this is their primary responsibility. They will also know more ways to save money. Small business? No problem. Simply assign this task to one of your existing employees.
For longer stays, try an extended stay hotel or corporate housing. Providing your employees accommodations with kitchens will ultimately save money on meals.
Book mid-priced hotel rooms. Many 3 star hotels have been revamped to accommodate business travelers for a fraction of the cost. Many include free wi-fi, breakfast, and meeting rooms. Be sure your employees know that the company will not cover room service or mini-bar charges.
- Negotiation is always an option. Most hotels do offer corporate rates. Be sure to tell them that you are booking travel for your company. If they don’t offer a discount right off the bat, then you can always tell them you have narrowed it down between their hotel and another hotel close by and see if they offer you a discount then.
Encourage employees to stay with friends or family. If your employee has friends or family in the area and they choose to stay there (which will ultimately save you tons on accommodations) then give them an allowance for a thank you gift or dinner compliments of the company.
Book all travel arrangements in advance. The cost of airlines, hotels, and rental cars increase the closer it gets to your trip. In order to save money, be sure to book well in advance if possible.
- Save money on rental cars by booking with smaller brands. Many times, there are other rental car companies that can offer lower rates. They might not be at the airport but typically do offer complimentary shuttle service.
- Purchase coach class for domestic travel. The plane will get your employees to their destinations regardless of what type of seat they have so only splurge on business class if it’s an international flight.
Hire a Shuttle or Bus for larger group travel. Many offer free wi-fi, video, parking, and refreshments and will allow you to take the whole company for much cheaper than flying!
Hopefully these ten tips will help your company save money the next time you have to book travel arrangements for yourself and/or employees.