When you’re a small business owner or a freelancer, saving money on your business travel is essential to keep your running costs down. However, if you’re used to having someone else book your travel or the benefit of big corporate discounts that come with larger companies – you could find yourself clueless about where to start.
Learn to get the best deals for your business travel and reduce the cost of your trip by using the following tips and tricks.
Book in advance
The cheapest travel deals happen when you book in advance. From train tickets to airfare, advanced booking gives you the best chance of finding the best price. It’s worth signing up to newsletters to be alerted as to when bookings are open for different flights so that you can book straight away. Meanwhile, train tickets typically go on sale 12 weeks in advance, and companies like Trainline let you sign up for alerts when they go on sale. Be as organised as possible to help you take advantage of early bird deals.
Split your journey
Another way to save money on your journey is by splitting it. A connecting flight or a split ticket on the train can help you to save a lot of money, and won’t add much time to your journey. If you’ve got time to spare, then splitting your journey is worth it to save you money. A stopover can be a great way to explore some new destinations that you wouldn’t otherwise get to visit.
Set a budget for expenses
If you were working for a company, you would have to adhere to expenses guidelines – so why not do the same for your business? Sticking to some spending limits is a good way to help you budget to stop travel costs running into extremes. From setting a limit for hotel rooms to a maximum spend for your meals, you’ll be much better off if you put measures in place to control your spending.
Be savvy about hotel bookings
Just as you can for personal hotel stays, you can find some excellent deals on hotel bookings for business travel. Look around websites such as Travelzoo, Lastminute.com and others to help you pick up some great deals. Often, if you’re staying for business, you’ll be given a preferential rate or at least benefit from some additional perks with your hotel stay.
Avoid popular tourist areas
If you stay in the heart of the tourist areas for your travels, you’ll find yourself paying tourist prices for the privilege. By venturing a little further away from the heart of cities, you’ll pay much less for accommodation, as well as other expenses such as food and drink. Most major cities will have excellent transport links to enable you to explore the area as you please.
Be wary of unexpected travel costs
Some travel expenses can hit you out of the blue. City taxes, insurance costs and more all need to be factored in to ensure you don’t end up paying costs that you can’t really afford. You should also be wary of things like roaming costs, which can add up quickly if you’re planning on doing some work during your trip. Check this guide before you travel to help you learn more about data roaming. Some forward planning to choose the right data package for your phone and researching good wifi spots will help you avoid hefty bills on your return.
Get clever with travel money
Managing business expenses in your own currency can be tough, but managing them in another currency poses different problems altogether. If you plan on travelling abroad frequently for your business, then a travel credit card could be a useful thing to have. They allow you to enjoy 0% interest on your spending, and some cards won’t charge you for transactions made in foreign currencies. Alternatively, you can invest in a top-up travel card which will allow you to plan your spending budget, as well as benefit from a fixed exchange rate before you travel.
Sign up to reward schemes
Reward schemes can be very valuable to help you save money on your travel in the future. Frequent flyer programmes, as well as hotel loyalty schemes, can all provide you with benefits that can be useful for your business stays. Reward schemes can also provide some additional perks like priority boarding, early check-in and other benefits. Explore the different schemes on offer and take advantage of some great deals.
Use a travel booker
Arranging your business travel is another task you might not have time for when you’re the sole employee of your business. The good news is that you can outsource your business travel so that you can benefit from the best deals and offers, and have someone else do the legwork to find you the best locations. A corporate travel booker can be a great asset to have if you book travel regularly to help ease the pressure – leaving you free to focus on the purpose of your trip instead.
Try to limit travel costs altogether
There is a lot of business travel that is unnecessary. Therefore, if you can avoid travelling for work – you should explore other options. Video conferencing has come a long way and is an effective way to have meetings with clients, partners, etc. to be able to conduct business as though they were in the same room. While you’re still getting your business off the ground, try to avoid any travel that can add to your business costs.
Whatever industry you’re in, all new businesses can benefit from saving money. There are many smart ways to cut business expenses, and travel expenses are an easy way to save. From booking early to taking advantage of special offers, there are a lot of ways to cut your travel costs to help make travel more manageable for your business.