2022 is a year where many businesses have to tighten their purse strings. One area where many companies are looking to cut costs is business travel.
Business travel is an important factor when networking with potential clients and growing a business. It is vital to continue to do this to allow your business to flourish. There are ways to reduce your travel budget by using simple tips and tricks while travelling within or between countries. Some of these take minimal effort but have a big reward for cost-cutting. Let’s take a closer look:
Book In Advance
One of the most important things to do when planning your business travel is to book in advance. Travel tickets and reservations tend to be cheaper if you do not book them last minute. Studies have shown that tickets can be up to 80% cheaper when booked in advance.
For rail travel within the UK, the fares are released around 12 weeks in advance, and this is the best point to get them as the most affordable fares sell out quickly. You can usually book further in advance for trains in Europe, so it is worth booking as soon as possible. However, make sure that your travel plans are set in stone. Some tickets are non-refundable and can only be used on one specific journey – check the rail company policy before booking.
If you do not have the luxury of booking in advance, some rail companies do reduce the cost of last-minute tickets on the day of departure. Check with individual rail companies for details of their fares.
Hotel and flight bookings are also best booked in advance as this is where you will find the most affordable prices. Use fare comparison sites to find the best deals, keeping your business costs down.
It is worth making use of split ticketing to get the most affordable rail ticket possible. Split ticketing allows you to split your rail journey into multiple smaller journeys that cost less to reduce the costs. Cutting the cost of your journey this way does not mean that you will need to change trains – you will typically stay on the same train and just use two or more tickets for the journey.
Many websites can help you find the best split ticketing deals, such as Split My Fare. The website will book the tickets all at once for you, making it as easy as booking a standard train ticket but cutting the cost of your business travel.
Choose the Correct Payment Method
When used overseas, certain corporate credit cards have higher rates. Some employees may rack up costly hotel stays due to these extra charges. These charges may display on your credit card statement as a single payment, making it difficult to see a detailed breakdown of prices. It is worth shopping around for a business account that charges you minimum fees when spending money abroad.
Many low-cost airlines charge extra baggage fees, whether flying within your country or to another country in Europe. The baggage fee may be to put a suitcase into the hold or bring a larger bag into the cabin. To reduce travel costs, ensure that you are travelling light to only rely on hand luggage. Taking smaller hand luggage will also save you valuable time at the airport as you won’t need to wait for your bag to be unloaded from the plane.
Be Flexible With Your Dates
If you can, consider being flexible regarding your travel dates, as this can drastically reduce your travel costs. Some dates are more expensive to travel on, meaning that your airfare, taxi or rail fees will be higher. Before planning a meeting, do your research and look online to determine when is cheapest to travel to your chosen destination. Once you have checked this, arrange your meeting for a specific date to save on travel costs.
If you are planning to stay overnight, it is also important to check hotel prices to ensure that you get the best deal for your money.
Utilise Virtual Meetings
One final way to cut down on your travel costs is to turn your physical meetings into virtual ones. While this may not be possible every time, you may be able to utilise technology to cut down on your business costs. Since the first lockdown of the covid-19 pandemic, technology has adapted, and businesses have become more comfortable working from home. Therefore, consider asking the person you are meeting with if a virtual meeting may be an option – you will often discover that many prefer this. Having virtual meetings where appropriate will save you a substantial amount on your travel budget.
The Take Away
Travel budgets for businesses can quickly get away from themselves. There are many ways to try and reduce travel costs while not compromising your brand. Consider booking your trips further in advance, splitting your rail tickets and being flexible with when and how you meet to see a real reduction in your travel budget.