How To Save On Business Travel Expenses With Federal Transportation Services
Business travel can be a very tiring price of doing business in many industries, but it is also a very necessary part of getting things done. For those of us who are caught up in being the ones who need to travel from place to place for our own business, or on behalf of who we work for, the excitement can quickly fade away. You have to get up early, get to the airport (often hours early), catch a flight, hit a strict and often overloaded schedule, put out high energy to put your best foot forward for clients, often get up early for an early morning flight (or late night red-eye flight), get home, and get back to work.
This is not only exhausting but when you start adding together all the expenses for lodging, travel tickets, on-site transportation or car rentals, meals, business-related entertainment, and more, it really begins to add up quickly. Even a single short trip can end up costing a serious amount of money. This multiplies quickly if it is more than one person who is traveling.
This is obvious to most people, and painfully so to you if you are the person footing the bill or having to go over the books to make it work. When it comes to business travel, you definitely want to take smart steps to limit your costs. Read on for some of our top professional tips
to help you save on business travel.
Manage Your Rewards Programs
You should never spend on a credit card for the sake of rewards, but if the expenses are mandatory, you mine as well use the best credit card rewards programs possible to stack up free rooms, free travel perks, free points of any kind to get something to get savings on future travel.
In addition to this, if business traveling is going to be a regular thing then you need to sign up for rewards programs related to travel. Virtually every airline has travel perks, all major hotel chains have rewards programs, and these can give discounts up front in addition to points for freebies later. Even Amtrak has rewards programs for anyone who just refuses to travel by air.
Using a rewards business credit card with a rewards program will often allow you to not only double up on points, but it will also let you often get discounts up front while building up freebies for the future. If you’re not taking advantage of this for expenses you’ll have anyway, you’re missing out big time.
Book As Far Ahead As Possible
The further ahead you can book your tickets and make reservations, the better the deal you can get. In addition to this, when there are more open rooms you have a better chance of negotiating a lower price whether online or via phone. Always call to try to get a better deal with hotels. You would be amazed how often you can get 10-15% off the best Internet price if you call ahead early enough.
The earlier you can start booking, the cheaper the overall cost will end up being.
Take Virtual Meetings When Possible
Is that trip really necessary? While there are standard conferences and times you need to meet with clients or partners in person, the smart use of technology can often eliminate many of these travel expenses or at least minimize them. If things can be done virtually, make a habit of going that route. Business Skype and many other even better programs made video chat a viable option and can save everyone lost hours in travel as well as a lot of expense.
Actively Seek Partners
This works really well finding a “transportation provider” if you travel enough. Whether it’s getting a special corporate rate on airlines or permanent discounts for rental cars, finding partners who can work with you on a consistent basis and will give you a break to do so. This can work for consistently booking with a hotel chain, as well, or consistently booking the same seminar spaces.
Actively creating partnerships can lead to big savings, and don’t be afraid to look for niche providers.
Review Your Travel Policies
While you never want to skinflint your employees to the point where they’re skipping meals or subsisting on the McDonald’s menu for all three meals (you’ll never retain top talent if you go this route) it is worth reviewing your travel policies every so often. Do you pay out too much in transportation? Do employees get to pocket unused food budget? How is anything tracked?
Be willing to experiment to find that happy medium where you spend less but also still take care of anyone traveling on your business’s behalf.
If you follow these tips
to cut down business travel expenses you’ll start getting a lot happier with the bottom line numbers.
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