As a small business owner, saving money is not only welcomed, but it’s often a necessity for long-term survival. While business travel often times can’t be avoided, there are ways to cut costs and limit the amount of money you spend on each trip. The more money you are able to save on business travel is more money that can be used for advertising, marketing, and growth activities.
Rather than just list off random cost savings tips, we decided to speak with a handful of business professionals and executives and get their best travel hacks when it comes to saving money. These are all real-world examples that are very easy to implement, so there is no reason for you to not start saving money on your next trip out of town.
Book as far in advance as possible.
A lot of business trips, such as conferences and industry events are planned as far as a year out, so it’s very possible to book all of your airfare and hotel accommodations far in advance.
“Booking out as far as possible not only saves you money, but it ensures you have hotel accommodations. Many popular conferences will sell out, making finding a hotel last minute very difficult, and if you do happen to find one the price can be two to three times what you would have paid if you just booked it in advance,” advises Michael Plaza, CEO of Compare the Financial Markets.
Use travel sites like Travelocity or Priceline to take advantage of flight and hotel combo packages. You will pay much less in advance.
Weigh the upgrade costs against the added benefits received.
Don’t always balk at the upgrade cost for first class, because sometimes it’s minimal and has several benefits that far outweigh the added price.
“Sometimes you can upgrade for as little as $100 on some flights, and when you consider things like free checked bags, premium lounge access, and meals, it will often even out, while also giving you a much more comfortable travel experience,” says Chris Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics.
In order to lock in low-cost upgrades you will often have to wait until 24-hours before the flight. Prices for first class seats are often higher in advance, but as the flight time approaches the empty inventory is often discounted if available.
Use a travel rewards credit card for all travel related expenses.
You are going to be spending the money regardless, so you might as well max out on reward points. If you travel often you might want to look for a rewards points card that works for your preferred airline or even explore cash back options.
“While travel points are nice, they are often only worth pennies, so I’m a fan of cash back cards that pay a minimum of 3%. This can be applied to your balance, so I like to consider it a way to simply save even more money on all of my travel related expenses,” explains David Sessford, Managing Director of Ready Steady Sell.
One of the best resources online for all travel and cashback related credit cards is The Points Guy. I’d suggest following his Facebook page to stay up to date on new offers.
Always check prices at smaller regional airports.
Often times, smaller airports will have cheaper flight options, but are overlooked in favor of larger international airports. It’s always a good idea to check airports within 20 – 30 minutes just in case there is a more affordable option available.
“A great example is traveling to South Florida,” explains Jim Rafferty, CEO of Wabash Power. “A flight in and out of Miami might be $800, but you can go in and out of Fort Lauderdale for $400. In this situation you save 50% for flying in and out of an airport 20 minutes away.”