Expensive plane tickets, outrageous hotel bills, over-charging taxi drivers and over-priced dinners – these are just three of many other business travel expenses corporate bosses have to cover to compete in an ever changing, business world. It goes to without saying, that these power-suit wearing executives will readily accept ideas, from pretty much anyone, on ways to reduce business travel expenses. The following ideas, if implemented, are designed to save thousands of dollars annually.
If you are a company head and your staff travels by airplane – either domestically or internationally – regularly, you should become a member of an airline mileage or travel points program. With every flight, a staff member takes mileage points will accumulate until eventually flying will be cheaper, albeit free. Airline companies make it very easy to become a member and offer online memberships or by snail mail. There are also cases where your accumulated points enable you to get cheap car rentals, and discounts in up-market hotels. Depending on the amount of points you collect, through travel with a membership airline, you could eventually be able to travel to many locations, without any significant charges.
Reducing travel expenses is also able to be achieved by choosing the less expensive over the more expensive. For example, when taking a flight, reserve a seat in economy – sitting in lst class and sipping champagne, although nice, won’t get you to your destination any faster than the cheaper seat in the back of the plane. If, after arriving at your journey’s end, you need to rent a vehicle, rent a one that is small and economical – you’ll save on gasoline as well as rental rates (smaller vehicles are cheaper to rent than large vehicles). You could also negotiate a cheap insurance plan – after all, you’re only going to need the vehicle for a few days. Where possible try to make use of public transportation. This may sound as though your company is broke and the boss has put you on a strict budget, however, taking public transport relives you of paying for parking, it allows you to have a few drinks after work and there is no need to pay any type of insurance. Taxis, however, are often the only public transportation mode available. If you must take a taxi, prior to jumping in the rear seat, ask the cost to get to your destination – the driver should have a pretty good idea.
The hotel you choose doesn’t have to be a five star. Surely, for your short stay in the city or town, reserving a room in a smaller hotel is enough. Most towns and cities have reasonably priced economical hotels. If, in the event, you want to save on transportation, choosing a business hotel near to where you will be working is another idea. Finding a hotel that includes breakfast every morning will also allow you to save a few bucks. Breakfast is considered, by many, to be the main meal of the day, so why not let the hotel provide you with the energy for a hard day at a client’s office.
If you are traveling with colleagues, advise them not to use the mini-bar in their room. Suggest they go to a convenience store and carry a couple of six-packs back to their room. Mini-bars are expensive and once you start drinking from them, it is difficult to stop. If your colleagues wish to have a night out on the town, remind them that they must use their own money – bringing back receipts from such places as “Nancy’s” will not get them a rebate.
Prior to taking a business trip, check to see if it is possible to travel to a couple of destinations, rather than one. Often business people combine business travel in order to get the maximum out of the trip. For example, if you have a business meeting in Los Angeles perhaps you are able to schedule a further meeting with another client in Los Vegas; in effect killing two birds with one stone. You might also consider forgoing any business trips in favor of a video conference. Indeed using such Internet hook ups as Skype and other free-to-use applications, you will definite save money.
There are many other ways of reducing business travel expenses and the above ideas are some of the more obvious. All it takes is common sense and, at times, switching to economy rather than luxury.
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