Business travel is often necessary, but it is also where companies spend the most. Businesses of all sizes must be financially responsible when it comes to business travel to ensure the travel is a suitable investment and done in a tax-conscious manner. We’ll run through some of the best international business travel tips to help you save money on business travel.
Benefits of traveling for less
There are many benefits of cheaper travel for companies, such as:
- Reduce costs: For companies looking to reduce costs, optimizing business travel is one of the best ways to get started.
- Increased Savings: By reducing travel costs, companies can save more money and use the resources to grow the business.
- Business growth: By reducing travel costs, business travelers can make more trips in total, increasing the company’s growth.
Best money-saving travel tips for planning your trip
Keeping travel costs to a minimum can often be difficult for businesses, but we’ll take you through the best business travel tips to show you how to save money while traveling.
1. Book midweek flights if possible
One of the best kept secrets in the travel industry is that flights don’t cost the same all week. In general, Friday/weekend and Monday are the most expensive days to travel, so you can save money by booking midweek flights.
2. Avoid Foreign Transaction Fees
One of the higher costs for businesses is usually the dreaded foreign transaction fees. However, companies can offset that by identifying credit card companies and debit cards that offer benefits such as no foreign fees to save money. Also research partner banks before you go to know which ATMs to use as some ATMs will charge you more if they are not a partner bank with your local institution.
3. Plan in advance whenever possible
This is a common tip for business travel because it helps! It’s not always feasible to plan business trips early, but the ideal time frame is to book three months ahead to get the best prices.
4. Be flexible
Often seats are cheaper or more expensive at different times of the week or months, depending on holidays and other events. However, if you’re flexible with dates and can move things around, you can often get great deals that you wouldn’t otherwise.
5. Set a budget
Any journey, including business trips, requires a certain amount of responsibility. Whether you or a staff member is traveling, establishing a budget (albeit flexible) helps set expectations about spending right from the start.
Best tips to save money on air travel
Air travel is often the most expensive part of a trip, so it’s essential to look for flight deals whenever possible to find cheap flights and skip baggage fees to save more.
6. Look for cheap flights
Be sure to compare options before booking your flight. Many airlines list different prices on different third-party sites, or some third-party sites may be limited in their selection. Make sure to compare prices with at least 2-3 providers before booking.
7. Subscribe to flight deals
Depending on your location, you can find great travel deals and deals by subscribing to different mailing lists. Some are focused solely on Europe, while others have a wider reach, so finding the right one for you can take a while. But you can find the best price for major cities through these mailings.
8. Avoid Baggage Fees
Airlines charge pretty much everything, so researching ahead of time is crucial. One of the costs that surprises people is the cost of their luggage. These may include checked baggage fees (usually budget airlines) and overweight fees. Before your next trip, check the airline’s baggage requirements so that you are not charged arbitrarily.
9. Do Not Use Airport Parking
Airport parking is notoriously expensive and can add up with other costs. Skipping airport parking can make the trip cheaper, though perhaps less convenient. Compare prices in advance between nearby parking garages at the airport.
10. Compare airline flights directly
The best way to score deals on airline flights is through research. Third-party websites usually offer the cheapest fares, but airlines often try to undermine that if you book direct. Before booking your final destination, check directly on airline websites to see if they can offer cheaper flights than the third party.
Travel tips to save money on accommodation
Hotel costs can push up the travel budget, especially if there are a lot of extra costs involved. Don’t spend money on things you don’t need. We’ll run through some top ways to save money on hotel rooms.
11. Don’t spend money on resort fees
The type of hotel booked for business trips makes a difference in the budget. By avoiding resort fees and amenities charges, budget travelers can save money on their trip. In addition, motels, business hotels, and other establishments can offer better deals.
12. Book hotel rooms in advance
Like airline tickets, an advanced hotel booking is another way to keep the travel budget low. Many hotels offer deals such as a free night for advanced bookings and may offer cheaper room rates.
13. Sign up for hotel rewards programs whenever possible
If a lot of money is spent on hotels, consider signing up for specific hotel rewards programs. Loyalty programs have great value for frequent business travelers, including budget travelers. Having a preferred hotel also makes it easier to track expenses and can provide other benefits depending on the partnership with the hotel.
14. Think about the location
The location of the hotel may not be that important when a city has a great local transport network. For example, hotels near the airport or the city center cost a lot more and may not even be worth it depending on the city. Before you book, do some research about the country and the best ways to get around to help you determine which areas to search for hotels in.
Other ways to save money while traveling
If travel budgets are still high and too much money is being spent, there are other travel tips you can keep in mind before the trip itself to cut costs – let’s take a look at some of the best:
1. Buy travel insurance
Travel insurance is a necessary part of business travel because it can help reduce emergency costs. Flight cancellations, missed flights and more usually fall under the scope of travel insurance and help ensure you don’t spend tons of money on fees and fines.
2. Use public transport
Coming back to the point above about location, using public transportation can cut costs tremendously. If the trip is a couple of weeks it might be worth looking into rental cars, but again it depends on the city and where you’ll be spending most of your time. But taking local transport can be better for budgets and encourages you to explore the city more.
3. Enjoy cheap local food
Local markets and street food are cheaper and often better than fancy restaurants. If you are a budget traveler, make sure to check out the local restaurants and find out where the locals eat. Not only will you save more money in the long run, but you will also discover different food cultures by eating street food, especially in areas like South America, Southeast Asia, Central America, and others. As a budget traveler, you may also want to consider making your own food to cut costs for long journeys.
4. Choose cheap activities
You should definitely explore the city while traveling, but it can be difficult to balance that with the cost. But there are plenty of fun, inexpensive activities, like free walking tours, that you can take advantage of. You can also ask your hotel or other travelers for recommendations on tourist attractions with free entry or low entrance fees.
What’s the best way to save money while traveling?
The best way to save money while traveling is to do your research beforehand. This includes researching deals on hotels and airfare and little things that keep you from spending money. This can include finding partner banks so you don’t have to pay ATM fees and checking foreign transaction fees on your debit and credit card.
How much money should I save for travel?
Your budget will depend a lot on what your outward and return destination is. It’s a good idea to research the country beforehand, including average spending per day, to help you estimate how much you should realistically save. Some countries are incredibly expensive while others can be very cheap, but it depends on the kind of experience you want to have and how much you can realistically save for the trip.
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