Being present in person to finalize a deal can prove crucial to your business, but having to fly out there can be costly. The travel industry is one of the busiest industries in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t save here and there. Believe it or not, you can save a whole lot of money just by avoiding some of the most common travel mistakes, and that’s exactly what we’ll be learning today.
Be Mindful Of Dates
This is likely the most important piece of advice you can get – two same flights on two different dates don’t cost the same! If you’re flying from New York to Atlanta on May the 5th, the price for that same trip on May the 10th isn’t going to be identical. Sometimes, it’s actually cheaper to fly out there two days earlier and book a three-star hotel for a few nights than it is to fly out there on the same day.
For example, if you leave on Thursday and return on Monday, you’re most likely going to save 20% (or even more) on tickets. Weekends are definitely the worst time for travel because most people travel on the weekend. Because of this, tickets are more expensive and just being at the airport can be chaotic.
Additionally, sticking with the same airline (as much as possible, you obviously can’t fly with just one airline all the time) will prove beneficial in the form of frequent flyer miles, airline promotions and discounts.
Stick with the Set Food and Transport Budget
It doesn’t matter if you’re flying on your own or if you’re sending one of your employees out – set a food and transport budget and stick with it. This budget should cover all food and transport expenses (not including the airline ticket) that your employee should need during the trip.
Do your research to create this budget – if the plane touches down in Atlanta, your employee will need a car rental near Atlanta airport. Make sure that you research ahead and already make car reservations. Synchronize this budget with the itinerary and you surely won’t go overboard with the spending.
Because of this, many managers motivate their employees to use public transport, which can be a hit or a miss. Some areas have incredibly effective public transport that’s easy to use and is usually effective and punctual, while other areas have underdeveloped forms of public transport that are best to avoid.
This really depends on your research and just how much you trust public transport systems in the place you’re going. Alternatively, getting an Uber or some other similar form of transportation service can be much cheaper than an actual taxi, but much more reliable than the public transportation system.
Hotels Can Be Too Costly and Surprisingly Cheap
A lot of people are naturally inclined to think that staying in a hotel is going to cost them a fortune, but hotels may often surprise you. The first decision you have to make is how much you’re willing to spend. Some managers let their employees choose their own rooms, while others do the choosing for their employees.
It might be more comfortable for your employee if you just gave them a budget and let them choose their own accommodation within the lines of that budget, but keep in mind that people make mistakes. Because of this, you need to define what the budget entails clearly (minibar, Wi-Fi, room service, etc.)
Very often, you’ll find that a three-night stay in a hotel with a cheaper flight can be less stressful on your budget than a one-night stay with a more expensive flight. Accommodation services can vary from time to time just like airline services, so make sure to keep that in mind when you’re choosing accommodation.
It’s also crucial to remember that booking a hotel near the airport will always be cheaper than booking a hotel in the city center (or close to it). Aside from the main drawback being that you’ll have to spend some time on travel to get to your meeting place (unless you’re lucky and it’s also near the airport), this can really prove to be an immensely effective way of saving money on accommodation.
You also might want to consider alternative options when it comes to accommodation. Even though businesses traditionally use hotels, sites like AirBnB.com and Booking.com have proven their worth to many businesses over the years. This can be especially useful if you’re only flying out a small number of people, as there are many apartments and other forms of accommodation that are perfect for just a few people.