Sure, it’s nice to be able to save your company money on business travel, but have you thought about why doing so may be in your own best interest? Today, let’s look at 15 ways you can trim business travel costs and what may be in it for you, too.
1. Let’s get booking
Not only can purchasing air tickets at least 14 days in advance of a business trip save hundreds of dollars, but when you buy ahead, you also are way less likely to get stuck in a dreaded middle seat at the back of the aircraft.
2. Don’t fly peak
Don’t schedule your flight on a Tuesday at 6 a.m. during the off-peak season because it may save your organization a few hundred bucks. Do it because it will save you from the insanity of a congested airport!
3. Do business with the company’s preferred suppliers
Don’t waste your precious time scouring for deals online. If your company has preferred suppliers it is encouraging you to book with, it’s because it already has done the hard work of negotiating the most favorable terms, such as lower rates and all-inclusive amenities like breakfast and Wi-Fi. Book through the company’s online booking tool and save yourself a lot of hassle.
4. It pays to be loyal
Another benefit of sticking with the company’s preferred suppliers? All the loyalty reward points you can rack up and use toward perks for yourself, such as room upgrades, airport lounge access, late checkouts and much more. Learn how to maximize these programs via sites like The Points Guy and FlyerTalk.
5. Play nice and negotiate
Want a hotel upgrade without having the company pay a cent more? You just may be able to secure a better room or get a late checkout if you kindly ask the front desk staff for the favor.
6. Get rid of the extra baggage
Especially for shorter trips, pack like organizing guru Marie Kondo and tote a carry-on only. Not only will you save $40, $50 each way on a checked baggage fee, but it will “spark joy” knowing you won’t have to wait at the baggage claim or hear that your luggage has been lost.
7. Live large in the VIP airport lounge
Whether your credit card/frequent flyer program offers you entry or you purchase a daily pass, having access to the airport lounge can pay off when you take advantage of the complimentary food, beverages and Wi-Fi service. Plus, you’ll be so much more productive working in this luxe setting than at the crammed boarding gate.
8. Get in on the deal
American Express Global Business Travel has negotiated special discounts and perks just for you, dear traveler! Nearly 60,000 hotel properties are a part of our Preferred Extras program, where you can secure a better-than-advertised rate and receive complimentary breakfast and/or Wi-Fi service.
9. Let’s do lunch — or sweatwork
Instead of an expensive steak dinner with clients after a long workday, invite them to meet for lunch. In addition to being a more economical option, it will free up your evening. Or better yet, roll a client meeting into your daily workout—aka “sweatworking”— a rising trend in the finance industry.
10. Eat like a local
Why waste big bucks on hotel meals when you can immerse yourself in the culture while having an authentic local dining experience? Having takeout from a street vendor and eating in smaller restaurants not only is less expensive, but often the chow is tastier, too.
11. Follow the “six-block rule”
As the well-known travel adage goes, food is generally double the price and half as good when it’s purchased within six blocks of a tourist hot spot. Avoid the tourist traps and check out better-priced options on review sites like Yelp and OpenTable.
12. Get chauffeured around
Avoid the hassle of driving in a foreign city by using our Ground Transportation solution, a cost-effective, convenient platform where you easily can book and track rides with taxis, shuttles and rideshares. Alternatively, for those who prefer being behind the wheel of the car, take back control and shop the best deals on vehicles through your corporate booking tool.
13. Park it for less
If you do drive (whether it’s your own or a rented set of wheels), look for deals on parking spots with apps like SpotHero and Airport Parking Reservations (for U.S. locations) and YourParkingSpace (in the United Kingdom). By the way, with the latter app, you also can make money renting out your own driveway space.
14. Take a hike
If you’ve chosen a hotel that is close enough to your meeting venue, walk there. This way, you can save a bundle on taxi/transportation fees, get in your daily dose of exercise and experience the city on a deeper level.
15. Let’s make it personal
If the company allows “bleisure” travel, slash the costs of your next vacation by extending a business trip into a personal one. You can avoid paying your airfare and, just maybe, find a cheaper flight home if it’s on a less busy travel day and/or from a smaller airport.