Business travel occurs for a number of reasons – to meet prospective clients, consolidate relationships with continuing clients, streamline processes with vendors or to gain the trust of a new investor.
Irrespective of the end goal, business travel can be an expensive and cumbersome process. But, whatever your opinion may be, it is indisputable that business travel is on the rise. While global spending on business travel continues to rise, in India, Business Travelers spent a whopping 22.1 billion dollars on travel in 2012, a 5.8 % increase from the previous year.
Here are some tips to keep your costs down when you travel and save before you embark on a journey:
Do your research:
Check flight fares on multiple platforms- both on and offline. Certain flight carriers run cheaper flights to destinations they wish to promote. Find the best fare for your travel dates. As a traveler you must also be aware that the prices found online are not necessarily the lowest available. Hotels sometimes provide lower room rack rates if they are contacted via the phone. Some hotels even provide subsidized rates for the Woman Traveler.
Be a Smart Traveler:
Small Businesses run and plan business activities with foresight, this practice should also extend to travel plans.
Booking flights up to two weeks in advance can greatly reduce fares. Notice trends while booking, it has been widely noted that Mondays and Fridays are the most expensive days to travel, while Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are the ones that yield the lowest air fares.
You could also cut costs by staying at Business Hotel if you have a weekend meeting and at normal traveler or luxury hotels during the week. As these are down times for the respective hotels, you as a traveler would be able to garner better stay deals.
Get the right mobile plan:
One of the highest expenses, especially on travel abroad are costs incurred on your cell phone. On a business trip , your cell phone not only becomes a point of contact for the client or investor you are travelling to meet, but it is also the means by which you can check on business at your company as well as keep in contact with other clients.
It is advised that you contact your network operator and find out what the right plan is for you, especially if you travel often. Look for other alternatives such as renting a phone at your destination or buying a cheaper local phone for your trip.
Customize your travel:
Remember that different locations will entail different costs due to the standard of living of your destination city. Plan your travel budgets accordingly to make sure you don’t over spend. If you visit a particular city often, stay at the same hotel and check if they have a loyalty program.
If a loyalty program is not instituted, negotiate with the hotel to give you the best rate possible as a frequent visitor to their establishment. Other tips include travel light so you can save on Taxi fares by taking local public transport, try and plan client meetings for lunch rather than dinner so you can get a better bang for your buck all while impressing your client.