Although it is often essential to the success of a business, employee travel can be very expensive. Whether professionals are traveling through the United States or to destinations overseas, they will inevitably incur costs for meals, hotels and transportation. Through expense management and by limiting these costs as much as possible, businesses can save more money for other travel activities, like impressing potential clients.
Saving Money on Food
Look at the menu in advance. Before going to dinner with business partners or potential clients, professionals should look over the menu to find a nice meal with an affordable price.
Go off the beaten path. Choosing well reviewed but less well known restaurants will not only impress potential clients with a good time, but it can also help business professionals save money on food.
Choose lunch instead of dinner. If their dining companions are available for an earlier meal, professionals can save some money by purchasing lunch instead of dinner.
Cutting Hotel Costs
Check for good deals. One of the best methods business professionals can use to save money on hotel costs is to shop around for deals. Hotel discounts are often available online or through the front desk. However, professionals shouldn't choose a hotel with limited amenities simply because it is cheaper. Doing so won't impress potential clients.
Join discount clubs. Most hotel chains offer clubs to travelers who frequent their establishments. Business travelers should join every club possible and use the rewards to lower the cost of hotel stays. Professionals can also gain benefits through memberships in AAA or discount club stores like Sam's.
Buy auctioned gift cards. Some eBay sellers offer hotel gift cards at a reduced rate. Purchasing these gift cards can greatly decrease the cost of staying in a hotel, and potential clients never have to know. Before buying a gift card from any seller, professionals should review the seller's feedback to gauge trustworthiness.
Reducing Travel Charges
Use frequent flyer miles. Business professionals spend a lot of time traveling, which can rack up a significant number of frequent flyer miles. By using these miles as often and as effectively as possible, businesses can reduce their travel charges considerably.
Skip the food. Airline food is not only expensive, it's also usually less than gourmet. To avoid added expense, professionals can bring food and drinks on the plane with them (with the caveat that beverages must be purchased after passing through security checkpoints due to TSA regulations on liquids.)
Pack light. One of the most expensive airline fees is the one for checking baggage. Though business professionals often need to bring luggage, they should avoid checking extra bags if possible. Professionals should also weigh baggage before going to the airport to make sure that it isn't over the allowed limit. In many cases, paying for excess weight can be more expensive than adding another bag to your bill.
Business travel is always a substantial expense, especially when travel is a major part of the company's required activities. By cutting travel costs strategically and using travel expense tracking, companies can save money without sacrificing the comfort of traveling employees or potential clients.
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