Traveling for business can be expensive and despite advances in video conferencing technologies, sometimes it’s unavoidable. But there are a few steps business owners and employees can take to keep corporate travel costs down.
Ask for some flexibility when it comes to flight dates
When scheduling business travel, it’s worth encouraging staff to be a little bit flexible and keep three days free either side of a meeting with potential or existing clients. This means you can find cheaper flight and transportation deals. Allowing employees to take control over their corporate travel bookings also promotes greater transparency and allows them to monitor costs.
Set travel allowances
Setting weekly or monthly spending goals and limits is part of a smart budgeting strategy. You can allow plenty of flexibility when it comes to food and transport expenses, but there should be a limit to reduce overspending. Set up a policy for meal and transport expenses per day. There may be special rules for client dinners. Where employees are using their own mode of transportation, for example a car, collection of receipts should be encouraged so they can be reimbursed later on.
Approve budgets before travel
It’s generally a good idea to pre-approve any planned travel and budgets. This provides a good overview of any upcoming expenditure and ensures that costs stay realistic. You can install an online or digital tool to log planned trips. This way you’ll also maintain a realistic overview of costs throughout the year and can manage client meetings accordingly.
Cut hotel costs and expenses
Room rates vary widely. It’s a good idea to set a realistic budget for hotel costs and ask your employees to stick to them if they’re booking their own accommodation. You may also want to suggest alternative accommodation like guest houses and Airbnb. Extras such as use of the mini bar and other hotel provisions like laundry services should be discussed in advance. Your staff should be clear on what they can take advantage of and what not. For example, to cut in-hotel service costs, you could encourage staff to carry their own laundry pods to wash clothing while on the road. A wide selection of suitable laundry detergents can be found here.
Offer incentives to stay on budget
Keeping travel costs low while maintaining staff motivation is a vital long-term strategy to encourage ongoing commitment. There are plenty of ways businesses can save in travel expenses by incentivizing behavioral changes in employees. Business trips could still be enjoyable despite limited budgets. Corporate reward schemes are a great way to boost motivation among staff to help cut costs.