Business travel is often necessary, but it’s also where businesses tend to spend the most. Businesses of all sizes need to be financially responsible when it comes to business travel to ensure that the travel is a suitable investment and done in a fiscally conscious way. We’ll go through some of the best international business travel tips to help you save money on business travel.
Benefits of Traveling for Less
There are many benefits to traveling for less for businesses, such as:
- Reducing cost: For companies looking to reduce costs, one of the best ways to start is optimizing business travel.
- Increased savings: By cutting costs on travel, businesses can save more money and use the resource for growing the business.
- Business growth: Reducing the cost of travel enables business travelers to take more trips overall, thereby increasing growth for the business.
Best Money-Saving Travel Tips for Planning Your Trip
It can often be difficult for businesses to keep costs at a minimum for travel, but we’re going through the top business travel tips to show you how to save money while traveling.
1. Book flights for mid-week when possible
One of the best-kept secrets in the travel industry is that flights don’t cost the same throughout the week. Generally, Fridays/weekends and Mondays tend to be the most expensive days to travel, so you can save money by booking mid-week flights.
2. Avoid foreign transaction fees
One of the higher costs for businesses tends to be the dreaded foreign transaction fee. However, businesses can offset that by identifying credit card companies and bank cards that offer perks like no foreign fees to save money. Also, research partner banks before leaving to know which ATMs to use, as some ATMs will charge you more if they are not a partner bank with your local institution.
3. Plan in advance where possible
This is a common business travel tip because it does help! It’s not always feasible to plan business trips early, but the ideal timeframe is to book three months ahead to get the best prices.
4. Be flexible
Often seats are cheaper or more expensive during different times of the week or months, depending on public holidays and other events. However, if you’re flexible with dates and can move things around, you can often get great deals you wouldn’t otherwise.
5. Set a budget
Any travel, including business travel, needs some level of accountability. Whether you or a staff member are traveling, establishing a budget (albeit a flexible one) helps set expectations on spending habits right from the start.
Best Tips to Save Money on Air Travel
Air travel often ends up being the costliest part of a trip, so it’s essential to look for flight deals where possible to find cheap flights and skip baggage fees to save more.
6. Hunt for cheap flights
Before booking your flight, make sure to compare options. Many airlines list different prices on various third-party sites, or you might find that some third-party sites are limited in their selection. Make sure to compare prices with at least 2-3 providers before you book.
7. Subscribe to flight deals
Depending on your location, you can find great travel deals and offers by subscribing to different mailing lists. There are some focused solely on Europe, while others have a wider reach, so it might take some digging to find the right one for you. But you can find the best price for major cities through these mailouts.
8. Avoid baggage fees
Airlines charge for pretty much everything, so researching beforehand is crucial. One of the charges that catch people by surprise is fees for their baggage. This can include fees for checked bags (mostly budget airlines) and fees for excess weight. Before your next trip, check airline baggage requirements, so you don’t get hit with a random charge.
9. Don’t use airport parking
Airport parking is notoriously expensive, and it can add up with other expenses. Skipping airport parking can make the trip cheaper, although perhaps less convenient. Compare pricing between nearby airport parking garages beforehand.
10. Compare airline flights directly
The best way to score deals on airline flights is through research. Third-party websites usually offer the cheapest fares, but airlines often try to undercut that if you book directly. Before booking your final destination, check airline websites directly to see if they can offer cheaper flights than the third party.
Travel Tips to Save Money on Lodging
Hotel costs can drive up travel budgets, especially if they come with many additional charges. Don’t spend money on things that aren’t necessary. We’ll go through some top ways to save money on hotel rooms.
11. Don’t spend money on resort fees
The type of hotel booked for business travel makes a difference in budget. Avoiding resort fees and amenity costs can help budget travelers save money while on the trip. In addition, motels, business hotels, and other establishments might be able to offer better deals.
12. Book hotel rooms in advance
Like air tickets, an advanced hotel booking is another way to keep the travel budget down. Many hotels offer deals like a free night for advanced bookings and may offer cheaper room rates.
13. Sign up for hotel rewards programs when possible
If a lot of money is being spent on hotels, consider signing up for specific hotel rewards programs. Loyalty programs have a lot of value for frequent business travelers, including budget travelers over time. Having a preferred hotel also makes tracking expenses easier and might offer other benefits depending on the hotel partnership.
14. Think about location
Hotel location might not be as important if a city has a great local transportation network. For example, hotels near the airport or city center tend to cost far more and might not even be worth it, depending on the city. Before booking, do some research on the country and the best ways to get around to help you determine which areas to look for hotels in.
Other Ways to Save Money While Traveling
If travel budgets are still high and too much money is being spent, there are other travel tips that you can keep in mind for the trip itself to cut down on costs – let’s look at some of the top ones:
1. Purchase Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a necessary part of business travel because it can help cut down emergency costs. Flight cancellations, missed flights, and more tend to go under the remit of travel insurance and help ensure that you aren’t spending tons of money on fees and penalties.
2. Use Public Transportation
Going back to the above point about location, using public transport can help bring down costs enormously. If the trip is for a few weeks, it might be worth looking into rental cars, but again, it depends on the city and where you’ll spend most of your time. But taking local transportation can be better for budgets and encourages you to explore the city more.
3. Enjoy Cheap Local Food
Local markets and street food are cheaper and often better than fancy restaurants. If you’re a budget traveler, make sure to explore the local restaurants and find out where the locals eat. Not only will you save more money in the long run, but you’ll explore diverse food cultures by eating street food – particularly in areas such as South America, Southeast Asia, Central America, and others. As a budget traveler, you can also consider making your own food to save on costs for long trips.
4. Choose Inexpensive Activities
You should definitely explore the city while traveling, but it can be hard to balance that with costs. But there are lots of fun, inexpensive activities such as free walking tours you can take advantage of. You can also ask your hotel or ask other travelers for recommendations for tourist attractions with free admission or low admission cost.
What is the best way to save money while traveling?
The best way to save money while traveling is to do your research beforehand. This includes research for deals on hotels and airfare and little things that help keep you from spending money. This can consist of finding partner banks so that you’re not charged for ATM fees and checking foreign transaction fees on your bank card and credit card as well.
How much money should I save for traveling?
Your budget will very much depend on what your round trip destination is. It’s a great idea to research the country beforehand, including average spending per day, to help you gauge how much you should be saving realistically. Some countries are incredibly expensive, while others can be very cheap, but it depends on the type of experience you want to have and how much you can realistically save before the trip.
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