5 Unique Ways for Corporate Travel Managers to Save Money on Business Travel
Corporate travel managers have a multifaceted job, being tasked with planning, budgeting and executing travel on behalf of a company’s employees. Since travel often ranks high among a business’ expenses, the budgeting responsibility is an important one. The more you can save the company on business trips, the better its corporate travel efficiency, sustainability and return on investment.
Fortunately for your jet-setting colleagues, there are ways to cut business travel expenses that don’t involve putting them up in cheap hotels or making them stick to a low per diem rate. Here are five smart suggestions.
1. Book in bulk
Buying in bulk often brings considerable cost savings, and not just when buying paper towels at your local warehouse store. It applies to hotel rooms as well. See if you can work with a hotel by booking a large number of rooms and/or nights in exchange for discounted rates. The hotel may also provide value adds like complimentary nights. Be sure to ask about their corporate rate program, too.
2. Use creative hotel solutions
Of all possible business travel expenses, the cost of eating out for nearly every meal usually ranks right below flights and accommodations. Thankfully, however, hotels like Q&A Residential Hotel are disrupting the status quo by including a full-sized, fully equipped kitchen in every room.
Minus the occasional schmooze session with clients at a five-star restaurant, employees can cook their own meals right in their hotel room and save the company major money on dining expenses. No more cramming leftovers into the stuffed mini-fridge, either! Other necessities like WiFi and phone service may also be included at no extra cost, saving you even more.
3. Don’t wait until the last minute
What’s true for leisure travel also tends to be true for business travel. To avoid egregious costs, especially on international travel, don’t wait too long to book big-ticket items like flights and accommodations. Keep a detailed calendar of trade shows, conventions and other important dates and set reminders to make bookings. There’s no magic number for how far in advance to do so in order to get the best price, but whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute.
4. Incentivize employees to spend wisely
As a corporate travel manager, you do everything in your power to keep costs down, but there’s only so much you can do to control how employees spend during the trip. Fortunately, “there’s an app for that.” TravelBank, for example, allows employees to earn rewards when they stay under budget during business travel. Other third-party apps can also be beneficial, such as ones that help your employees track expenses using their smartphone. You can also implement your own incentive program within the company by writing it into the corporate travel policy. It’s a win-win for you, the business and its travelers.
5. Schedule trips during slow season (if possible)
If you have some flexibility in the time of year you can schedule certain business trips, opt for less busy travel times like winter. There’s a higher risk of delays and other such woes, but if all goes smoothly, you’ll save some big bucks on flights and accommodations. Avoid popular travel times like summer, particularly August when many leisure travelers go on vacation.
Q&A Residential Hotel is located in Lower Manhattan and provides stays in contemporary apartments three times larger than typical NYC hotel rooms. For more information or to make reservations, visit qandahotel.com.