5 Ways to Cut Business Travel Costs

As a travel manager, you’re no doubt well aware of how critical corporate travel can be to your company’s business. I mean, if the title of this article had been “5 Reasons to Stop Business Travel,” you’d probably be pretty bummed out, since that would put you out of a job! Lucky for you, the Big Boss at your company already knows how important employee business trips are – that’s why he hired you!

The fact that your company acknowledges the need for corporate travel, however, does not mean that they’re happy about all the money it’s costing them. Thankfully, there are things you can do to decrease costs. Trust me – your CFO will thank you. Read on to find out some simple tricks to help you cut down on business travel expenses.

  1. Plan like a pro

Scheduling your employees’ trips ahead of time can save you a lot more money than you think. If you book flights over a week prior to departure, you can help save your company more than $100 per employee plane ticket.

In addition to scheduling in advance, you can also save money by considering the specific time you have your employees travel. You’ll want to avoid the dates of major events like London’s Fashion Week, for example. Same goes for spring break – try to avoid it (unless you’re eager for an “employees gone wild” sort of trip), and work around the specific dates of spring break. I know, I know, this isn’t a perfect world, and you have to allow for last-minute needs. But when you can, booking in advance and being careful about timing is a must.

  1. Make saving a win-win

If you have kids, you probably know how well the rewards system works with them. Rather than focusing on the punishment your child will get every time they break a rule, offering them a treat each time they do something good makes them feel proud and accomplished for good behavior.

Newsflash: adults are just like kids. We like to be rewarded too – whether in the form of praise or free stuff. That’s why rewarding your employees for saving money instead of punishing them for spending too much can be wise. Face it – your employees don’t care about saving your company money. They need an incentive. There are different ways you can go about this. You can choose to set a specific budget for your travelers, and if they spend less, give them credits for future trips. Alternatively, you can allow your travelers to keep a percentage of whatever they save. That will help keep them stay within budget without making them feel like you’re cheaping out on them.

  1. Perfect your policy

Establishing an effective corporate travel policy is no easy feat. There are tons of things to consider, including booking flights and hotels and setting an allowance that makes sense. Check out the travel policy you currently have in place, and decide if it needs improving. Make sure everything is laid out clearly so that your travelers know everything they need to know in order to stay in budget.

  1. Set up pre-approvals

How many times have you seen employee trips being canceled and money being wasted? Probably enough for you to know that a good pre-approval system is key. If you set one up, you’ll be able to save your company money on unnecessary costs. Make sure all employees understand who they need approval from for travel, so you can avoid canceled trips.

  1. Get smart with travel tech

Your phone’s smart, your watch might be smart, (hopefully you’re smart), now it’s time your travel management processes be smart! Gone are the days of pretty much anything manual. By using travel management technology, you can do everything I mentioned above in a fast, simple way. A travel management platform will help you plan business trips, set clear budgets, establish a pre-approval system, and come up with an optimal travel policy.

Check out Arbitrip’s business travel program to get you started on decreasing business travel costs today.