For many professionals, business travel is an essential part of their trade. It’s also an expensive endeavor. According to data gathered by Runzheimer, a business consultancy based in Wisconsin, the average cost of a business trip runs just below $1300.
For the most part, business travelers have no choice but to write it off as part of the cost of doing business. But what if there were another way? While you may not be able to eliminate business travel costs from your annual expenditures, you can take steps to lower those costs in significant ways.
The following are five ways to save money on business travel:
Airfare tends to be priced the highest from Friday through Monday. That’s because most people prefer to travel during the weekend or as close to the weekend as possible. Business travelers should consider booking airfare on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays as often as possible. Doing so will open up more opportunities for affordable airfare. It may not always work, especially when approaching certain holidays and times of the year, but it’s reliable enough that every business traveler looking to save should think about sticking to midweek flights as a way to save.
Skip business class
There are times when business class seating is the only sensible option for business travelers. It’s an eight-hour flight, you’re behind on work, and access to business class amenities enables you to spend inflight hours getting caught up on your assignments. But if it’s a short flight, or you’re not under pressure to be productive in the air, consider opting for coach seating. Even if you need to get work done, the folding tray is perfect for laptop computers while most airlines offer wireless internet for a price far below that of a business upgrade.
Choose the right hotel
The lowest nightly rate doesn’t necessarily translate into the cheapest booking option. That’s because you still need to factor in transportation. For instance, if you’re headed to a convention in downtown Louisville, limit your search to hotels in Louisville located in the downtown area. The price per night might be higher, but you’re saving money on cab fare. There are also the amenities to consider; a hotel that charges $10 a night for access to WiFi might have a cheaper rate than a nicer hotel offering free internet to its guests. Are you really “saving” by sticking to the hotel with the lowest sticker price?
Use video conferencing
The global pandemic has changed the world in many ways. One of them has been the shift towards video conference technology as a means for professionals in different locations to get on the same page. While video conference calls can’t eliminate business travel, they can certainly eliminate their frequency and importance. Sure, you still need to visit your company’s west coast HQ twice a year, but you were going out there four times a year beforehand. That’s a 50% reduction in business travel, all thanks to an uptick in video-based meetings and conferences.
Opt for Healthy eats
Select dining is considered one of the fringe benefits of business travel. After all, you’ve spent hours waiting in line at the airport, in a taxi on the way to the hotel, and on the phone checking in with your co-workers back home. Aren’t you entitled to a top-notch meal? Yes, and the company should be picking up the tab! One of the easiest ways to avoid travel sicknesses and feel better after all that flight time is hydration and healthy eating. Work trips don’t have to be so grueling or hard on mental and physical health. If you happen to have any ailments or pre-existing conditions such as trouble with sleep, a physical impairment, current routine of wellness treatments, physical therapy, regual specialist visits, or even DMSO cancer treatment. When your body is out of routine it is even more important to eat super healthy during your travels and support your immune system.
Business trips are a routine matter for many professionals. But if you’re at the helm of a small business or a solo practicing professional crossing the globe to court your next client, the costs of business travel can be hard to swallow. Fortunately, there are several ways to lower the cost of traveling for business. By putting one or more of these tips into practice, you’ll undoubtedly see a reduction in your annual business expenditures. That’s a win wherever you are!
Michael Driver is a freelance writer from Texas. When not writing about business, he enjoys covering topics related to history, movies, and sports. Michael can be reached at [email protected]