Over the past couple of years, business travel came to a standstill. However, as we start to move out of the pandemic and things go back to normal, travel is starting to pick up again. Things have changed a bit, though, and we must adapt to the new norms. Here are some business travel tips to save time and money and make the most of the resources available to us today.
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Business Travel Tips To Save Time & Money
Whether you’re an entrepreneur paying your own way or a corporation paying for employee travel, there are ways to stay on top of expenses you’ll want to know about.
Rack Up Free Flights and Hotels with Business Credit Cards
If you have that travel credit card, put it to good use! Find out if you can use points for your stay, get extra nights for free, or score complimentary perks.
If you’re not redeeming points or miles, use discount sites like these to find affordable pricing options. Use your business credit card to book your stay or flight. Some cards will reward you with 2x-5x the dollar amount of your purchase. That means, if your flight was $100, you could be rewarded 200-500 points for your purchase.
Before you make a reservation at any hotel or airline, be sure to sign up for their loyalty program first.
If you don’t have membership or status at hotel chains or are traveling somewhere where budget-friendly venues are limited, consider non-hotel options. These include:
Don’t be shy about reaching out to your network of friends and family to see if they have a place for you to stay temporarily. You may also consider asking if your friends have timeshare options in the city you will be visiting. If they aren’t using their dates you may be able to sublet the timeshare. Along with extended stay hotels, this option may benefit longer business trips.
Finding The Best Flights
Business travel credit cards can come into good use here. You can find an extensive list of the best ones here. Each travel credit card has different perks. Some are associated with certain airlines; others are universal in giving you extra points for travel purchases. Yet others have excellent cash-back options.
The one you choose should suit your overall business needs. If business travel for you is rare, then a cash-back card might be best.
An airline card may give you the most perks and bang for your buck if you travel often. Alternate resources for finding the best flights for your business travel needs are:
- Scott’s Cheap Flights (this is especially useful if your travel dates are flexible and/or you need to go abroad)
- Google Flights
There is also the Hopper app. This app allows you to put in the destination you need and travel dates. It helps you to track and watch airfares over time and will alert you when the prices are likely the lowest. If you can plan your business travel, this app can help you book and save at the right time.
Plan Your Trips in Clusters
If you have several meetings or in-person appearances to make, and they happen to be geographically close, consider planning your business travel in clusters. Traveling between cities that are close by allows you to explore other modes of transportation and save on flight costs.
For instance, you can take a bus, Amtrak, or rent a car if your destination is close enough to your starting point. Doing this can save you both time and money as you’ll be able to knock out several business meetings in one trip!
Host a Hybrid Meeting
If you’re the one hosting the meeting, consider making it a hybrid event. Invite those who are most needed to be there in person and set up a live virtual event so that others can join in from home. With this option, you can get the work done, be inclusive of everyone, yet save time and money on event space, meals, and the like.
That is also important if you cannot fund business travel for everyone. Hybrid events allow people to choose what works best for their needs while remaining engaged with work and the company.
Speed Up Getting Thru Security at the Airport
For international business trips, you should be prepared for that as well! Save time at the airport by enrolling in TSA precheck (saves time at check-in) and Global Entry (saves time while coming home). They cost $100 each and last for about five years. Many travel credit cards will also reimburse you for this expense, which is absolutely worth it.
Many business events will likely still have Covid precautions in place. That is important to note as you may need to arrange for proof of vaccination, exemption, or negative test results to attend the event in the first place.
As an attendee, check the guidelines and prepare accordingly. If you’re hosting the event, stick to company policy in this regard and be sure to accommodate the different needs of your attendees. That includes having extra masks available, hand sanitizer, and a plan for cleaning in between events or meetings.
Business Travel Management
As a side note, if you’re an employer who is preparing for an upswing in business travel for your employees, then consider utilizing the services of a business travel management company. An example is Concur, which has a platform to help you keep track of expenses, reimbursements, and the like.
This kind of software can help keep things streamlined and fair, allow everyone to stay up to date on their travel and expenses, and clarify where the most travel expenses are occurring.
Business travel recovery may not look like what you imagine. Adapting to a new normal is essential for sustainable business travel in the future. Travel smart as a professional with these tips to save time and money while growing your career!
This post originally appeared on Savoteur.