How to save money on work travel

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Establish Your Business Travel Approval Process

The most effective tip to keeping work travel expenses on track is to start with a good foundation. Depending on your company’s size, you might have one person (like your Human Resources Manager) in charge of booking and/or approving travel, layers of approvals to get through, or it might be a free-for-all as employees research and book on their own. If any of these setups aren’t managed well, it can lead to a big mess.

Here are some ways to streamline things and keep your travel expenses in line:

  • Make sure your approval system is clear to all employees, especially if multiple managers have access to the company credit card. Make it clear who the final point of approval is, what information they need, and a baseline of cost expectations.
  • Make it easy on your employees. In addition to making your travel policy accessible, it should be easy to understand. If you don’t want your employees staying at the fanciest hotel in town, they should know that from the start (Tip: Clearly state how and when employees will be reimbursed)
  • Consider using an online booking tool. Online tools like CorpTrav give you (or your approval point-person) better oversight of teams booking travel.

Choose the Best Days and Times for Flights

This tip is well-known in the travel industry, but we’re adding it here because it sometimes gets overlooked with business travel. For example, in some cases, you might be booking your travel with a specific date and time already in mind. That is, the meeting with your client is on Thursday at 10am, or the conference runs from Monday to Wednesday.

Even with a specific date in mind, it’s worth researching all available flights in order to find the best deal. You might find that arriving a day early, even with another hotel stay on the books, is much cheaper than arriving the morning of your meeting. This also gives you and your team a chance to get settled and comfortable, as well as allowing time for delays and other common travel stressors.

Note: This tip is applicable to the day and time that you fly, in addition to when you physically book the ticket. Studies show that the best time to shop for travel deals is on Tuesday afternoon!

Take Advantage of Reward Programs

Another way to get a deal on your business travel is to stay loyal to an airline, hotel chain, or transportation platform. If you and your team travel often, it might be worth looking into a loyalty credit card — or at the very least, using a credit card that offers travel rewards. Many of these cards also offer extra benefits, like insurance on rental cars, free checked bags, bonus rewards, partnership perks (like extra points when you ride with Lyft), and more.

Choose Your Hotel Strategically

You want your employees to be comfortable and safe when they travel, as well as have the amenities they need.

Make sure to factor in transportation, though; an expensive taxi ride to a hotel outside the city center will add to your costs. Ask about free hotel shuttles, look into public transportation, and research the nearby restaurants and amenities that might factor into your employees’ expenses based on your hotel choice.

Use a Site Like TurboRes

Finally, one of the best ways to save on business travel is to use a site like TurboRes. We work with companies small to large to coordinate travel arrangements, ensuring efficient RFPs and static hotel pricing options, so you know exactly what you’ll be spending on your corporate travel. Plus, you can take advantage of extra perks in your dedicated portal.

At TurboRes, we believe in easy, trustworthy travel. Born from the simple idea that corporate travel should be flexible, safe, and transparent, our mission is to provide the most comprehensive business travel solutions out there, especially during these changing times. Contact us today to learn more!

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