Business owners must travel occasionally, and the cost of flights, rental cars, and other necessities can add up. Setting a budget can guide your spending, but there are also several ways to reduce the costs. Planning ahead and looking for discounts can help you get more for your expenditure.
Book Your Reservations in Advance
Try to book flight and hotel reservations as far in advance as you can to get discount prices. Most airlines raise prices as seats fill up or as the date of the flight approaches. If you have some flexibility in the timing, compare ticket costs by day of the week.
For hotels, booking in advance allows you to compare prices on online booking sites and look for discounts. Sometimes you can get a better deal on the hotel’s own website or by calling. If location is not crucial, take a look at hotels located away from city centers, where they are more expensive.
Cut Transportation Costs
Frequent business travelers should look into airline rewards programs; these are often paired with credit cards that allow you additional discounts or perks. Tickets are substantially cheaper if you are willing to travel early in the morning or late at night.
In a city, you may be able to save money by taking public transportation, such as subways or light rail. In some cases, you may need to rent a car. When you rent a car, you generally get a better rate the longer you have it. The size of the car affects rental rates, also. Smaller cars are generally cheaper and easier to maneuver in crowded cities.
Save on Meals
Some fine dining may be necessary to entertain a client. But you can save considerably on meals by limiting your use of full-service restaurants. When you’re not meeting with clients, try to keep meals light by grabbing a salad or sandwich at a local diner
Many hotels will offer free continental breakfasts, but if not, you may be able to save by stopping at the grocery store and picking up fresh fruit, yogurt, or other breakfast items. Most hotels have coffee pots in the room, and many have microwaves and mini-fridges.
Your business travel budget should include some room for the unexpected, but you can save on the major expenses. Keeping within your budget is easier if you plan in advance and take advantage of available discounts.
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