By: Rilind Elezaj, Life Coach, Animas
For any business to grow, business travel is critical. You will at times be required to meet clients or attend conferences in different locations. Business travel expenses can, however, be overwhelming to any business, especially those at the budding level. It is important to ensure that expenses are minimized while on a business trip whenever possible. The following are ways that you can save money without compromising comfort and reliability while at it.
1. Ditch car rentals for Uber
Renting a car can really save you time that you would otherwise use waiting for a cab, but it will leave a considerable dent in your wallet. Opt for cheaper options such as Uber to move around during your trip. Take advantage of carpooling opportunities whenever they arise. Besides saving you money because you get to share the fare with others, you get to network and get new contacts.
2. Find alternative accommodation
Accommodation expense is another aspect that skyrockets business travel expenditure. When booking hotels, consider the extra incentive you will get from the hotel that will save you money. Such include free Wi-Fi and a conference room that you can hold meetings at no cost. An alternative to hotels is an Airbnb that is a growing trend. If one is available near your meeting locations, make the choice of staying there. This is a great way to save money and have a homely feel during your trip. You get free Wi-Fi, the chance to make your food and save on meals, and if you are lucky, the host might have left some snacks, coffee and water for you.
3. Take advantage of affordable coworking spaces
Instead of making a reservation in an upscale hotel with meals that your client will not even like, consider taking your meetings to a more affordable place. For instance, if you are on a business trip to Chicago, a cheaper option would be to hold your meetings in a co-working space in Chicago. Chicago is an enterprising city with well-equipped coworking spaces. Here you will find conference rooms at a reasonable fee and all the equipment that you will need for your presentation will be available for you at your request.
4. Be creative when it comes to meals
When you are foreign to a place, you can be lured to restaurants that are touristy and end up paying an arm and a leg for a meal. Evade this by consulting the locals about affordable restaurants that you can find healthy food at a cheaper rate. Alternatively, check local grocery stores for ready-made salads or supplies in case you have a kitchen where you can make your own meals. A trend with most restaurants is charging more for dinner than lunch even when the meals are relatively the same. You can leverage on this by making lunch your main meal, this way you can just have a snack for dinner. Make sure you use what you already have, if your hotel is offering breakfast in the package that you chose, do not miss it as it will save you a few dollars.
5. Put everything on the credit card
Take advantage of cash-back reward points when you purchase using a credit card. Instead of paying cash, use your credit back so that you can earn points. You can then use these points to trade them with travel expenses such as airfare, car rentals, and hotel bookings. Even if it doesn’t save you money on the current trip that you are on, a big chunk of travel expenditure for your next meeting will be taken care of.
6. Take an extra day or two
You may be in a hurry to get back home, but it is good to note that staying an extra day or two can save you money on airfare and hotel prices. Most airlines charge less in the middle of the week than on weekends, the same goes for some hotels. You can use the extra day to go sightseeing and tap into the benefits of leisure, or use the quiet of your hotel room to get some work done.
While saving money on a business trip seems like a daunting task, it is a possible affair if you are keen on where you spend your money. Make use of available information online to make a comparison for deals available and to stay informed on areas that you can cut back. If you have to send your employee, ensure that he or she is well informed and has a keen eye in spotting opportunities that can save money.