Everyone who travels for business knows the mundane routine you go through every trip—catch your flight, attend meetings, social mixers, dinners and other activities with clients or colleagues. When you start to factor in the costs of airfare, hotel booking, transportation, daily meals and per diem—business trips start to add up to a hefty expenditure, especially if you have multiple employees traveling.
If you’ve ever been in the position to set budgets for your Houston business, then you know a significant portion of that budget is consumed by the high cost of business travel. For example, as a worldwide destination management service in Houston; we have to send employees to industry events around the country. The costs associated with those trips can be a strain on an operating budget.
4 Tips To Save Your Company Money on Business Travel
What if we were to tell you that there was a sensible way to reduce the costs of your business trips and help save your company money? Is that something you might be interested in? We thought so—keep reading for a few tips for saving on business travel in Houston.
Advance Bookings Offer Big Savings
You’ve traveled before, you know how expensive flights and hotel reservations can be. Hotels and airlines realize they are a commodity—you need their services to get around the world. Because of this simple fact, they can charge steep prices when you book last minute because time is of the essence. Hotels will advise you that they have a limited number of rooms, even if they have plenty. Airlines will advise you that flights are filling up and can’t guarantee the flight you want will be available if you shop around first. They thrive on last-minute travelers and the urgency to book. When you book in advance, however, it gives you more options and because the airlines and hotels know that, they do tend to offer better deals to lure price shoppers. You don’t have to book a year in advance, just a few months in most cases—and it could save your company hundreds of dollars or much more. Essentially, at all costs avoid last minute bookings.
Work The Rewards Systems
If you haven’t already signed up for travel rewards programs for personal travel, take a moment and do that for your own benefit. However, have you signed up your company for those rewards programs too? Many airlines and hotel chains offer rewards for corporate travel as well as personal. All you have to do is sign up, there’s no cost involved and you earn points just for using their services—which can be redeemed for many things including flights, hotel stays, and more.
In fact, one of the most generous and unique rewards programs in the travel industry is the Hilton Honors® program by Hilton hotels. Their program grants you ten points per dollar spent, which is quite generous in the industry. In addition to earning points Honors® members also get complimentary Wi-fi, (average of $9.99 per night at most hotels) Honors® only discounted room rates, as well as other perks at their Gold and Diamond Levels. Also, a unique feature is that you can use your points not only for hotel stays but also on Amazon.com to shop. When you factor that into business expenses, you can earn from corporate travel, and then alternatively use the points to purchase office supplies on Amazon. Not a bad way to make traveling pay.
Airlines and hotels also partner with various credit card issuers and allow you to earn their points using their branded credit cards, such as the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Visa issued by Chase. The way you work these types of systems is sign up for your preferred airline’s credit card, and also your preferred hotel chain’s card. Use them like debit cards for corporate purchases and whatever your company spends in a week, pay it off completely just as you would if you wrote a check or used a debit card.
This allows you to earn maximum points, simply alternate cards every week and you will rack up points for airfare and hotel for purchases you would be making anyway and not getting anything in return.
Consider changing your corporate travel policy
Every business has a corporate travel policy, but is yours allowing employees too much freedom when it comes to allowable reimbursed purchases on their trip? Sure, you want to offer to reimburse your employees for three meals a day, but you don’t need to pay for everything like coffee breaks and snacks unless they’re business related. Encourage your employees to take advantage of free continental breakfasts at their hotel to save even more.
Establish A Corporate Account With A Transportation Provide
Renting a car can be expensive, especially on extended corporate trips. Not only do you incur the rental expense, but also you must insure your employees driving it and the cost of fuel. Then, of course, there’s the lost productivity while employees are driving to and from business meetings and functions while in town.
You could expense out taxi service or rideshares but we’ve already covered the disadvantages of rideshare services. Not to mention, those trips can add up in large cities when airports are busy and the prices surge and you aren’t exactly exhibiting a professional image arriving or taking clients in an rideshare.
When you open an account with a transportation provider like Excelsior Transportation you receive a level of executive service that rideshares and taxis cannot match. We provide destination management services in Houston to many Fortune 500 companies who are corporate clients. They, in turn, get a reputable company with reasonable pricing and service that projects a professional and polished image to their clients that exceed the high standards of the industry that rideshares can’t deliver on.
Put These Tips To Work—Start By Contacting Us!
We know these tips will make an impact on the efficiency of your company’s travel budget. Being the number one destination management service in Houston, we serve clients worldwide and know the expenses can put a damper on other areas of company needs. Don’t overspend on taxis and unprofessional rideshares—contact us today to set up a corporate account and see the savings we can offer you and the professional image we deliver on!