In today’s corporate set-up, employees have the convenience to gain new information that is crucial for their career development, all thanks to the internet and digital platforms.
However, there are certain tasks, activities, and training which cannot be easily done while sitting in front of the computer. We’re talking about closing deals, networking, leadership seminars, and relationship building.
Therefore, corporate travel is still relevant these days. When executed properly, business-sponsored trips can boost your employees’ morale, thus improving their productivity and helping your business grow.
Having said that, planning corporate travel is not a piece of cake either. With a lot of moving parts in the equation, this endeavor can be quite challenging to plan, and single oversight can lead to expensive mistakes.
Believe it or not, there are a lot of ways you could be spending too much on your corporate travel. So to help you out, we have compiled in this post several ways that can help you avoid these costs and make your travel program as productive and cost-efficient as possible.
Develop Clear Travel Policies
Having clear travel policies is the first step to control your travel expense. Your business’ travel policy will allow you to identify what is – and what is not – an acceptable travel cost. It also helps you monitor your overall travel expenses more effectively, and determine if the proposed budget should be reviewed and/or revised.
Here are pointers to remember when creating your corporate travel policy:
- Include all expenses for food, lodging, transportation, and entertainment.
- Have your legal advisor review your travel policy before you distribute it to your employees.
- Outline the acceptable travel expense.
- Include specific instructions on how to file expense reports.
- Include the key person whom employees can submit their expense reports.
- Set a deadline for expense reports.
- Review it annually and update as necessary to cover rising travel cost.
- Identify specific travel agents, hotels, car services, or any travel vendors with whom you’ve partner with.
Book the Flights Online
With the help of technology, you can now book your business trip online, allowing you to save a great deal of time and money in the process. This is because if you book your flight offline, the airline company will charge you for the activities and personal interaction that their agent has rendered to you.
If you’re not required to book your flight through your designated travel agency, we recommend you to book your flight online either through the airline’s website or through a third-party sites and apps available in the market today. Just make sure to thoroughly check the confirmation page to make sure that there’s no booking fee included in the final payment. That said…
Keep an Eye on Add–On Airline Fees
From larger leg room, choosing a seat, change fees, rebooking, etc. – there are a lot of ways airlines can drain your corporate travel budget without you even knowing it. Before budgeting for your corporate travel, be mindful of the average cost of these hidden airline fees, as discussed by Real Simple:
- Carry-on bag: free to $45.
- Checked baggage: first bag: free to $45. Second bag: Free to $55. Third bag: $50 to $150.
- Pet boarding: $10 to $200.
- Flight-reservation cancellation or change: free to $150.
- Over-the-phone and in-person booking: free to $45.
- In-flight TV or movie: free to $8.
- In-flight Wi-Fi: $5 to $14 for a 24-hour unlimited pass.
- Unaccompanied minor: free to $100.
- Extra legroom and picking a seat: $4 to $199.
- Snack: free to $10.
- Meal: $3 to $14.
- Non-alcoholic drink: free to $10.
- Alcoholic drink: $5 to $10.
- Pillow or blanket: free to $10.
Avoid Hidden Hotel Fees
Just like airline companies, many hotels earn billions of dollars in revenue just by charging “add-on” fees for services that they consider as a standard. These fees often include newspaper delivery, use of exercise room, swimming pool, and other facilities of the hotel.
Moreover, you need to be aware of hotel service charges that tend to increase each year, such as housekeeping fees, concierge fees, energy-use fees, and even Wi-Fi cost. There are even some hotels that charge you extra bucks before they allow to keep your bags for a few hours after you check out.
To avoid these hidden hotel fees, the best thing that you can do is to conduct an extensive research prior to booking. First, it’s best to call the hotel and ask which fees will apply to your stay. For unbiased information, you can also check on hotel review sites such as Trip Advisor and Oyster to cross out any hotels that have received negative feedbacks not only on their hidden fees but on their overall service as well.
Work with Chauffeured Car Service Provider
Having a reliable chauffeured service provider is another excellent way to achieve significant cost-savings on your next business travel. Instead of renting cars or forcing your employees to hail a local taxi, partnering with a corporate car service will take your worries away about the costs of insurance, mileage fees, and repairs should anything happen while you and your employees are away.
Also, even with Google Maps, the chance of your getting lost is high if you’re driving a rental car in an unfamiliar city. The time you spend driving around trying to find your hotel or the location of your conference could be better spent when you have a knowledgeable driver that can help you arrive on time for whatever activities you have on your business trip.
Should you be planning a business trip to an unfamiliar city or just want to maximise your time and budget on your next business trip, chauffeured car services such as Hyryde is here to help you with all your ground transportation needs – anywhere you are in the globe.