5 Tips for Maximizing Travel Expense Efficiency on Business Trips

Travel expense management

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Business travel is an essential aspect of any successful business, offering opportunities for growth and expansion. However, to ensure your corporate travel program delivers the best value, optimizing travel expense efficiency is crucial.. In this comprehensive guide, we will provide you with valuable insights to help you make informed decisions and extract the best value for your business.

Travel Expense Planning and Budgeting

  1. Setting a Realistic Budget: Before embarking on your business trip it is important to establish well-defined guidelines when it comes to corporate travel budgeting. This means taking the time to carefully draft a corporate travel policy, in order to limit any unnecessary spending. Consider all aspects, including accommodation, transportation, time-to-destination, meals and incidental expenses. 
  2. Consider Specialist Assistance: Corporate travel management companies specialize in nullifying the inefficiencies of business travel. They provide a number of services, from full-service travel management and 24/7 traveller assistance to maximizing reward programs and supporting green initiatives.

Accommodation Strategies

  1. Booking in Advance: Plan your accommodation well in advance to secure competitive rates and maximum availability. A well placed hotel can result into massive reductions in transportation costs. 
  2. Negotiated Rates: Corporate rates can be established with preferred hotels. Don’t have enough travel volume? Leverage the relationships of a corporate travel agency.
  3. Consider Alternative Options: Explore alternatives to traditional hotels, particularly if you find yourself booking last minute. Serviced apartments and vacation rentals can offer great value, as well as more space to work out of.

Transportation optimization

  1. Fly As Direct As Possible: Now, this might sound counter intuitive, because direct flights are often more expensive. However, the more changes you add to each trip, the more trouble you are exposed to. Turning up late to meetings because of unexpected weather, missing dinners because you got bumped… These things do happen. So, for the sake of a couple hundred dollars, it often pays off to take the shorter flight.
  2. Opting for Ground Transportation Alternatives: Evaluate the most efficient transportation options to suite your requirements. Car rentals, private drivers and even public transport can make for efficient and comfortable travel in select cities.

Meal Planning

  1. Meal Allowance Policies: Establish clear expense guidelines when it comes to your meal allowance policy. Consider the cost of living standards of each destination and ensure these policies are clearly communicated to employees. Transparency is key to avoiding ambiguity.
  2. Exploring Local Cuisine: Encouraging employees to venture beyond the walls of their hotel will encourage a more leisurely aspect to their business trip. Your employees will come back happier and their bill could well be cheaper.

Expense Tracking and Reporting

  1. Streamlining Expense Submission: Make your expense submission process easy by utilizing digital tools to track cost. Minimizing manual data entry and paperwork will allow your employees to focus on their business trip, without the need for a headache when they get home.
  2. Implementing Policy Compliance: Regularly review your corporate travel policies to ensure that they are up to date and only require relevant information. Include employees in the decision making process to ensure they feel heard when drafting travel policy. The easier your policy is to follow, the more likely employees are to comply.

Our Conclusion

The strategies outlined in this article, if implemented correctly, can go some way to cutting back on wasteful spending. However, it is important to note that each business should have their limit when it comes to cutting back on their corporate travel expenditure. Compromising your employees comfort can cost far more than you might save on a cheap overnight airfare. If your employees aren’t 100% when they arrive at their meetings, they wont perform optimally and your business will suffer as a result.

Need Help With Your Corporate Travel Management?

Writing a Corporate Travel Policy?

Just as we have produced a detailed article on how to maximize travel expense efficiency, we have also prepared information on How to Write a Watertight Corporate Travel Policy.

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