Business travel, as we well know, has its costs. From flights and accommodation to meals and transportation, each trip comes with a slew of transactions.
The challenge with managing business travel expenses, compared to other operational costs, is its decentralised nature. While other expenditures might be overseen by department heads or office administrators, travel expenses are often managed through a series of chaotic email threads, which can make things hard to keep track of, not to mention optimization for cost saving.
And as business travel rebounds, it’s important to keep an eye on expenses, so they don’t get out of hand. The good news is, no matter how frequently or infrequently your company travels, there are a number of relatively easy ways you can save.
1. Implement and enforce a clear travel policy
Having a clear and detailed corporate travel policy is the first step. It’ll outline preferred vendors, booking procedures, allowed expenditures, and reimbursement processes. When employees are aware of company guidelines, unexpected expenses are less likely to arise.
As a side note, when you book travel through a smart platform like Tumodo, you’ll be able to keep an eye on policy offenders — for example, individuals who’ve sought approval for out-of-policy trips the most often, or which teams spend the most.
2. Leverage your tech
Many travel management solutions offer a bounty of benefits. Most can automatically scan for the best rates, alert travellers about potential savings opportunities, and provide insights into spending patterns so you can make necessary adjustments.
Using an integrated system like Tumodo can help you oversee all travel arrangements from A to Z, ensuring you capitalise on the most economical options for your company.
3. Book in advance
This might seem obvious, but the advantages of early bookings can't be emphasised enough. Flight and accommodation costs can soar (pun unintended) closer to the date of travel. Encourage your employees to plan their trips and make reservations well in advance to secure the best deals and thus, cut costs.
4. Travel off-peak
If possible, avoid travelling during peak times like holidays or major events in the destination city. Fares are generally higher during these periods. Instead, aim for shoulder seasons or days when travel demand is lower.
5. Make friends with your vendors
Plant the seed and the fruit will grow. Building long-term relationships with specific airlines, hotel chains, or rental agencies can lead to loyalty discounts, cash back, and benefits.
Be sure to regularly review partnerships and negotiate deals based on the volume of business you provide your vendors.
6. Review and analyse travel data
Data can also be your friend. It provides invaluable insights and allows you to unearth spending patterns and refine your budget accordingly. This, in turn, can pave the way for reduced travel costs.
For example, by looking at your data, you might find out that specific departments or teams are consistently booking outside of set policies. You could solve this problem with a platform like Tumodo by only allowing upper management to book outside of your established policy.
7. Centralize everything
And once again, we’re back on the topic of centralisation. Rather than allowing every department or employee to make their own travel arrangements, why not consider centralising all your business travel processes?
Tumodo offers an all-in-one business travel platform for simplifying and streamlining your travel processes, from bookings and payments to data and analytics — all of which result in optimised travel expenses and a better business travel experience for all parties involved.
Remember, cutting costs doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort or convenience. It's about making better choices, planning ahead, and leveraging your available resources.
If you’re looking for a helping hand in crafting the perfect business travel strategy for your business, get in touch with us today for a free consultation.