How to Save on Your Travel
Business travel is often reported as the third highest expense to an organisation so it’s one of the first areas that a company looks to, to try and make savings.
The key to driving a savings culture within your company is to set expectations and find the right balance between cost ownership by your employees without compromising their travel experience. It also helps to clearly communicate what you’re trying to achieve and what the savings will be used for, for instance it might be redeployed into new initiatives to benefit the business.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to business travellers, particularly when you’re trying to identify the right airfares for your staff. It’s often a balancing act between purchasing smart saver fares where you can, and using flexible airfares for travel that is susceptible to change so you won’t be hit with hefty additional charges due to last minute changes.
A current cost saving trend is for business travellers to fly in economy but with the additional benefits to make their experience a positive one, such as exit row bookings and the inclusion of meals and entertainment. There are plenty of ‘business class products’ that can now be incorporated into an economy class fare.
It’s similar once you’re on the ground and it pays to have a hotel programme in place as a business, which your travellers are encouraged and rewarded for using. While there are perceived savings for last minute accommodation websites, this is often outweighed by the time spent looking for accommodation and the additional charges that are frequently incorporated into these bookings such as credit card fees on a per passenger basis. It also reduces your ability to negotiate with your preferred supplier because booking with a variety of providers dilutes your overall spend.
If your organisation partners with a travel management company, they should assist and put recommended processes in place to make sure you are booking the appropriate airfares and hotels for your travel needs, while driving cost savings at the same time.
With increased online availability for both the business and leisure traveller, there is a huge range of information readily available. For your personal holidays, tips and tricks you can easily put into practise include adjusting your flight times so you travel mid-week rather than on the weekends and travelling during ‘shoulder season’ – the months just before and after peak season – to avoid peak rates.