The Importance of Forward Planning
Urgent business meetings can require last minute bookings to be made, usually reducing your choice of airline and flight time options unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price.
Often these are unavoidable and should be accounted for in your overall travel budget. However it is crucial to forward plan your travel, whenever possible.
For instance, if you know that you’re going to be travelling from Auckland to Wellington for a business meeting once a fortnight, booking in advance will typically see you fly for under $200 one way or $400 for a return fare at peak travel times. Compare this to booking the day before - which could see you paying over $300 one way or approximately $600 return, resulting in an approximate increase of 50 per cent. With an average of 20 business trips to Wellington per year, you’re quickly looking down the barrel of a few thousand dollars in potential savings, all by planning in advance.
The same theory applies if you’re planning work trips for a busy executive – the red-eye flight or the economy class long haul can be very tempting when it comes to saving money but you need to determine whether the objective of the trip outweighs the potential savings you might make. By planning ahead, you can organise flights at the most preferable time while still grabbing a great deal- and allow for an extra day to rest and get up to speed before meetings.
Planning ahead can actually make business trips comfortable and allow recovery time for travellers. It’s all about striking the right balance between saving money and making smart decisions for both your business and your employees who are required to travel, whether it’s locally or overseas.
If you do find yourself caught out at the last minute, which is bound to happen at some stage or another, don’t hesitate to give your travel agent or your travel management company a call. The benefit here is that they often have first-hand relationships with the airline or supplier directly and may be able to negotiate a better deal than what’s being offered online.