Businesses everywhere were happy to welcome the possibility of travel back in 2022, with employees finally able to set off on the road again.
However, given the current economic climate, individuals and businesses alike need to be especially conscious of travel budgets. Where once travel bookers might have focused on ensuring travel plans would meet their teams’ needs, they’re now under more pressure to book great value stays, too. With so many important factors to balance, it’s no wonder 45% of travel bookers worry about cost when booking.
With that in mind, here are some quick tips to help you balance budgets, while continuing to provide your teams with trips they can get excited about:
1. Consider the total cost
Unforeseen spending can creep up on otherwise affordable travel plans. So, you might want to consider paying more for a centrally located hotel, rather than a cheaper one on the outskirts – where you’ll incur transport costs.
Getting taxis to and from your destination could potentially end up costing more than a hotel near a train station. Factoring this in could make your trip more cost effective, convenient, and lighten your footprint on the planet, too.
2. Sign up and save
Some airlines, hotels and booking sites have platforms that you can sign up to that offer savings when travelling for business. Often free to sign up to, these solutions can make your travel spend go further.
It’s also worth thinking about when you book too. If you know that your travel plans are confirmed, booking further in advance is always a good idea and could save your company money.
3. Keep an eye on expenses
Have you ever spent a little over budget, while on the move? It’s easily done – but, thankfully, it’s also easily fixed. There are plenty of powerful tools out there to help you cap, manage, and analyse trip expenses.
So, rather than relying on reminding teams to submit their receipts or setting rules on what is or isn’t a valid business expense, look for a solution that allows you to stay in full control with transparent visibility over spend. Staying on budget means employees are adhering to their travel policy.
4. Prioritise flexibility
Trips don’t always go according to plan. Unforeseen circumstances can crop up at any step of the journey and can end up being costly if there aren’t measures in place to accommodate them.
Choose a solution with flexible rates – giving you the power of agility when you need it. When plans unexpectedly change and affect your workflows, it’s important that you can deploy a safety net to prevent unnecessary costs.
5. Maximise efficiency
How much time do you spend booking and managing travel for your teams? If you operate across different platforms and booking sites, keeping track of everything can become a time-consuming challenge (and things may slip through the cracks).
If you can, try to book all business trips via a single booking channel. Of course, there may be exceptions. But by staying consistent, reporting will be easier and you can maximise any potential savings available.
Of course, value isn’t just about hitting the lowest possible spend. It’s also a case of making sure that trips deliver everything your teams need – so remember to ask what features they think are non-negotiable, and which aspects of travel for work they could stand to compromise on.
For example, 59% of stayers we surveyed said that a comfy bedroom for a good night's sleep was very important to them. While 51% said that free Wi-Fi was the most important in-room facility while staying away for business. The answers for your employees may be different, so be sure to find out so you can make sure every trip meets the needs of both them and the budget.
Whatever kind of business takes your teams out on the road, we wish you all the success on your travels in the year to come.