If you own an online business, you might still have to engage in business travel, perhaps seeing your clients, finding investors, or visiting trade shows.
When it comes to business trips, things can get expensive. Plane tickets, hotels, meals, and transportation can cost a lot. Business trips can take their toll on your credit cards.
This article discusses various business travel saving tips for small business owners.
Finding the Right Plane Tickets
One of the most expensive parts of any journey will be the plane fare. So naturally, you want to find the cheapest tickets, at least if you're going to save the most money. A great place to find cheap tickets is Booking.com
1. Finding Your Flight
One great tip for saving money on your flight is to find your flight before you book your meetings. If you first book your meeting, you will then have no choice but to take the flights that will allow you to make your meeting. This could mean that you have to pay for an expensive flight that you would otherwise never pay for it. However, if you book your flight first, you can always book your meetings afterward to match. This will allow you to find the most cost-effective flights.
Expedia is one of the world's leading full-service online travel brands helping travelers easily plan and book their whole trip
2. Trying the Lower-Rated Airlines
We all wanted to travel by airlines that treat us right and provide us with good food, but that said, those things all cost money. If you're not too picky, you can always go for the lower-rated or budget airlines that business travelers usually don't go for. You might have to deal with minor issues and inconveniences, but flying unpopular airlines can save money.
3. Carry-on Baggage Only
Checking bringing baggage on an airplane can become expensive. If you need to check several bags, you can end up paying extra money. If you’re going on a week-long trip, you're probably not going to have any other option but to bring a full-size suitcase.
That said, if you're just going for a few days, you can take carry-on baggage. Virtually all airlines allow you to bring carry-on bags on board free of cost. Being efficient at packing and only carrying the necessities for your business trip can save you money – and time. The fewer things you bring, the less money you will have to pay to transport them. You also won’t have to wait for your luggage to be unloaded from the plane.
Keeping Transportation in Mind
Now that you know how to save money on your plane let’s move on to saving money on transportation once you get to your destination.
Your Vehicle: Pre-Travel
You're going to need to travel to the airport first, which means driving there. If possible, do not park in the airport parking lot because the prices they charge are outrageous. Instead, look for offsite parking, as this will lead to huge savings. Better yet, don’t drive to the airport. Airport shuttles and public transportation will save you money compared to paying for parking for the length of your trip.
Look for a Hotel with an Airport Shuttle
Booking a hotel with an airport shuttle will be much cheaper than paying for a taxi to get to the airport when you're at your destination.
Uber Does the Trick
Learning how to use Uber, which is a far more cost-effective transportation method than using a taxi or renting a car.
Renting a Car with the Right Credit Card
If you travel a lot on business and frequently rent cars, you want to look for a rental service tied together with your hotel, as this can often bring savings. Moreover, using a credit card that pays for the vehicle insurance car can save as much as $20 per day.
Finding the Right Hotel
Let’s go over how to choose the right hotel to save the most money.
Use Hotel Booking Apps
Apps like booking.com or hotels.com can find good deals on hotels. Tripadvisor.com is primarily consumer-generated information about hotels and activities, in addition to links to budget booking sites. You can find reviews and also compare pricing and amenities at their listed hotels.
In addition, large hotel chains like Marriott and IHG have their own apps, giving you discounts and offering loyalty program rewards. Hoteltonight.com can help you book last-minute accommodations at fantastic rates if you’re somewhat flexible. Never book directly on a hotel’s website. If you look hard enough, you can always find the same hotel room cheaper than you would on the hotel’s website.
You Want Wi-Fi
Look for a hotel with Wi-Fi included for free. As an online business owner, you will need the internet to work. Moreover, look for a hotel that has a good internet connection.
Look for Included Meals
Many hotels come with at least one free meal, which is most often a breakfast buffet. One less meal to pay for.
Does it Really Have to be 5-Star?
Do you really need a 5-star hotel for a three-day business trip? The point is that you need to choose between paying for luxury and saving money while sacrificing a few amenities.
Check for Coupons
Many hotels still offer coupons for their rooms. You might not always find coupons for your specific hotel, but it doesn't hurt to look. For example, are you traveling as a group for a particular business meeting? In that case, check with the hotel to see if they can offer discounts on rooms for mass bookings. Quite possibly, if it’s a big meeting or convention, hotels will already have blocks of rooms for participants at reduced rates.
Saving Money on Food
You're going to need to eat as well, so let's talk about how to save money on food while on your business trip.
Grocery Store Meals
The best way to save money on food is to buy it at grocery stores instead of paying for cooked meals. This is because grocery stores are always cheaper than restaurants.
Aim for Lunch
If you are going to eat big meals at restaurants, aim for lunch because lunch is always cheaper than dinner.
Coupons Can Help
Yes, you can always find tons of coupons for various restaurants around, especially for fast food joints.
Those Deductible Business Expenses and More
Most of these things you spend money on for business purposes qualify as business travel expenses, which are tax-deductible. Tax deductions might not save money at the moment, but they will allow you to deduct them at your next tax filing.
How to Make Business Travel Easier and More Efficient?
Some ways to make business travel easier are by consolidating your packing, sleeping on the plane, staying hydrated, and maintaining consistency.
How Do I Become a Business Traveler?
- Try using only a carry-on bag
- Keep your essentials packed in between trips,
- Pack only the necessities,
- Always pack with security checkpoints in mind,
- Never forget your essential grooming items and sleep aids.
How Do You Survive Traveling for Work?
- Try making time for yourself
- Take opportunities to go home
- Always get exercise
- Maintain the value of personal time
- Stay in good hotels
- Limit your trips to two weeks or less
Whether you are an online business owner or not, business trips can be costly. However, if you are spending money for business purposes, it can usually qualify as business expenses for tax deductions. Remember that finding the right airline tickets, using the right credit cards, trying to eat affordable business meals, and more will allow for significant savings. Hopefully the business travel saving tips for small business owners listed in this article have helped you plan a more cost effective business trip.