This week’s guest blog is from Tim ‘the RoadWarrior’ Culbertson, who has 20+ years experience in business travel having done so as a Sales Executive & Sales Director for such international brands as: American Express & MoneyGram International. His travels haven taken him to all Top 50 cities & every region of the country & he’s learned that business travel can & should be an exciting adventure not simply an endurance course.
Traveling for business has never been cheap but in today’s economic climate or shrinking travel budgets it is all the more imperative to; manage, control, & reduce travel costs wherever possible.
Today I’ll share 3 easy to practice tips that focus on 3 key elements of business travel: air, car, & hotel expenses.
1ST, air is a significant cost. For years I used to go through a travel agent but this is no longer necessary & you may quickly reserve on line & pay less doing so. My favorite is Southwest which has on line fares that may be booked 1-3 weeks in advance & these fares are not available to their reservation agents. The discounts are essentially leisure fares not normally purchased by business travelers. Usually, these fares were 50%-70% less the normal unrestricted fares.
Also, Southwest does not ding you with any change fees nor do they charge for checked baggage which can run as high as $100-150 per trip. This benefit alone on 40 trips per annum is a savings of between $4,000 & $6,000.
2ND, two points on car expense. When arriving at your originating / home airport opt for long term, remote parking versus short term & typically covered parking. Rates for long term are almost always 50% the close in rate & you actually benefit by the exercise of walking a longer distance to the terminal. Also, many airports have shuttle service to get you to the terminal faster. Case in point at Denver Int. Airport the remote is $10 per day or a savings of $50 for a week & based on 40 annual trips a savings of, $2,000.
On rental cars the lowest rates are either in the budget or economy class. Often the rental agencies will have limited stock of these cars & will upgrade you to mid size or full size at your original booked price.
3RD, on hotels I recommend sticking to one or two brands. Look on line find the property you want but call them directly & explain that you prefer staying at their property but that a sister property is available at a lower rate. Usually, the sister property would be $20-$30 less & I’d then ask them to try & match the price. Usually they would or meet me somewhere in between. Using this tactic nearly always worked & I would estimate I saved my company $100-$150 per weekly. On 40 trips in a year that savings adds up to, $4,000 to $6,000 per annum.
In conclusion each of these steps if taken & taken consistently will add up to a significant chunk of coin & currency for your business. Good luck & Happy Trails on the Road to Success.