Here are a few of the best ways to lower your business travel expenses:
1. Book in advance. Last-minute travel is sometimes unavoidable in business, but when you have time to schedule a trip far in advance, it can result in huge savings.
2. Take advantage of rewards programs. Pretty much every hotel chain and airline has a rewards program for its frequent customers, offering free stays or free flights. While it’s not especially practical for large corporations to incorporate those rewards into their travel costs, companies with a smaller head count can use those to chip away at costs by hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year.
3. Watch the add-on fees. Despite what it might seem, flying hasn’t gotten more expensive in recent years. But incremental fees, like seat upgrades, checked luggage fees and in-flight meals are helping carriers boost their revenues.
4. Seek alternatives. Flying into major airport hubs is convenient, but you sometimes pay a lot for that convenience. It’s always a good idea to investigate the cost of flying into small and mid-sized regional airports that are a little further out — especially if it’s a last-minute trip.
5. Weigh the incidental costs. Just as they do on airlines, little things add up when you’re on the road. That makes it even more important to compare costs in advance. Is it cheaper in the long run to rent a car or take Uber, Lyft or a cab? Does your hotel charge for internet access?