Navigating Business Travel: Tips for Quality and Affordability
Today's world is full of opportunities to connect online. Businesses can interact with new and potential customers through social media, company websites, webinars, and more. But the old-fashioned way of doing business, face-to-face, will never be replaced. Whether you or your employees need to travel to woo an important client, give a presentation, attend a trade show, or something else, the value of knowing how to find business travel discounts cannot be overstated.
Why Business Travel Matters
When you or your employees travel for work, it's an opportunity to showcase your company's commitment to quality and success. By providing comfortable accommodations that reflect the standards of your organization, you're not only signaling success to your customers but also boosting your team's morale. This positive approach ensures that your employees carry a confident and professional demeanor during business interactions on the trip.
Business travel remains a vital aspect of how thriving companies operate, fostering genuine connections through face-to-face meetings and personal deal-making. It's a practice that reinforces collaboration, trust, and achievement within the business community.
The Role of Planning in Business Travel
Large corporations have entire departments whose sole mission is to plan corporate travel. Smaller companies have corporate travel agencies to handle all their business travel needs. All this dedication and expense is because planning business travel is crucial for good results.
It's essential for employees to have confidence in their travel arrangements, especially when they have important meetings or events scheduled. Planning travel in advance and implementing clear guidelines for business expenses ensures that your company's budget is used wisely. By making thoughtful travel decisions and encouraging a responsible approach to expense accounts, you are promoting good business practices that reflect your company's commitment to efficiency and success.
Planning ahead—like the ability to reserve a parking spot at a busy airport—takes the fear out of flying and helps maintain professionalism and control for your company and employees who travel on business.
Why Saving on Business Travel Matters
Travel expenses can be a significant burden for both companies and individual business travelers. For companies, the costs associated with flights, accommodations, meals, and transportation can quickly add up, especially if business trips are frequent. These expenses can eat into the company's profits and may lead to budget constraints in other areas. For business travelers, managing travel expenses can be a stressful task. They must often adhere to strict company policies and budgets, which can limit options and complicate travel planning. The financial strain of travel can also impact employees' overall morale and productivity, particularly if they feel costs are excessive or poorly managed.
Finding ways to save on business trips doesn't necessarily mean sacrificing quality. Companies can reduce travel expenses by carefully planning and utilizing cost-saving strategies—such as booking in advance, using airport parking discounts, partnering with preferred vendors, or taking advantage of corporate discounts on business travel—without compromising the travel experience. This approach allows businesses to allocate resources more effectively and can lead to significant savings over time.
Employees can enjoy comfortable accommodations and convenient travel arrangements while the company benefits from a more streamlined and economical travel process. The balance between cost-saving and quality ensures business travel remains a viable and valuable aspect of the company's operations without becoming a financial burden.
8 Ideas for Saving on Business Travel
Business travel can involve numerous steps, but fortunately, it presents many savings opportunities. Consider the following:
1. Maintain Flexibility When Scheduling Flights
Leverage online booking tools to see when airline fares are higher or lower. Plan ahead so you have flexibility in your travel dates. This may involve checking online fares first and then booking client meetings around lower fares instead of the other way around. In this way, you could save hundreds on plane tickets.
2. Research Travel Bundles
Many third-party websites and travel agencies offer bundles on flights, hotel stays, and car rentals. With these deals, you can often save a tremendous amount of money compared to booking each need separately.
3. Don't Check Your Bags
Savvy business travelers skip checking bags to avoid potentially lost luggage and long wait times at the baggage carousel. Plus, there's a cost-benefit to only traveling with a carry-on. Airlines charge exorbitant fees nowadays for checked bags; checking bags for multiple business flights can cost hundreds. If you must take product samples or displays with you, shipping them via FedEx or UPS might cost less before you head to your destination.
4. Join Frequent Flyer Programs & Memberships
If you plan to travel often, airline frequent flyer programs and other memberships enable you to earn points, savings, and even gifts. At The Parking Spot, we created the Spot Club to allow our members to earn free parking, waive reservation fees, and other deals and airport parking discounts.
5. Pick up the Phone to Negotiate Discounts
If you call a company directly, you can often find better discounts than advertised. First, ask hotels and rental companies (or even dry cleaners) about any specials they can offer. Sometimes it's effective to "start a bidding war"—for example, you can let the support agent know you've found a competitor who quoted you a specific price and ask if they can match or even beat it. Human-to-human communication is powerful.
6. Take Advantage of Coupons
Groupon and RetailMeNot are your friends. You can find fantastic deals on accommodations, rental cars, and more. Sometimes, you can find discounts of up to 90% off regular retail prices. There are many other coupon websites, so don't limit yourself to these two; shop for the best bargains.
7. Take Advantage of Free Hotel Meals
Many hotels offer complimentary continental breakfast and meal vouchers or discounts for nearby restaurants. Ask about this when you check-in. For between-meal munchies, hit a grocery store and buy healthy snacks you don't have to cook and can carry with you, such as protein bars or fruits and veggies.
8. Consider Airbnb or VRBO for Accommodations
Vacation rentals hosted by private parties tend to be more cost-effective than hotels or short-term rentals managed by companies. While many people consider Airbnb and VRBO personal travel destinations, discount-savvy business travelers know better. Sometimes, you can rent a room, apartment, or home for less than $50 per night. These rental marketplaces are worth considering.
Exploring the Best Discounts on Business Travel
Many global, local, and private associations and agencies are dedicated to offering discounts on business travel. You might even be missing out on perks offered by memberships you already have.
Your bank or credit union, credit card issuer, insurance provider, or workers union may have existing discounts arranged with travel-related service providers, so do some digging.
For example, AAA members can leverage discounts on Hertz car rentals and savings on parking with The Parking Spot. Another example is Love My Credit Union's discounts of up to 60% on resort and hotel stays, among other awesome perks. Look into what unknown travel offers you might access through the companies and associations you already do business with.
Travel service providers place a high value on business travelers. Business travel guests represent a large percentage of annual spending, so providers like hotels, car rental agencies, and airlines compete for corporate travel business because they know loyalty pays off.
Travel services providers often offer companies special corporate rates or packages. These rates may be fixed or negotiated directly with the company.
Corporate travel discounts exist in different forms, such as:
- Corporate car rental rates
- Corporate hotel rates
- Corporate airfares
Consider enrolling your company in as many corporate travel discount programs as possible to benefit from the following.
Corporate rates can save your business a substantial amount of money. A generous program may also provide the ability to track spending. Examples include expense tracking with The Parking Spot corporate accounts.
Administering corporate travel can be time-consuming and stressful. Corporate discount programs often streamline the process by offering tools and parking apps to make booking and monitoring easy.
Corporate travel programs can help companies maintain travel policies, offering more control and transparency. A great example of this is The Parking Spot's reservation system.
When your employees have to travel for work, large and small perks can make trips more enjoyable and employees more productive. Examples include designated parking spots and free shuttles to and from vehicles.
Top Tips to Save on Airport Parking
Reserve Online With The Parking Spot
Utilize The Parking Spot's online reservation system or mobile app to find and reserve your parking spot.
Take Advantage of Corporate Partnerships
Companies can partner with The Parking Spot to create customized reports and gain insights into travel expenses, potentially saving an average of 20% on all airport parking reservations and getting discounted airport parking.
Join the Spot Club
The Parking Spot offers a Spot Club program for ticketless entry and exit, mobile checkout, and tracking shuttles through the airport.
- Benefit Employees: Employees can enjoy airport parking savings for business and personal travel.
- Book in Advance: Reserve a spot in advance through The Parking Spot app or online to ensure availability and potentially access special rates.
- Monitor Savings: Businesses can get detailed savings breakdowns using a corporate account (versus a retail account), helping them make informed decisions on parking reservations.
Track Expenses: With a corporate account and the Spot Club, companies can take advantage of expense tracking to help manage their travel budgets.
These strategies emphasize the importance of planning, leveraging corporate partnerships, and utilizing technology to achieve significant savings on airport parking, enhancing the overall travel experience for both companies and individual travelers.
Corporate Travel Perks and Reward Programs
Corporate travel perks and reward programs offer significant advantages to businesses and their employees. Companies can leverage exclusive benefits such as discounted rates, priority boarding, and free upgrades to enhance employee travel experiences by participating in these programs. Specific loyalty programs like American Express Business Travel and Marriott Bonvoy Business Card provide tailored rewards that cater to corporate travelers' needs. These benefits make travel more enjoyable for employees and contribute to cost savings for the company. By integrating these reward programs into their travel policies, businesses can foster a more satisfying and efficient travel experience for their teams.
Case Study: Real-Life Savings on Business Travel
Saving money on business travel isn't a fantasy, and it doesn't require once-in-a-lifetime astral alignments or membership in a secret society. It's done every day, all over the world. Here is a real-life success story of a business that saved significantly on its corporate travel expenses.
A travel agency in Australia reports they were able to help a well-known electronics company save money on their travel spending. With an annual travel spend of just over $2 million, this major brand was open to any discounts for business travel the agency could conjure up.
But first, the travel agency had some challenges to face. Specifically, any discounts had to be able to be implemented within the following parameters:
- Flexible fares so travel dates could change
- No formal guidelines or structure for booking business travel
- No excess reliance on any single airline
The travel agency offered the following solutions:
- Leveraging "best fare of the day" fares by two airline networks
- Implementing a 14-day advance booking policy for domestic travel
- Creating a pre-trip approval process so individual travelers were held to standards
- Running corporate savings reports to make costs and savings transparent
The results were impressive. Within three months, travel spending for this electronics company dropped 21%, reaching about $100k in savings.
Maximizing Business Travel: Savings and Strategies
Seeking business travel discounts and cost-saving options can offer tremendous benefits. By actively pursuing these opportunities, companies can significantly reduce expenses without sacrificing quality, ensuring business travel remains a viable and valuable aspect of operations.
Explore available offers and make the most out of corporate travel perks. Leveraging reward programs and exclusive benefits can lead to a more satisfying and efficient travel experience for employees, fostering a positive organizational travel culture.
One opportunity to explore is The Parking Spot, a service offering convenient and affordable airport parking solutions. Utilizing this service can further enhance the overall travel experience, adding to an array of perks that can make business travel more accessible and enjoyable. By embracing these cost-saving strategies, companies can create a travel program that aligns with their financial goals and supports the well-being of traveling employees.
More Advice from Travel Tips by The Parking Spot
If you travel for business, take a look at the business travel advice collected from our veteran road warriors. You should also sign up for the Spot Club to be notified of sales and discounts.
- Our travel experts collected a list of the best airports for business travelers.
- Road warriors know how tough it is getting through security and baggage claim. Here are some tips for efficient packing for air travel.
- Loyalty programs, credit card points, and other business travel discount plans contribute to keeping travel budgets in line.
- Even more how to save money on business travel tips and tricks.
- International travelers know TSA plans can help smooth the way through airports.
- What time, day, or month is the best time to fly? Find out now.
- Still more money saving flying hacks. Bon voyage!