If you are trying to save cash on business travel, you probably don’t fly first class and check multiple websites prior to booking flights and hotel rooms. If you’re doing those things, you’re a step ahead of many travelers. A staggering 488 million business trips are taken in the U.S. each year, according to The Global Business Travel Association. This number is why many entrepreneurs’ want to learn how to save on business travel expenses.
Take a look at these ten tricks that can help you save money each time someone hits the road or flies the friendly skies.
1. Use off-site parking
If you’re driving your own vehicle to the airport, you should check out discount airport parking sites. You will need it allow some additional time riding shuttles, but can save up to 70 percent by utilizing off-site parking versus parking in lots that are operated by the airport.
2. Use airfare email alerts
To save money on your next trip, set up Airfare Alerts for the routes that are leaving your location or for specific city-to-city routes. Once you are signed up, you’ll get an email sent to you when the airfare prices drop and are offered at rock bottom prices. Make sure to watch for how many connections you have and the length of layovers before booking a cheap flight.
3. Try less popular airlines
You may have your favorite airline, but go for the less popular ones and you can find much cheaper flights. Keep in mind that budget airlines have low base prices but often charge for everything else. Make sure to do the math before booking it to ensure you are getting a deal.
You can often save a lot flying with budget airlines if you’re flexible and read the fine print.
4. Travel with carry-on bags only
Whether you’re flying commercial flights or want pricing for private aviation, make sure to find out the charges associated with checking bags. If possible, avoid checking bags altogether so you can eliminate charges and simplify the trip.
How many things do you really need? Pack smarter so you can take just a carry-on bag for trips. You’re often allowed a personal item too like a large purse or brief case that could fit a laptop.
Traveling with carry-on only alleviates waiting for bags and less hassle, in addition to the money savings and not having the fear of your luggage failing to make it to your travel destination. Make sure your carry-on bag meets the dimensions and weight requirements and that you don’t pack liquids and personal care items that won’t make it through security.
5. Rent your parked car
You may have taken the time to find smart ways to save in the office and you can easily save while traveling too. If you want free parking while on your business trip, you can use a service like FlightCar. It charges nothing and rents your car out to others. Not only can you save on parking fees, you can make some cash in rental earnings too.
6. Use Uber
Many travelers have found Uber is less expensive than using taxis, plus the company website states clearly that tipping is not necessary. Learn how to use Uber app tools so you can check rates and confirm the quote for your ride. Uber offers a lot of positives from earning opportunities for free rides, choosing drivers based on their ratings, and its convenience and reliability. No more waiting outside for 30 minutes hoping a taxi will pick you up and not knowing if your driver will be rude, in a hurry and expect a generous tip.
7. Book a hotel with a shuttle
It’s easy to spend $40 or even more on a ride from airports to your destination. Check for hotels options that offer free shuttles to and from the airport. It’s worth paying a few dollars more for a hotel room if it saves on taxi fares.
8. Take advantage of hotel breakfasts
If your hotel offers breakfast – even just bagels, juice and coffee, eat it so you can eat a lighter lunch later. Hotels that offer complimentary breakfast can save you at least $10. Take this benefit into account when you select your hotel – it will save you time in the mornings too.
9. Buy meals from grocery stores
Slash your meal budget by finding a grocery store located nearby your hotel. Purchase sandwich makings and salads or head to the deli for some food you can take back to your room. Replace a meal you’d buy out with one from the store and save big.
10. Check menus online
If you are going to be paying for a meal, check restaurant menus online first. Many restaurants now share full online menus including prices for each entrée. Select a place that has meals in your budget and search online for coupons.
Before you plan your next business trip, make sure you do what you can to slash the travel expenses. Travel is often an essential part of running a business, but can also negatively impact your bottom line if you aren’t smart about it.