Traveling for business is a normal part of life for many entrepreneurs. Meeting with clients, attending business events, checking out potential sites–it all comes with the responsibilities of being a business owner. However, even if these business trips are necessary to generate more revenue, it doesn’t change the fact that they cost a lot of money.
Despite that, there are many ways you can cut the costs of your business trip. If you want those travel expenses to go somewhere equally or more important, here are some money-saving tactics that you should start employing now:
1. Cut your airfare expenses
Airfare is one of the biggest expenses of a business trip, which is why it only makes sense that this should be the first cost that you cut. Start by booking only Economy flights and being flexible on the dates of travel, as well as the airline that you use. It also helps to turn on your notifications for discounted flights or airfare promos, which you can do on practically any flight booking or travel app.
2. Set aside a budget for personal wants
There’s nothing wrong with shopping for souvenirs from a gift shop or indulging in a few drinks at the bar after the business conference. However, it is important that you stick to a predetermined budget. Before you leave for the trip, figure out how much you can afford to spend on personal wants. Then, as you go along on your trip, deduct every personal or non-essential expense from that budget to ensure that you don’t go overboard.
3. Don’t book fancy hotels
It can be tempting to treat yourself and stay at a fancy hotel while you’re on a business trip, but keep in mind that this may not be the last business trip for the month or the quarter. Stretch out your budget by staying in mid-end hotels that offer comfort and safety for a reasonable price. Staying in low-budget traveler hotels can save you even more money, but they may not be as comfortable as you would expect.
4. Pack light
Business trips don’t last long in the first place, so don’t add to your expenses by overpacking. Moreover, if you’re going to be moving around a lot, bringing heavy luggage with you is not a great way to make your trip efficient. Here are some tips that can help you keep your bags light:
- Roll up your clothes instead of folding them
- Wear your heaviest items in transit
- Bring only travel-sized containers of toiletries
- Buy necessities at your destination instead of packing them
- Bring fewer clothes; do laundry at the hotel
- Pack the ‘must-haves’ not the ‘just-in-case’ items
5. Find travel packages
Auxiliary fees such as parking, WiFi, and train passes can easily add up. Look for a company at your destination that offers these necessities at a lower price as a bundle. You can also ask your hotel if they offer free WiFi, airport transfers, or parking as part of the room.
6. Shop for food
Food is another large expense while on a business trip–or any trip, for that matter. While the easiest way to eat on a trip is to dine at restaurants or order room service, doing this can easily rack up your food costs.
Instead of eating at restaurants or ordering room service for every meal, shop for groceries at the local supermarket and try to make your own food with the tools in your hotel room. Either that, or eat ready-to-eat foods like produce, ready-made salads, bread, and rotisserie chicken. Save your budget for client lunches and other instances where you can’t say no to restaurant dining.
7. Choose the best mode of transport
If the trip is only going to last for a few days, taking public transportation or using ride-hailing services (sparingly) are the best ways to get around. But if you’re going to be staying for more than a week or so, it can be more cost-effective to rent a car or just stick to public transport.
8. Plan and book ahead
For both business and leisure travel, planning ahead can help you cut costs. For one, hotels and flights are significantly cheaper if you book them in advance. Moreover, you have a lot of time to organize the trip and prepare for possible expenses, which reduces the chances of surprises along the way.
When you’re a budding entrepreneur, every penny counts. That said, it’s imperative that you keep your business trip costs as low as they can be–without compromising your safety and comfort, of course.