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A financially-friendly guide to travelling for work


Here are our top 7 tips for cutting down on costs incurred during your business trips.

Businesses of all kinds spend a significant amount of money on business-related travels. Although business travel is a necessity when operating a successful enterprise, it can easily become a burdensome and expensive venture. Most of the time, the people who feel the pinch the hardest are small business owners and entrepreneurs. Unlike corporate employees with expense accounts, expenses for travel often come out of their own pockets. 

Sound familiar? If you find yourself in this predicament, we’re here to help you with a financially-friendly guide to travelling for work. Here are our top 7 tips for cutting down on costs incurred during your business trips, so sit back, relax and get ready to find out more. 

1. Our favourite airfare hack
If you have the luxury of choosing when to travel for business, the good news is that you can save hundreds on airfares if you know exactly what you are doing. Airfares make up the bulk of business travel costs, so we highly recommend utilising the flexible date airfare search on several travel websites before you schedule the trip.

2. Make use of your business credit card 
If you are in possession of a business credit card, the best time you can make use of it is during your business-related travels. Most business credit cards offer a myriad of different benefits and savings, including special travel and retail privileges, car rental discounts, access to hand-picked hotels, offers on airport lounges and travel programs. Some cards even offer 2%, 3% or even as much as 6% cashback on selected purchases which may save you hundreds of dollars if you’re lucky! 

3. Limit dining expenses
We all love a good meal – that goes without saying. However, when it comes to saving money on your business trip, we encourage you to consider limiting your dining expenses whenever possible. Check out local supermarkets such as Woolworths or farmer's markets for a hot deli meal that you can take back to your hotel room. Also, don’t forget to do your research on available cheap eats at your destination. 

Top tip: Meeting with clients or potential leads on your trip? Fret not, for we have a nifty solution up our sleeves: opt for lunch meetings over dinner. Most restaurants charge less for lunch than dinner, even when the meal is identical. 

4. Carry-on only
Another simple way to shave some dollars off your travel bill is to skip checked baggage. Opt for carry-on bags – the less you lug, the more cost savings are possible. Aside from saving you a significant amount of money, you’ll also save yourself time. If necessary, just pick up your carry on bag and go straight from the airport to your first meeting. 

Expert tip: Invest in lightweight carry on bags to keep the kilos down and maximise your packing potential.

5. Don’t prepay for fuel 
If you’re renting a car on your business trip, the most cost-efficient thing you can do is to avoid prepaying for fuel. Most car rental companies offer three choices when returning a car. Return it with the gas tank full, prepay for a full tank or pay an exorbitant price-per-litre to fill it when you return. Your best option is to simply fill the tank shortly before you return your rental car.

Top Tip: Consider waiving the insurance offered at the car rental counter if your personal auto insurance or your credit card covers you. Want to eliminate car rental expenses entirely? You could always look into making use of public transport or rideshares instead.

6. Stay away from the mini-bar
You already know this but we’re going to repeat it one more time: hands off the minibar. Hotel minibars are known for their exorbitant prices. A can of your favourite soft drink could cost you up to five times more than it would at the supermarket. Talk about inflated prices! As tempting as it may be to reach into the minibar for a snack, we highly recommend against doing so. Instead, head to a local grocery store and stock up on drinks, snacks and anything else you may end up wanting in the middle of the night. Like everything else in life, preparation is the key to success! 

Business travel expenses don’t have to clean out your bank account. By following these 7 tips, you’ll be able to better manage your expenses on your next business trip. What are your favourite ways to save money on business travel? Be sure to drop a comment and let us know!

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