Employees being a part of small business, traveling is no less than an important devil. It’s exhausting, time-consuming and on top of that confusing if you have not managed it in the right way.
If managed efficiently, business travel can definitely become a job perk, a platform to bring all employees together and boost productivity. Below we have discussed some of the practical tips for small businesses that will help you with your travel plans.
1. Look for Complimentary Perks
Don’t misjudge the value of free parking, breakfast, and Wi-Fi availability. Having breakfast in the hotel before starting your day will save you both time and money. You will find many hotels charging around $20 for Wi-Fi access and an added $50 if you wish to have a self-parking in a garage. Therefore, consider choosing a hotel that offers free perks and that way you can save hundreds of dollars on your trip.
2. Take Advantage of Loyalty Rewards Programs
Many times, small businesses are not able to negotiate contracts when it comes to exclusive deals and discounts on accommodation, car rentals and air travel. However, many of these service providers offer programs that recompense frequent flyer with freebies and discounts. For this, you can choose a certain hotel chain, airline, and rental company every time you travel, and start building up your reward points towards your future business trips.
3. Track Prices After You Book
You can use several services to monitor flight and hotel prices such as Yapta. Such applications significantly help small business owners to gain benefit from changing price after booking. If the price gets lower than the amount you have paid for a flight or accommodation, Yapta will help you get a complete refund. Typically, airlines charge a certain fee for any changes or re-booking, though Yapta’s fee depends on the percentage of the money you save.
4. Schedule Wisely
If it’s possible for you, we suggest you postpone your business travel plans in the summer months. The season is accompanied by high demand resulting in high prices by airlines. The end of March is another peak time where it’s better to stick to the home office due to the pricing surge.
5. Seek Alternatives
Flying to major airport hubs is convenient, though you need to pay a sufficient amount of money to attain this convenience. We suggest you explore the cost of flying into either small or mid-sized regional airports. Remember to keep track of your budget to and from the airport.
You may want to consider other alternatives if you are tight on budget. For instance, the train is another reliable source of travel if it’s a feasible option in your area. Also, they are relatively less expensive and you can do a lot of your work while traveling.
Another alternative can be using a local virtual phone number forwarding service like easyringer.com, instead of purchasing a local sim card which is way more expensive.
6. Create and Communicate a Travel Policy
A travel policy is a framework of essential guidelines regarding the types and amounts of permitted expenses. The policy needs to be communicated to each and every employee to ensure your small business travel programs run smoothly in the allocated budget. Also, your travel policy may include the consequences of disobeying it.
7. Download Travel Apps
Downloading some of the best travel applications is the best way to kill time and gain valuable information during your journey. You can look up to several eateries options or check out currency conversion rates. These smartphone apps can save you several hours during a business trip.
One important thing to keep in mind is not to download every travel app or you will just miss the point of simplification. All you need to do is choose your favorite apps and put them in a travel folder that you will be using when traveling.
8. Choose a Business Card and Use the Rewards Smartly
It will help you stay organized when you merge all of your travel expenses on one card. The best way is to book all of your business travel on one credit card which makes it convenient for billing. You can look up for credit card options that come with a reward. Later, you can cover a significant percentage of your expenses using these reward points. From booking accommodation to acquiring services for a particular airline, these reward points will help you in every way so make sure to use them wisely.
9. Be Efficient with Your Time
Travelers often have an ample amount of time waiting, however, that doesn’t mean that time needs to be wasted. You need to plan wisely and be equipped with the tools to stay productive. For instance, you may spend some time in lounges and discuss important matters with your employees which saves you both time and money.
Or if you are waiting for your flight, you may get your tablet and do background research. Though make sure you have planned in advance since the Wi-Fi facility is not available everywhere.
10. Pack Smart
When you are on business travel, you need to worry about what you are wearing. Instead of folding, consider rolling your outfits to minimize wrinkles. As soon as you arrive at the hotel, unroll your clothes and spray with a wrinkle releaser.
One bonus tip on business travel is to limit your luggage to carry-on. It will save you time and the hazard of packing and unpacking a lot of stuff. You can be more organized if you have certain things that are essential to your trip. In addition, you can also avoid the extra fee.
As you already know, business trips can become burdensome and expensive ventures. Also, people who perhaps feel the pinch the hardest are small business owners and entrepreneurs. Unlike business employees with expense accounts, finance for travel often comes out of their own pockets. If you have read this far, we hope you enjoyed the smart tips to have a smooth business trip.