The last few years have been a lesson in why confrontation is important for most companies. From client acquisitions to managing a wide spread team, 86% They felt the demands of the surveyed workers Travel was essential to their success.
Eager to hold on to their competitive edge, companies have been quick to get their teams back on the road. The first quarter of 2022 alone saw more than half of the 2021 corporate travel bookings.
But it is not easy. Saving money on business trips requires the efforts of all employees, not just a new top-level approach. From finance managers who are leaning towards annual expenses, travel managers are obsessed with details and want to please colleagues, to tired travelers who may feel the need to spend more in a pinch — it is a team effort.
We’ve put together a list of clear, useful ways to get your whole team on board.
1. Get low and good flight inventory access
One of the best ways to start reducing travel costs immediately is to find better flight inventory.
Businesses that use corporate travel agents or book on websites designed for leisure travel are missing the big time.
Booking in advance, booking at the last minute, using budget-friendly carriers like EasyJet and Norwegian … Consumers have a lot of strategies in their sleeves to save money on travel, and when businesses are stuck on old corporate travel solutions, they miss out on cost opportunities. Is savings
Now, businesses also have a strategy above their sleeve: TravelPerk. TravelPerk brings together hundreds of the best travel networks and offers the world’s largest inventory for booking corporate rates in one place.
2. Encourage trip flexibility
Whether the employee is visiting a client or working in a new office, there may be some flexibility in event dates. When a travel manager, office manager, or executive assistant book a new trip for an employee, they need to know if there is a shaky room. And there are almost always.
When employees request a new booking, be it in a standard request form or via email for a new booking, ask for 3 arrivals and departures of your choice so that employees can offer options up front.
Discovering that shaky house means saving up to 50% on flights and hotels. Even better, allowing employees to book their own travel through a corporate booking tool will help travelers gain more visibility and control, allowing them to optimize their schedules to save money without having to use all emails.
However, even with the best companies, the plans change sometimes. When client meetings are canceled or rescheduled, employees fall ill. A solution similar to FlexiPerk offered by TravelPerk offers the most generous cancellation policy available to corporate travelers.
With FlexiPerk, 100% travel arrangements are refundable. Travelers can cancel their plan with just one click Two hours before departure, no questions asked. Guaranteeing a minimum 80% refund compared to other flexible fares and saving businesses an average of 40%, travel managers and finance teams don’t have to sweat to lose huge sums of money for last minute changes.
3. Create a corporate travel policy
Having a corporate travel policy is crucial. Without these parameters, an employee may not know whether their intended itinerary falls within the budget and expectations of other companies.
Knowing the full scope of what should be included in a successful travel policy can be challenging. At TravelPerk, we’ve created a customizable template that can help you implement a corporate travel policy in minutes, but in general, corporate travel policies should outline the company’s position on elements such as;
- Approved business travel expenses for air travel, accommodation, car rental and other transportation.
- Rules about employees booking flights in Economy vs. Business Class.
- Approval process for hotel bookings, airline tickets, and other ground arrangements for corporate travel.
- Whether authorized for daily expenses and whether a business credit card will be issued.
- Reimbursement and cost reporting process.
Corporate travel policies should be clear, concise and accessible. But like any company’s policy, they need to adapt and grow to the needs of the business.
Thanks to online tools like TravelPerk, finance and travel managers can now incorporate their travel policies into the booking process on desktop and mobile devices; Automating the approval process.
With 72% of Millennium employees booking their own business travel plans, automatic approval makes it easier for employees to stay on a budget while enjoying autonomy over their arrangements.
4. Be clear about consent
By integrating corporate travel policies into the booking process and through automated authorization systems, TravelPerk has been able to help companies Reach a 95% compliance rate With their online booking platform.
With an online booking tool, money and travel managers can set up a clear approval process. Perhaps you still want to keep an eye on every itinerary. Or you may be happy to have trips automatically approved within your travel policy so that you secure the best value and free up time for busy managers. No matter what level of control you want, you can set up a simple workflow with just a few clicks.
However, there will still be some business trips that fall outside the scope of any travel policy. For example, trips can sometimes be avoided at short notice. A key client calls an emergency meeting, or the sales team gets a chance to meet with a potential leader.
Automated processes can help approve travel arrangements outside of this policy. Instead of skipping trips on an inbox vacation, an online booking tool can flag inconsistent trips to relevant staff via dedicated slack channels.
5. Make your VAT savings easy
If your company is registered to pay VAT, you will need to save a lot on travel expenses. Depending on your tax jurisdiction, airfare, hotel room and other ground transportation can all be offset as business travel expenses.
However, the VAT recovery process is often a complex and time consuming aspect of travel management. Trying to collect your employees ’daily expenses and VAT receipts can be a nightmare. Many businesses lose out on legitimate costs and the savings they bring. As a business owner, there is nothing more frustrating than losing revenue unnecessarily. A VAT calculator can help you determine how much you can recover.
At TravelPerk, we streamline the VAT recovery process for you, with our itemized reports and convenient VAT calculator to help you save up to 20% on your annual business travel costs. Request a demo today and see how much your organization can save.
6. Stay on top of travel spending trends
Knowledge is power. The way a consumer wants to save money in their family budget will require knowledge of which spending segments are consuming their income, a business needs to understand which aspects of business travel are moving the index more than others.
Here are some questions you may want to ask:
- Which travelers spend the most?
- What can be done to improve airport transportation costs, WiFi fees, etc.?
- What changes need to be made in Q4 to maintain the annual travel budget for the X team?
Every business wants to optimize their corporate travel budget and getting data for help shouldn’t be difficult.
Use a travel booking tool that will integrate with your spending solution and automatically generate reports to reduce employee time stress. Then use this data to identify trends and optimize your budget over time. In order to increase fairness and get a handle on overall travel expenses you can identify which cities and travels require less budget and which guarantee higher costs.
7. Advocates using public or shared transport where possible
A travel expense that is very common and easy to sink into is to drive to big cities. Encouraging employees to go on public transport instead of driving and paying extortionate parking fees or taking a taxi is good for your bottom line and the environment.
When workers are going to an event from the same location, there is no need for separate transportation. If public transport is not an option, Uber is easy enough to arrange multiple vehicles.
It is not always possible to take these measures, but wherever you can, your parties should be persuaded not to waste company money on unnecessary business travel expenses.
This takes us to number 8 …
8. Be transparent and provide incentives to stay within budget
When reducing travel costs, it is important for staff to reduce pain. In order to feel invested in their efforts, they need to know “why”.
For example, a remote organization that holds an annual personal retreat may need to contact its staff about why trips to conferences should be as cheap as possible — so annual retreats are a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
Each company will have a different “why”. If increasing transparency is not so relevant, then incentives may help. Given the ability to give bonuses like team lunches or mileage points to those on a budget, travel managers can help cut budgets in creative ways.
9. Be wise to save Accommodation
If your organization’s policy is primarily based on a few preferred hotel chains, you may be deprived of huge savings in your travel expenses. Creating and considering branches of different options like Airbnb can be more affordable and provide a better travel experience for your staff. Especially for long stays, many business travelers may prefer to have access to the kitchen so that they can eat healthier, or find more space to work than is traditionally found in hotel rooms.
Through TravelPerk, our in-house team can assist with Airbnb bookings. Make it easy to stay within budget, stay loyal and give your team more flexibility with their travel arrangements. Compare a one-week stay in your favorite hotel chain with an apartment rental, and you may be pleasantly surprised by the savings.
But Airbnb fares are not suitable for every business trip. Options may not be available at your destination, or the cost of a short stay may be the same as a local hotel. In these instances, it may be more affordable to discuss corporate room rates or focus on travel rewards with a credit card or hotel loyalty program, especially if you travel to the same place regularly.
Alternatively, travel managers can reduce their busy workload and save their organization money by using a travel management company through contracts with hotel chains. At TravelPerk, we have the largest list of accommodations, as well as our users can upload their current bargains on our platform.
In the end, Saving money on travel is a team effort.
By thinking holistically and discovering how each employee can help, it is possible to save money while taking all those business-critical trips.
Whether you’re planning a travel manager for an entire organization, a finance team focused on your company’s bottom line, or head of operations looking for smooth internal processes, TravelPerk can help you streamline every aspect of corporate travel.