So business calls, but it wants you to meet it somewhere. Of course you are happy to oblige, but there is still a bit of preparation needed on your end before your go.
The checklist consists of budgeting your travel, food, and sleeping arrangements, but it’s also going to include anything else you want to do, buy, or see while you are there.
To help you figure out your travel budget a bit more in depth, we came up with these 5 money saving business travel tactics, so you don’t have to stress your brain with the trivial travel tasks while you are away on business.
1 Bundle Your Travel When You Book Your Stay
You already have the dates for your business trip, so make sure you bundle everything you need to make your business adventure a smooth journey.
Say you are going to Niagara Falls on you business trip, and you know it’s going to be expensive but you want to save money where you can. Check on travel sites, like Expedia, for Niagara Falls hotel packages. You can save tons of money with these packages because they set up your flights, hotel rooms and even a rental car at a fraction of cost of getting all three individually.
2 Find Free Activities
While you are on your business trip, you should take the time to see the area you are visiting. After all, you’re probably not there every day, so go see something new!
Although you should take every opportunity to see the sites, there are often two ways to go about these activities. Take going to see the falls. You can take a ride on the Maiden of the Mist for a few dollars, or you can find one of the many free lookout points to experience the same view in a completely different way. Although the Maiden of the Mist will take you basically up to the base of the falls, you can save money and see the same spectacular view from a free viewing area.
3 Fine Dining or Casual Dinner?
If your company is footing the bill for your travel expense, you should probably show your business connect you are serious with some serious dining options like the Skylon Tower by the falls.
Unfortunately for some business travelers, there is a limit to what the company will cover on their trip, so fine dining options aren’t always on the table. If that’s the case for you, try to find the best local dinner that has been around the longest. Dinners have something for everyone, and they don’t break the bank. Not to mention, a long standing dinner has a reason they are still around, and most of the time it’s because the food is just that good.
4 Budget Like a Pro
At the end of the day, your ability to partake in the wonders of the world you are visiting on business comes down to your budget, so keep track of it while you are there. Collecting receipts and budgeting your spending will help you understand exactly where you sit with your financials.
You can use this spending information to understand where you sit in comparison to your initial budget. Understanding where you are financially helps you determine what and where you can and can’t go. Don’t put yourself into debt on a business trip, the point is to make money.
5 Know When to Spend, and Have an ICE Budget
Although the point is to save money, sometimes save in the wrong spots can be the reason you lose a deal. Don’t take your client out to a dinner and spend your evening alone with a $150 bill. Instead, create two different budgets for your food, and seperate them by “for the client” and “for me.” When you have those, set aside an extra $100 or $200 as an ICE Budget.
For those who don’t know, an ICE Budget is an “In Case of Emergency Budget.”
Maybe last night got a big more friendly than you planned for, and you had to spend the rest of both food budgets on that one night. That’s not a bad thing, especially if you land the client, but it could also mean you don’t really get to eat for a day or two. Instead of starving for the craft, dip into that ICE fund you made and eat some food.
The best way to save money on a business trip is to budget it before you go. Find those money saving bundles, research the best free activities to entertain yourself, and always budget a bit over, so you have financial room to cover your backside if you need it.
As Nate Robertson of Square Ship says, “Budgeting your travel expenses before you go gives you more freedom to enjoy your surroundings once you are there.”
By creating a budget, you can go into your travels with a realistic idea of costs, and that means you get to be pleased with every dollar of that budget you didn’t spend while enjoying what you did. That’s called saving money on business travel the right way.
How do you save money on travel expenses? Do you have any revolutionary business travel tips? Share your ideas in the comments below.