How Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs Can Save Money on Business Travel
If you’re a small business owner or entrepreneur it’s unlikely that you have a pre-set, comfortable per diem to spend each day that you travel for business. You’ll need to pay for airfare and car rentals, meals, hotels, and more. When you’re covering these bills from your own bank account, the costs associated with frequent traveling can be quite shocking.
Thankfully, you can easily cut costs on your business travel expenses. The next time you travel for business, consider trying out some of the tips below to keep your work travel affordable.
Try Airbnb… for business
Airbnb has quickly charmed travelers around the world by connecting them with local accommodations as they travel the globe. Now, the company has developed new offerings designed to entice business travelers.
Using a service like Airbnb can be far more affordable than staying in a standard hotel, and these rentals have the added benefit of making a business traveler feel more at home. You can easily customize your search results to find exactly what you need, ensuring that you only pay for amenities that you require. If you book a unit with a full kitchen (and enjoy cooking your own meals while traveling for business), that’s just one more way to continue saving, too.
Get started with travel hacking
If you have a good credit score and you’re comfortable with beating the credit card companies at their own game, travel hacking is an excellent way to save money on flights and hotels. Essentially, you sign up for an airline or hotel branded credit card with a sizable mileage or points bonus. After meeting a certain minimum spend over a pre-determined amount of time ($3,000 in 3 months is common) you’ll receive a hefty deposit of miles or points.
You can use this method with both personal and business credit cards. If you pay your credit card balances in full each month, pay careful attention to the terms (like when the annual fee kicks in), and are able to meet the minimum spends, you’ll be swimming in useful points and miles that you can use for business travel. The world of travel hacking can get rather complicated, but Cards For Travel and The Points Guy are two fantastic resources for anyone looking to learn more about this helpful hack.
Other cost savings tricks for business travel
Airbnb and travel hacking can save you plenty of cash on your business trips, but there are also numerous smaller steps that you can take to save money while traveling… and it all adds up. Review this list and see if there are any areas where you can reduce business travel expenses:
- Travel carry-on only for shorter trips, especially on airlines that charge for checked bags;
- If you need to bring a lot of luggage on your trip, consider shipping what you need to your hotel ahead of time. Depending on an airline’s baggage fees this option can be much less expensive than checking bags and/or paying for overweight luggage;
- Use off-site parking, like the Parking Spot, for extremely affordable airport parking;
- Book with low-cost carriers, like Spirit or Frontier (just be sure to check the baggage fees and other costs to be sure you’re actually saving money);
- Use ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft in lieu of standard taxis;
- Don’t rely solely on sites like Expedia and Kayak to search for flights. Certain airlines, like Southwest, aren’t listed on every search aggregator;
- Use websites like HotelCoupons.com to search for discounted hotel stays.
Of course, these tips and tricks are just the beginning when it comes to saving money on business travel. Do you have any tried-and-true cost savings tips for the small business owner or entrepreneur? Be sure to share your expertise in the comments!