Do you travel for work? 12 smart strategies to keep expenses in check

Business trips are an excellent opportunity to make new connections and make deals. But between transportation, meals, lodging, and other per diem expenses, it’s easy for a traveling professional to run up a hefty bill.

To help busy travelers find ways to keep costs down during a business trip, a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members answered the following questions:

“As business travel picks up again, what’s one simple tip you can give to professionals looking to keep costs down while traveling for work? Why?”

Here are their top recommendations.

1. Keep extra costs low

“It’s tempting to buy Wi-Fi to work on a plane, but sometimes it’s just more cost-effective to wait until you get to the hotel and can use the free Wi-Fi. Additionally, if you are on a business trip, you should balance the cost of food and resist the temptation to be a tourist. Instead, travel as if you live in the area, just buy the essentials.” ~ Ron Lieback, ContentMender

2. Hire an assistant to help

“Hire a virtual assistant who will take the time to properly research, find the best deals on flights and hotels, and plan your trip for you. Many managers are extremely busy and will often choose more expensive travel options to save time and energy. Instead, hire an external virtual assistant who can help with all the planning details and whose time will still be cost-effective.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

3. Buy economy tickets

“One way to cut travel costs is to choose lower class airlines and airline seats. Flying first class feels good, but getting from point A to point B isn’t necessary. If you’re looking for a way to cut expenses, this is an easy and effective way to get started.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC

4. Plan and create an itinerary

“Plan ahead. Try to take public transport. Stay in touch. Book flights and hotels as early as possible. Compare prices and choose the most cost-effective option. Create an itinerary. Make a list of all the places you will visit and map out the route. This will help you budget your time and money accordingly.” ~ Candice Georgiadis, Digital Day

5. Say “No” to last-minute plans

“Be aggressive in saying no to unnecessary last-minute travel plans. To the extent that unexpected trips can be avoided, it is preferred, as such trips are the ones that do the most damage to the wallet. By mapping out your travel calendar in advance and prioritizing video conferencing tools over last-minute travel, you can significantly reduce costs.” ~ Akshar Bonu, Custom Movement

6. Research your options

“Do your research and plan your trip accordingly. Try to find the best and cheapest options, whether it’s an airline, a hotel, a car rental service or something else. Knowing your options is better than making impromptu decisions. This allows you spend your money smartly and efficiently by deciding what provides the most value without breaking the bank.” ~ Stephanie Wells, formidable forms

7. Create a documented budget

“Making a budget for the business trip and sticking to it helps. A budget keeps expenses in check and ensures you spend on necessities and not luxuries. Having things documented also helps you plan your next trip better by avoiding the mistakes you made in the past.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms

8. Find a hotel outside the city

“One of the easiest ways to save money when you travel is to make sure the hotel you stay in is not in the most expensive part of town. I’ve been lucky enough to save a lot of money traveling by avoiding the expensive parts of town. Instead, I would recommend checking into your hotel before you leave the airport, and if it’s in the expensive section, try to find one that isn’t.” ~ Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

9. Book travel in advance

“One tip I would like to give is to book your trip in advance. This way you can compare prices and find the best deals. So get started by planning your trip at least a couple of weeks in advance. This will help you save money and keep business travel costs down. You can also consciously choose to choose dates for travel that are less expensive if you look early enough.” ~ Blair Williams, MemberPress

10. Partner with an airline

“If you are a person who often needs to travel for work, consider partnering with an airline to keep your expenses low. Many enterprise-level companies have taken advantage of this option, and you can too. By doing this, your employees get corporate discounts and flights at a negotiated price. Sometimes they can even get extra benefits.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Join different price apps

“A simple tip is to join a couple of pricing apps like Expedia or Priceline. You can get some really good discounted rates, and the discounts add up the more you use them. These sites let you compare rates and amenities and help you a lot if you have to stop unexpectedly in a city you are not familiar with.” ~ Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

12. Be loyal to your favorite places

“Show loyalty to your favorite hotels, airlines, rental car companies and more. You will be more likely to be cared for by a company when you show loyalty to their brand rather than jumping around for every ride you take. Buying into a brand’s ecosystem will alert you to special offers, promotions and benefits. These increase over time and increase as your travels continue.” ~ Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

Image: Depositphotos

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