Corporate travel can be an evergrowing expense for companies. As you expand your reach, many of your employees will need to go on longer trips to new cities and countries. The costs for these travels add up, especially if you aren’t taking the time to curve their growth.

Thankfully, there are small things you and your business can do to save money on corporate travel. Keep reading for seven ideas that will help your team save money on the next company trip.
 

1) Centralize travel purchasing

In the world of online booking sites, everyone can be their own travel agent. As a company, this agent in your pocket can be tricky because you have to compensate your employees after they’ve made travel plans. While Hotwire and other cost-saving applications save individual people money on trips, you may or may not get the same benefit when traveling on a company-wide scale. Is everyone getting the best deal by booking their travel accommodations?

A blonde travel agent woman with a white shirt hands passports and tickets to a smiling couple with brown hair across the desk

The truth is that when it comes to travel, some people are a lot better at planning and saving than others. Some employees will stretch their budget by planning on their own, while other employees aren’t sure where to go for the latest cost-saving deals. Travel agents get paid to help plan trips, so it may be worth hiring them for all or some of your travel plans.
 

2) Encourage early travel planning

If you’ve ever planned a personal trip, you know how prices frequently change -especially as the departure date gets closer. From airlines to hotels to rental cars, last-minute trips can be expensive and complicated to navigate. What’s worse is that the accommodations you need may be sold out the longer you wait, making it impossible to get your work done.Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world's most sought after cities.Business travel is complex. Sometimes last-minute trips are inevitable, especially during a time of crisis.  Every single detail of corporate travel can’t be defined. On the whole, encourage your employees to plan travel at least a month or more in advance. Early planning will save lots of money and stress.
 

3) Revisit your corporate travel policy

You should revisit your policies often, especially if it’s been a while since you initially adopted them. Where was your company when you last revised your corporate travel policy? When your employees use your current corporate travel policy, does it create tension, or is it helpful and clear?

If your current policy is not up to par, consider revising your corporate travel policy. Overall, it should be easy to understand. Your employees should be able to quickly read your policy and understand what’s covered and what’s not. For example, you may want to define:

  • Daily food and beverage allowances
  • Who needs to approve travel cost before they are purchased
  • Policies on public transit, taxis, or other travel services
  • What items your company won’t cover such as tips or parking tickets

Simplify things so your employees always know what they can expect when utilizing it.
 

4) Ensure employees get the most of every day on their trip

Planning a successful business trip requires nuance. You may be juggling multiple events, work, and occasionally time off, to see the city you are currently staying in. Time is money, so you want to make sure that you are increasing the cost-effectiveness of each trip by focusing on productivity.

A man wearing a suit jacket and tie looks at his watch and talks on the phone and smiles with a blurry street scene in the background

All of these productivity constraints are magnified when your employees take longer business trips. Most people aren’t used to taking month-long trips on the regular. Balancing every aspect of a lengthy trip might be difficult for them.

Help your employees plan an itinerary so they accomplish the right amount of work during their relocation/business trip. If you notice a lack of productivity during these trips, consider hosting a class or giving a presentation to teach your employees how to utilize their time away effectively.
 

5) Stay in an apartment and stock your fridge for low-cost meals

Dining out in a new city, especially when you are there for an extended stay, can be expensive. Some towns have astronomical food prices, especially for well-known restaurants. It’s okay to dine out for a treat or when meeting a client, but this should never be the norm on longer business trips.

Instead, your best bet would be to stay in a location where you can cook and eat your own meals. Cooking saves money and time. Having control over what you eat while away also allows you to create a balanced meal plan and to cook dishes familiar to you. If battling long lines at grocery stores doesn’t excite you, consider ordering groceries using an app like Instacart or Postmates. While these mobile applications have a delivery fee, you can order all your groceries at once and stock your fridge in one order, without lugging around tons of bags.

If you are looking to provide that home away from home feeling for your employees, Blueground is here to help. Blueground offers fully-furnished and equipped apartments in the U.S. and abroad. You can book an apartment for one month that can be your employee’s home base on their business trips. Blueground apartments are located in the best parts of town, close to public transit, and are in buildings decked out with fantastic amenities like gyms, pools, and gorgeous views of the city.
 

6) Create an unlimited travel policy

When it comes to corporate travel, capped travel time may make your employees use it more. Your company could save money or hours of productivity by creating an unlimited travel policy.

We’ve all been there before if you have a “use it or lose it,” leave policy at work. You might be working against the clock to use your travel time, so you come up with any excuse, conference, or retreat to use your last few days. By creating an unlimited travel policy for your employees, you cut out the need to use up any leftover days.

Now, an unlimited travel policy is still regulated. Every business trip or personal trip may not be approved, depending on the time of year or what’s going on at work. Be clear and set expectations while you introduce an unlimited travel policy to your company.
 

7) Reward employees who take saving seriously

Employees who value the importance of saving money on corporate trips should be rewarded. Think about how easy it is to overspend on personal vacations. Unfortunately, that still happens when it comes to corporate travel. 

A woman with brown hair and a pink shirt sits at a table in a cafe with a man wearing a white formal shirt. In front of them is a laptop and some cups and glasses

Help your employees value corporate travel expenditures. Consider providing incentives for going under budget and spending wisely while on corporate trips. For example, you could offer a gift card or luggage prize drawing for employees who go under budget on trips during that specific month or quarter. You could also add extra PTO to employees who consistently spend wisely while on corporate trips.
 

8. Be an example for your employees

Your employees will ultimately follow your example, especially on group business trips. If you want to instill cost-saving corporate travel habits in your employees, you need to practice it too. While you surely have more freedom as an employer, it’s always great to level with your employees. Are you the most economical person while on corporate trips? How can you cut back on your expenses while traveling for the company?
 

Conclusion

Corporate travel can be a costly part of doing business. There will be questions about booking the right place to stay, dining out, exploring the city, and of course, getting work done. However, to complete certain projects and further enhance the employer branding experience, business travel is essential. With a few tweaks to the travel routine, you can create a more cost-effective corporate travel strategy. 

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