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Traveling for Work? 12 Smart Strategies to Keep Your Expenses in Check

keeping your expenses in check while traveling for work

Business travel is an excellent opportunity to make new connections and close deals. However, between transportation, meals, accommodations and other per diem expenses, it’s easy for a traveling professional to rack 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 question:

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

Here are their top recommendations.

1. Keep Auxiliary Charges Low

“It’s tempting to purchase 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’re on business travel, you should balance the cost of food and resist the temptation of being a tourist. Instead, travel as if you live in the area, only purchasing the essentials.” ~ Ron Lieback, ContentMender

2. Hire an Assistant to Help

“Hire a virtual assistant who will have time to research properly, find the best deals on flights and hotels and plan the trip for you. Many executives are extremely busy and will often select more expensive travel options in order to save time and energy. Instead, hire a remote virtual assistant who can help with all of the planning details and whose time would still be cost-effective.” ~ Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

3. Purchase Economy Tickets

“One way to cut traveling costs is to opt for lower-class airlines and plane seats. Flying first class feels good, but it’s not necessary to get from point A to point B. 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 Ahead and Make an Itinerary

“Plan ahead. Try to take public transportation. Stay connected. 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 be visiting 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 about 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 highly prioritizing video conferencing tools in lieu of last-minute travel, you can cut down costs significantly.” ~ Akshar Bonu, The Custom Movement

6. Research Your Options

“Do your research and plan the trip accordingly. Try and find the best and most affordable options, be it an airline, a hotel, a car rental service or anything else. Knowing the options you have is better than making impromptu decisions. This allows you to spend your funds smartly and efficiently by deciding on what adds the most value without having to break the bank.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

7. Create a Documented Budget

“Creating a budget for your business trip and sticking to it helps. A budget keeps your expenses in check and ensures that you’re spending on necessities and not luxury. Having things documented also helps you plan your next trip better by avoiding the mistakes that you made previously.” ~ Jared Atchison, WPForms

8. Find a Hotel Outside of Town

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

9. Book Travel in Advance

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

10. Partner With an Airline

“If you’re someone who needs to frequently travel for work, you can consider partnering with an airline to keep your expenses low. Many enterprise-level firms have been leveraging this option, and you can do that too. By doing this, your employees will get corporate discounts and fly at a negotiated rate. Sometimes they might even get additional perks.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

11. Join Different Pricing Apps

“One easy tip is to join a couple of pricing apps like Expedia or Priceline. You can get some really good discounted rates, and the discounts pile up the more you use them. These websites let you compare prices and amenities and help you greatly if you must stop unexpectedly in a town you aren’t 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 more likely be taken care of by a company when you display loyalty to their brand rather than skipping around for each trip you take. Buying into a brand’s ecosystem will alert you of specials, promotions and perks. These add up over time and compound as your travels continue.” ~ Mary Harcourt, CosmoGlo

Image: Depositphotos

This article, “Traveling for Work? 12 Smart Strategies to Keep Your Expenses in Check” was first published on Small Business Trends

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