Most major corporations and companies enlist their best employees to attend international meetings and conferences. It is a standard practice. These trips are done to help grow the business so companies often pay or reimburse for the entire thing. Some employees behave with caution when traveling for business, but others use the reimbursed trip to recklessly spend.
You have no problem with employees splurging here and there. You just don’t want them to eat up the company’s traveling budget on one trip, which means you need a way to stop your employees’ overspending before it starts. Introduce them to some easy tricks to lower their traveling expenses.
Teach Saving Savviness
In today’s deal savvy society, all your employees most likely possess some saving skills. They just might reserve them for personal expenses. Remind them about the importance of saving in all aspects of their lives.
Host one department meeting to discuss tips to save while traveling. Keep the meeting casual by not lecturing; make it an open forum to share ideas and tips for saving. Introduce your employees to new saving tips. For example, most of your employees probably already know about daily deal site Groupon. However, many might not realize that Groupon offers traveling discount codes at major traveling companies like Orbitz.
Remind your employees of little ways to save while on the trip, such as cooking instead of eating out, and taking free shuttles to different conference locations. You could also simply send out an email detailing saving tips and providing a list of saving resources.
Encourage Early Planning
According to Inc.com, travelers who wait to book a flight until a week before their trip end up paying 44 percent more than those who book a flight at least 15 days in advance. You face less traveling issues and pay less money when you plan your trip months in advance.
The ideal time to book a flight is around 54 days before a trip, because prices are at their lowest. Planning a trip early may also open the door to other savings opportunities, such as early bird or limited time prices.
Avoid Too Many Restrictions
Trying to control your employees’ entire trip will make everyone uneasy. Lose the strict budget rules but be straightforward about reimbursement restrictions. Give detailed guidelines for types of accommodations that you reimburse.
Agree to pay the entire hotel and flight costs, but establish limits for things like food and entertainment. For example, state that the company will reimburse up to a thousand dollars on meals. Anything over that allotment, the employee needs to pay themselves.
Use Business Connections
It is important that every company establishes business accounts or discounted rates with other companies. For example, negotiate a special rate for your company’s Uber account. This way your employees get discounts every time they ride an Uber for business related activities.
Hotels and airlines are critical businesses that often offer companies discounted rates. Provide your employees with a list of all the companies that offer special pricing. Also seek out clients who may offer your business a discount for certain goods and services. For example, if your company worked with a restaurant chain in the past, contact the company to get discounts when your employees eat there.
Don’t Leave the Office
Use virtual conference apps when possible. This will save your company a lot of money on traveling because you won’t need to leave the office. Skype is a major video conference program that many companies use, but more secure and advance features office based ones, such as WebEx, might be a better option for important meetings.