According to the Global Business Travel Forecast 2023, airfares will rise 48.5% in the remaining months of 2022 and 8.5% next year.
The forecast also predicts that hotel prices are expected to increase by 18.5% this year and 8.2% in 2023.
For companies worried about the costs associated with travel and lodging, there are ways to reduce business travel expenses without sacrificing comfort or reliability.
Here are some expert tips on how to get the best deals for business travel, according Corporate Traveller GM, Bonnie Smith.
Book tickets in advance
According to Smith, businesses need to plan trips at least 15 to 20 days in advance and while last-minute travel may be necessary, the best deals are still available well ahead of your travel days,.
Smith said that when booking, try to be flexible when it comes to arrival and departure times and also consider that mid-week flights tend to be cheaper. This leeway can give you significant savings on flights and hotels.
Schedule meetings outside of peak holiday season
“You can cut costs without sacrificing quality by being strategic about scheduling your trips. Always try to plan events and sales trips during the off-peak season to avoid expensive peak holiday times,” said Smith.
Work with prices, not stars
Another helpful tip to consider is that a 3-star hotel can cost just as much as a 4-star hotel, so the GM advises that you keep a maximum budget in mind and communicate this to your travel management company, which will find the best accommodation to suit your needs.
Get access to the best deals
Smith also said that if you want to save on travel costs, one of the best things you can do is get access to a better flight inventory as it’s where a travel professional comes in.
“A TMC (travel management company) provides a streamlined way to book corporate fares by integrating hundreds of travel networks, helping you find the best deals without spending hours researching online,” said Smith.
According to Smith, committing to a single hotel chain can help you negotiate a lower price and take advantage of additional benefits.
She said that a large TMC usually has access to great negotiated rates with major airlines and hoteliers, so check out what they have to offer.
“From free upgrades to early check-in and complimentary breakfast, TMCs are often able to negotiate quite a bit on your behalf,” said Smith.
Be realistic about your daily costs
And finally, budgeting for a business trip can be tricky as there are many incidentals to consider, from meals to Wi-Fi charges to luggage fees.
“It’s easy to underestimate something that can add up quickly. Ask your travel expert to calculate appropriate per diems for both the destination and the nature of the trip.The best way to save money on your business travels is to work with a professional,” said Smith.
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