As a business owner, you know that controlling travel costs is important, as most travel-related costs can be high and unpredictable. Fortunately, there are many ways to keep expenses down, even if your team spends a lot of time on the road.
1. Establish a Travel Policy
Overspending on travel is often the result of either not having a travel policy or working from an outdated, unclear set of guidelines. Employees can’t be expected to control travel costs if they don’t know what your expectations are.
A good travel policy is comprehensive: It should include your expectations for employee conduct while on the road, as well as guidance for selecting airline flights, rental cars, and accommodations. Financial expectations should be spelled out, including information on per diem spending and caps on meals, transportation, and other expenses.
2. Encourage Advance Planning
Travel costs go up significantly when airfare and hotel reservations are made at the last minute. Your teams should maintain a calendar of “for sure” travel dates, such as industry conventions and conferences, so that travel planning can begin as soon as possible. Project managers should consider the potential need for travel when developing timelines so that both the cost of travel and time out of the office can be incorporated into budgets and processes.
3. Support Alternatives to Travel
Travel can’t always be avoided: In many industries, such as construction, workers must be on-site. It’s also true that face-to-face meetings are sometimes a must. Still, technology has made it a lot easier for people to connect remotely. Your team has likely become familiar with Zoom and other conferencing apps over the past year.
4. Develop Strong Compliance Standards
The best corporate travel policy in the world won’t save you a penny if you don’t enforce it. Employees who are in supervisory positions should educate their teams on your travel policy. Workers should understand that deviating from your corporate policy without getting advance approval could result in having to deal with unreimbursed travel expenses.
5. Create Preferred Vendor Relationships
By instructing your employees to use preferred travel vendors whenever possible, you can take advantage of special corporate discount rates. Often, this means juggling multiple vendors within a particular industry. Instead, partner with a travel management company like CLC to keep all of your travel management centralized in one place for better control and insights.
6. Work With a Corporate Travel Consultant
Requiring your employees to manage travel-related issues may seem like a cost-cutting move, but in fact, you are probably losing money in this process. When you let experts handle company travel, your teams can focus on doing their jobs instead of negotiating rates or scrutinizing itemized hotel bills for unauthorized charges.
At CLC Lodging, our entire team is dedicated to business travel. We have great vendor relationships in the industry, and our team can customize a plan that can handle billing, payments, and even assist with the implementation of a corporate travel policy. Become a member for free today!
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