Monday, October 22, 2012

Pinching Pennies During Travel

Gone are the good ‘ol days when travelling on a business trip meant travelling first class all the way—at least for smaller businesses.  With the economic pressure on, now more than ever it’s important to get the most out of your money when away from home.

So how can you minimize the amount of money you spend while on a business trip? Here are a few tips to get you started:

1.     Drive instead of flying—Look into what the time and price difference would be for driving to your destination rather than flying. If it’s less than five hours away, it might be worth it to conserve money.

2.     Check nearby airports—It might be possible to fly into a nearby airport for much cheaper and then take a shuttle to your destination.

3.     Don’t check your baggage—If you’re only going away for a few days, why spend the extra money on baggage fees? Pack as lightly as possible to fit your belongings in a carry-on sized bag.

4.     Use loyalty points for hotel stays—Depending on how often you travel, you might be able to earn free stays here and there by using a loyalty card at the major hotel you normally stay in. If you’ve got multiple employees travelling, points will build up even faster.

5.     Find a good continental breakfast—Many hotels, especially large hotels, will offer a free continental breakfast. Try to stay in one of these hotels—that way you won’t have to go out for breakfast. If you can’t find one, try bringing along some portable food like cereal, granola, or yogurt.

6.     Spend less on food—Skip the expensive parts of town and eat food from cheaper venues. Or, if you’ve got the option, try cooking your own food. This may not be as tasty as the first-class meal you could get at a fancy restaurant, but it will save you a bundle.

7.     Don’t rent a car—Try to stay in a hotel within walking or biking distance to wherever you’ll need to be. That way, you can walk, bike, or use public transportation to get there.

8.     Peruse Groupon—Check out discount websites like to see if there are any good deals going on before you travel.