Traveling is inevitable for many small business owners, even if it’s only required occasionally. However, there is no need to worry if you need to meet with clients in another city or state but don’t want to spend a fortune. It’s completely possible to travel in style even when you’re strapped for cash! Here are six easy suggestions to try on your next business trip.
- Fly discount airlines. If you need to attend a conference or meet with customers in another locale, do your homework before booking a flight. There are numerous budget airlines that offer few- or no-frills flights at a fraction of the cost. A few to consider:
- Save big with discount hotel websites. Unless you’re planning a luxurious destination vacation like a trip to a tropical resort and spa, the place you lay your head at night doesn’t need to be incredibly fancy—especially if you’re only in town for a few days. You probably don’t want to stay in a dive, however, so utilize discount websites to book your room. Some discount travel sites do not tell you the actual name of the hotel until you’ve made your reservation, but you can generally make a selection based on star levels or other quality rating factors. Check out the following:
- Take advantage of rewards programs. Many hotels offer generous rewards programs through which you earn points that can be applied toward your next stay. If you travel fairly regularly, inquire about rewards cards because you may be able to earn free hotel stays by frequenting the same hotel. Budget-friendly hotel chains with rewards programs include:
- Avoid peak travel times whenever possible. Airline tickets, business class hotels, and rental cars are generally more expensive during the week because they are frequented by business travelers who want to be home on the weekends. If possible, avoid spending more by scheduling meetings on weekends. If you are traveling to attend a convention, be sure to book your room well in advance. Prices will go up considerably as the date of the event nears because so many people will be heading into town.
- Pack wisely and avoid luggage fees. Luggage fees have increased significantly over the past few years. Find out your airline’s policies before heading to the airport. Packing one carry-on bag rather than a large, heavy suitcase could save you considerably!
- Eat for free! Most hotels and motels offer some type of free breakfast for travelers. If yours does, take advantage and eat up! Many hotel breakfast buffets also have fresh fruit and pre-packaged baked goods. Grab an extra one and take it with you so you don’t have to buy a mid-morning snack.
Traveling for leisure is generally a lot more fun than traveling for business, especially if your business has a tight budget. Save your spending for fun, memory-making family vacations, and follow the above-mentioned tips when you travel for work.
Chris Turberville-Tully works with ESA. Maidenhead, one of many locations for this alternative to hotels, is home to many of the UK’s national and global companies.