Whenever you are booking business travel, there are more options available than ever before right at your fingertips. That is very useful, but it does mean you have more decisions that you need to make.
In order to help business travelers navigate the multitude of travel solutions that are available and to make wise booking choices, we have compiled some of the best technologies and practices to consider. The following are seven useful tips for better planning and booking.
1. Use smart tools for planning trips and organizing details in a single place
There are mobile applications that have been specifically designed for the needs of business travelers that can save you a lot of hassle, time, and money. TrackTime24 allows you to see the whereabouts of all of your team and plan accordingly.
Entrepreneurs should search for booking tools that can sync with their mobile devices and offer recommendations on car rentals, hotels, and flights based on specific dates.
Business travelers also should look for apps that allow them to earn miles and points while on business travel.
After booking your itinerary, certain applications can be leveraged that generate travel itineraries automatically based on receipts and confirmation emails that you can access while on-the-go to keep everything organized.
2. Check one-way flights
Another important thing that business travelers should do is compare the options and prices for booking one-way flights. It can sometimes save a lot of money compared to booking round-trip flights since it allows you to select a different airline for each part of your trip. It also gives you more flexibility for timing flights more appropriately based on your travel plans.
3. Compare the real-time trade-offs between hotels and home rentals
Most travelers these days are aware that they can book short-term apartment and home rentals instead of a hotel. Certain perks are offered by rentals, such as more comfort and space, and often cost less than a hotel room.
Also, some offer living areas and kitchens to allow travelers to cook if they want to and enjoy other home comforts. However, hotels should not be automatically discounted by travelers. There are many hotels that offer cost-saving and convenient amenities, like shuttle services and free breakfast. Travelers should consider their overall needs to determine which route is best for them.
4. Avoid paying the high premiums associated with last-minute airfares
Sometimes it is unavoidable to have to make schedule changes at the last minutes. Usually booking a flight at the last minute results in very expensive airfares. However, there are ways to minimize premiums.
Recent data from SAP Concur shows it is best to book your flights eight days at least in advance. On average, tickets that are booked less than seven days before departure can cost 44 percent more than a tick hat is book 15 days ahead of time. Booking eight days out or longer can save you an average of $148 per ticket.
5. Think twice before you purchase the cheapest fare
In recent years, basic economy fares have been introduced by numerous airlines. These low fares are intended to compete against the no-frills airlines. Unfortunately, those fares are often not a great fit for business travel, since business travelers are unable to change their itinerary or receive refunds without a completely new ticket being issued. They might also get charged extra for carry-on bags or other standard amenities.
6. Join programs that help to significantly speed up security wait times at the airport.
Most business travelers these days are aware of the TSA Precheck program offered by the Transportation Security Administration that allows them to skip over a number of the time-consuming steps that are involved in airport screening lines and security.
However, global travelers might want to enroll in the Global Entry program offered by the U.S. Custom and Border Protection which allows an automatic kiosk to be used by business travelers for processing their passport, instead of having to wait in line at customs., along with expedited clearance that is available at numerous airports all over the world. After enrolling in the Global Entry program, travelers receive TSA Precheck automatically.
7. Store receipts electronically to cut down on paper clutter
Apps should be considered by business travelers that allow them to easily turn paper receipts into electronic ones. There are expense apps available that can be integrated with travel booking tools. Technology such as machine learning is used to allow expense line items to be pre-populated based on previous travel itineraries and/or activity.