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“Many believe effective networking is done face-to-face, building a rapport with someone by looking at them in the eye, leading to a solid connection and foundational trust.”
-Raymond Arroyo

While modern communications like video conference facilitate face to face contact, you may eventually need to get some in person contact with important small business Travel 1clients, vendors and employees.    The outcome of certain relationships depend on it.

Travel is expensive, however.  Be ready to pay for:

  • Airfare + Bags
  • Fuel if Driving
  • Eating Out
  • Accomodations
  • Rental Cars or Cab Fares
  • Entertainment
  • Wifi Access

Fortunately, there are almost as many ways to save money as there are to spend it.  Here’s a list of tips and tricks from the thrifty:

Airfares

air travel business

  1. Tickets – Planning far in advance gets you the best deals.  Try one way tickets to and from.   Fly when no one wants to – Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.
    • Check Google Flights – dead accurate low fares
    • WhichBudget – a new flight checker
    • Yapta for fare tracking and refunds from the airlines should prices drop after  a purchase
  2. Connecting Flights – Connecting flights and layovers take more time, but can save you a large chunk of change.
  3. Travel Light – Since airlines are getting away with charging for bags and more for oversized bags, it’s better than ever to travel light.  JetBlue and Southwest do not charge for bags currently.
  4. Going one way? – Still look into roundtrip – Sometimes, one way tickets are so expensive that the round trip ticket is cheaper. Just don’t use the return trip.
  5. Alternate Routes – Check flying in and out of different airports
  6. Traveling to Two Countries – If you are plan to visit two countries and an airline makes you change planes in one of the countries, you may be able to have a multi-day layover in that country.  See if that works better pricewise

Meals

  1. Plan Your Meals – Find out where the affordable eateries are beforehand, so you’re not stuck hungry or broke.  There’s also plenty of coupons online with sites like Groupon.
  2. Prepare your own meals – You can make quick meals like sandwhiches which will save lots of money and allow you to stay in a routine from home.
  3. Leftovers – Save leftovers for next day meals
  4. Avoid hotel breakfasts – You may need to wake up a little earlier, but you’ll get to experience a local café and save a ton on breakfast.
  5. Don’t eat in the tourist areas – Find out where the locals go to eat.  Burrito and Sandwich shops will save you a ton.

Car Rentals

car rental small business

  1. Look at various location options – Often, airport rentals are less expensive than intown rentals.  It’s supply and demand.  Also, avoid one way rentals at all costs, even if you have to rent at two separate locations over the course of your trip.
  2. Save on Insurance – Some insurance and many credit cards have car rental coverage so take advantage of those when you rent a car. All you have to do is pay with the credit card that will cover you. (Just make sure you decline the coverage from the rental company when they ask)
  3. Car Size – Check the various sizes pricing and gas mileage.  A 4 cylinder generally gets much better mileage than a V6.
  4. Corporate Rates – Weekends are generally cheaper, and many rental agencies have corporate rates. I rented a Budget Moving Truck for 20% less money because I used my business name.
  5. Coupons – Online prices are cheaper and coupons are everywere for car rentals.  Often, you need to book online to get the special pricing

Currency

  1. Watch That Currency –consider the exchange rate when you travel. This sometimes makes the biggest difference.
  2. Getting Cash – Avoid currency exchange centers as they often have poor rates.  Find places online to get cash in local currency when you’re there.
  3. Use a local version of a website – It may be much cheaper to book in local currency, so check the local version of a website.

Accommodationssmall business hotel accomodations

  1. Stay in Nearby Towns – Sometimes the smaller towns have better rates.  You can also try airport hotels for best rates.
  2. Room or Home Rentals – Sites like Air B&B offer rooms in share housing for travellers at really low rates compared to hotels.
  3. Suites – Instead of having two rooms, consider the two-bedroom suites that some hotels provide. They will end up being cheaper and you get just as much privacy with your own room.
  4. Coupons – Look online for the best rates or coupons.  Again, Groupon is a good place to find local hotel deals.  Also, check Priceline.

Other Savings Suggestions

  1. Book a Bundle – There are many package deals that saves you money if you book hotels and flights together. Basically, the more business you can give them, the better discount they can give you.   On Priceline, you only get one bid Every 24hrs, so you need to make it count.  Do some research first, finding retail prices of hotels and reducing by 25-40%.
  2. Go Off Season – Consider off season business visits.
  3. Reward Points – Using a corporate card with miles for business purposes will rack up miles quickly