Investment in business travel creates opportunities for your company or startup to generate incremental revenue and expand the customer base. Your organization can further increase the ROI of business travel by reducing the average business trip costs. While making or updating organizational travel and expense (T&E) policies, you can reduce travel costs using several strategies.
However, you must ensure that none of the strategies impacts the business travel experience and business traveler safety. Your policy must allow employees to book their preferred flights, hotels, car rentals, and other travel products. Likewise, you must help them save money by providing business credit cards for travel.
At the same time, you need to ensure that each employee can access up-to-date information, travel support, and emergency assistance seamlessly. Here are some strategies your policy should consider to reduce travel costs without making it challenging for employees to accomplish business travel goals.
10 Strategies to Reduce Travel Costs without Impacting Business Travel Experience
- Define and Communicate Booking Guidelines
Employees spend most of their business travel budgets on travel products. Your T&E policy must help employees choose and book travel products. However, it must control costs by defining what business travel products an employee can book.
Also, it should encourage employees to complete travel bookings early, prioritize fully flexible tickets, and use various deals. In addition to defining booking guidelines, you should focus on ensuring travel policy compliance.
- Make Pre-Trip Approval Mandatory
Employees often escalate travel costs by booking unapproved business trips. Your T&E policy must make it mandatory for employees to get the required approval before starting travel booking. The approver will check the relevance of the business trip and ensure policy compliance while approving a business travel request. Hence, your company can reduce travel costs by preventing booking cancellations and rescheduling.
- Centralize Business Travel Booking
Your organization can ensure policy compliance and control costs by centralizing business travel booking. You can centralize business travel booking by implementing integrated T&E management software or using a travel management company.
Both options ensure that employees book in-policy travel products early. Also, they help your company save money by making employees book travel products at lower than market rates. Additionally, centralized business travel bookings help your company reduce travel costs by streamlining travel expense management.
- Personalize Travel Booking
Work travelers these days love personalized recommendations. In addition to boosting business travel experience, personalized recommendations help your company save money by restricting booking options. You can implement the strategy effectively by implementing an AI-driven T&E solution.
The software will recommend travel products to employees based on their booking history and travel preferences. However, it will ensure that employees book travel products at negotiated rates without violating T&E policies.
- Incentive Employees to Save
You can run incentive programs to reduce travel costs without impacting the business travel experience. The reward program will motivate employees to save funds on business trips. For instance, an employee can reduce costs by opting for low-cost travel products.
But you must give a specific percentage of the cost savings to employees as rewards. Also, your company must help employees estimate business trip costs by implementing the right T&E management solution.
- Provide Business Credit Cards for Travel
Your T&E policy must simplify business travel booking by supporting conventional and digital payment methods. However, it should reduce travel costs by making employees prioritize business credit cards for travel over other payment methods.
An employee can book flights and hotels at discounted rates using business credit cards designed especially for travel expenses. At the same time, he will earn travel reward points which he can redeem while making business travel arrangements in the future.
- Mitigate Business Travel Risks
Employees have to spend money on overcoming travel challenges and mitigating travel risks during business trips. Your company can control business travel costs by providing them with travel support and emergency assistance.
You can partner with the right travel management company to ensure that employees get real-time information and support 24 hours a day. Likewise, you can ensure their safety and security by implementing software featuring robust duty-of-care solutions.
- Streamline Travel Expense Management
Your company cannot reduce travel costs without streamlining and automating travel expense management. It needs expense management software to track travel expenses, conduct expense audits, and analyze travel expense data without escalating human resource costs.
The software will boost employee experiences by automating expense report generation and accelerating travel expense reimbursements. At the same time, you can use the software to reduce costs by ensuring policy compliance, preventing travel expense fraud, and controlling overspending.
- Consider T&E Management Automation
In addition to automating a cost-sensitive process, integrated T&E management software helps your company reduce business travel costs in several ways. You can implement the right software to ensure that employees can book business trips only after getting the required approvals.
Also, the software will ensure that employees book in-policy travel products at off-market rates. At the same time, your company can leverage the software to get real-time travel spend visibility and find cost-saving opportunities.
- Leverage Data-Driven Insights
It becomes easier for you to reduce business travel costs when you make sense of the T&E data of employees. In addition to unifying and updating T&E data, you should focus on getting data-driven insights.
Your company can implement the right software to analyze T&E data automatically and regularly. The actionable insights shared by the software will help you make informed financial decisions and reduce travel costs based on real-time T&E data.
Your organization can increase the ROI of business travel by reducing travel costs in several ways. But you need to ensure that none of the cost-saving strategies makes it difficult for an employee to accomplish business travel costs.
You should reduce business travel costs by considering strategies like end-to-end process automation. The features, tools, and options provided by integrated T&E software help your company reduce travel costs in several ways.
It will still help your company support self-booking, provide travel support, and ensure emergency assistance. Also, the software will enable your employees to save money using business credit cards for travel and making cost-conscious travel decisions.