Travel is an essential part of many small businesses. To survive and thrive, you need to get out there and meet customers. As an established name in business travel, we here at Hotel Engine are well aware of the challenges you face. That’s why we put together this post on five easy ways to save money on SMB travel.
1. Shop around
Sounds obvious right? Shop around for a good deal? Yet you would be amazed at the number of SMB travelers that think they don’t have time or the energy to shop around for their travel or accommodation. It isn’t about the lack of will but the perceived lack of time that gets in the way.
If you’re serious about saving money on your SMB travel, you should set aside an hour to shop around for great value accommodation. With an average savings of around 26 percent, there are significant savings to be made with Hotel Engine.
2. Be as flexible as possible
Flying directly from A to B may not be the cheapest way to get to where you’re going. Indirect flights, weekend or morning flights or red-eyes can all offer decent cash savings if you’re willing to be flexible. While there is an element of inconvenience involved, there are also savings to be made too.
Mixing business and pleasure isn’t always a bad thing. Adding a day or even a few hours onto your travel plans can save money and give you time to explore the city or area you’re in at the time.
3. Planes, trains and automobiles
Flying isn’t the only way to travel. If you’re going long distance it might be. If you’re only traveling a state away, driving or taking the train can be much cheaper. You also avoid the inconvenience of waiting at airports, putting your laptop in luggage and all the unpleasantness of modern flight.
Traveling by train is one secret of SMB travel that few people take advantage of. Trains are comfortable, cheaper and are usually on time!
4. Use technology in every aspect of SMB travel
Technology is our friend. Not only can it help keep you productive while on the road, it can entertain, communicate and save money too. Use Uber instead of a taxi, check gas prices before you stop, rearrange tickets on the fly if delayed, keep clients abreast of developments on social media if something happens, use WhatsApp or FaceTime to keep in touch with family while away.
There are also coupon websites, voucher codes and our very own hotel discount search engine that can all help save money on your SMB travel.
5. Claim back everything
The IRS doesn’t give you much but what allowances you are permitted, you should definitely take. Check out their information on SMB travel here. Make sure you use per diem rates for meals (M&IE allowance), hotel room, flight, gas, taxi or Uber, any breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as reasonable snacks. Different destinations qualify for different allowances to check the IRS website for specifics.
You are permitted to take a little personal time during SMB travel but be careful to not add deductions for that. Don’t forget to claim standard mileage if you use your own car either.
Business travel can be a considerable expense but that cost can be reduced significantly if you take the time to plan properly. Got any other easy ways to save money on SMB travel?