Cost Saving Strategies for Travel Spends

A Budget is Telling Your Money Where To Go, Instead of Wondering Where it Went.” — John C. Maxwell

Are you overpaying? Are platform and transaction fees eating away at your corporate travel budget? Fret not! This blog will reveal the tactics.

Imagine a bustling office where executives scramble to book flights, reserve hotels, and secure transportation for their next business venture. As the world hurtles into the future, where every penny counts and efficiency reigns supreme, the need for streamlined travel solutions has never been more pressing. Amid this chaos lies a silent revolution, a game-changer in cost saving strategies for corporate travel spending. 

But let’s rewind a bit and set the stage. Traditional corporate travel platforms like Concur, Navan, and TravelPerk have long dominated the scene, offering services bundled with platform + transaction fees that silently chip away at company budgets. While effective in facilitating bookings, these platforms often leave corporations grappling with the hidden costs that lurk beneath the surface.

In the vast expanse of corporate travel, where budgets often resemble a labyrinth of hidden fees and elusive savings, a ray of hope emerges—ITILITE. It operates on a simple principle: there is only a transaction fee, no hidden fees, no extra charges, just pure, unadulterated savings.

As we step into 2024, the landscape of corporate travel management is evolving, driven by the quest for smarter cost-saving strategies. It’s not just about booking flights and hotels anymore; it’s about optimizing every aspect of the journey, from when the itinerary is crafted to when the traveler sets foot back in the office.

This article will take you through the corridors of corporate travel management, where every decision is a step towards smarter spending. We’ll reveal direct savings and secrets of cost-saving strategies.

Analyze Past Travel Spend for a Smarter Future Planning

US businesses hold a goldmine of insights from past travel expense reports in this data-driven world. Analyzing trip data for 2023 can be a game-changer for cost-saving strategies in 2024. 

Dive deeper and see which routes have the most frequent last minute bookings, potentially indicating savings through advanced purchase policies. By identifying peak booking seasons for specific destinations, you can encourage early purchases for significant airfare discounts. 

Analyze Past Travel Spend

Analyze booking trends – could pre-negotiated corporate rates or loyalty programs yield significant savings? Refer to these questions.

  1. Which department is spending more? 
  2. What is the average quarterly spend? 

Treat your data like a roadmap to smarter travel decisions, and in 2024, you can unlock a trove of cost saving ideas for your business trips.

Charting New Cost Saving Horizon: Insightful Corporate Travel Spend Tactics for 2024

After all, every dollar saved counts! Let’s take a look at the 5 cost saving ideas for corporate travel in the US.

1. Impact Of Corporate Deals

A corporate travel manager, Emily was neck-deep in booking flights and hotels for her company’s upcoming sales conference in Chicago. As she browsed through options, a familiar email notification popped up. It was from her company’s preferred travel management company (TMC), which highlighted the benefits of their corporate deals (enrolled in loyalty programs) with airlines and hotels. Intrigued, Emily clicked through. The email detailed a special partnership with American Airlines, offering her company:

  • A 1-5% flight discount depends on the route and booking class. This could translate to significant savings, especially considering the high volume of flights she needed to book for the conference attendees.
  • The email also announced a 3% discount on booking fees for hotels booked through the TMC’s platform. This small percentage could make a big difference when booking multiple hotel rooms for a large group, like the one Emily managed.

Observation: if the average hotel room for the conference costs $200 per night, a 3% discount on booking fees would translate to a saving of $6 per room. With 20 attendees, that’s $120 saved on booking fees! 

The benefits of enrolling in a loyalty program helped her get corporate deals that weren’t saving the company money; they were also making her job easier. By leveraging these pre-negotiated discounts, she could streamline the booking process, secure better rates, and stay within the company’s budget – all while offering her colleagues a comfortable and cost-effective travel experience. It’s a win-win situation for the company and its employees! 

Suggested Read: Optimizing Travel Loyalty Programs with SaaS: Maximizing Rewards


2. Advance Travel Booking is Essential for Optimal Planning

An executive Assistant, Sarah, adjusted her glasses and tapped her pen against the calendar. Her boss, Mr. Jones, was due for a business trip to New York in a month, and Sarah knew the drill. It was time to lock in those travel arrangements.

“Hmm, flights are already showing over $400,” she muttered, “That’s quite a jump.” A quick check on the company’s travel booking platform confirmed her suspicions. “Last-minute bookings are brutal,” she thought, remembering the countless times she’d scrambled to secure decent deals for trips booked on short notice. 

Prices skyrocketed, sometimes by as much as 15%! Imagine a $300 flight morphing into a $450 one just because they waited. Sarah wasn’t just price-conscious; she was a champion of the deeply ingrained “Culture of Cost-Consciousness” in her company.

Therefore, Sarah could avail these:

  • Flight Savings: Booking flights in advance could slash prices by 30%! Imagine, a $300 flight could plummet to just $210! In a fast-paced business world, every penny counts.
  • Hotel Hacks: Similar magic worked for hotels. Early bookings could unlock up to 30% savings, transforming a $500 room into a budget-friendly $350 haven. No more sleepless nights scouring for affordable options!
  • Car Rental Conquests: Even car rentals were resistant to the power of bookings. Securing a car 14 days beforehand could result in a 10% discount, turning a $200 rental into a $180 steal!

So, the next time your travel calendar fills up, remember that some planning goes a long way. Embrace the power of advance booking and empower your business to save big!

3. Breaking Hotel Hegemony

Break free from the hotel rut! Business travelers often get stuck using the same hotel chains, missing out on new experiences and potentially overpaying. As a corporate travel manager, you can incentivize trying different hotels to save on costs. 

Imagine your sales team stays at a predictable chain for $200 a night. A new, trendy hotel nearby might offer a great corporate rate of $180 with unique amenities. Over multiple trips, these savings can add up significantly. 

4. Adopt a User-Led Program and Eliminate Reimbursement Process

Karen, a harried sales rep, was stuck on a red-eye with a sky-high taxi receipt burning a hole in her pocket. That’s the old world of business travel – rigid expense reports and endless reimbursements. 

Let’s shift to the user-led revolution! With a user-led program, Karen logs into a corporate travel booking app. Need a hotel? Swipe through curated options that fit her budget and preferences. Flight delays? The app rebooks her with a tap. No more paper trails, making Karen focus on closing deals, not receipts.

So, why the shift for companies? They can forget the paperwork chaos and gain more control on cost. It’ll put an end to chasing approvals – this program sets spending limits based on trip needs. Besides, employees are empowered and takes the onus of choosing budget-friendly options. Since budgets are set upfront, so business travelers like Karen stays within limits, and the company can cut down costs upto 30% on travel.

5. Why Do Unifying Payments In Business Travel Bookings Matter?

John, a salesman constantly on the road, has to book flights, hunt for hotels, and juggle receipts—it’s a travel nightmare. But what if there was a portal combining bookings and payments?

It’s time to opt for unified corporate travel. What if a single platform where John’s corporate trips are booked and managed? The system integrates his flight and hotel reservations with expense tracking. No more scrambling for receipts! After his trip, John snaps a photo of his restaurant bill, and the platform auto-categorizes it.

This unification unlocks a treasure trove of benefits. Reconciliation, once a dreaded task, becomes child’s play. The finance teams were freed from chasing paper trails. Besides, ITILITE enforces travel policies, ensuring John gets the best deals without exceeding budgets.

Another win is streamlining payments. Corporate cards pre-loaded with trip funds eliminate the need for expense advances or cash. Additionally, the platform integrates with popular payment methods, allowing John to pay for incidentals seamlessly. Unified systems provide real-time expense data, empowering companies to negotiate better deals with airlines and hotels. Imagine bulk discounts for frequent business travelers! Companies save significantly on administrative costs by eliminating manual processes and duplicated efforts.

In this dynamic world, unified corporate travel isn’t just convenient; it’s strategic. So, let go of the travel chaos and embrace a smoother, smarter way to business trips.

Suggested Read: Why Now is the Time to Unify Your Travel and Expense Management?

Empower Travelers, Strengthen Your Bottom Line

Combining cost-efficiency with a traveler-friendly approach creates a win-win situation. By implementing these five smart strategies – from leveraging technology to fostering employee engagement – you can streamline your corporate travel program and unlock significant savings. 

You can get faster reimbursements, simplified expense reports, and valuable insights that empower better budgeting and vendor negotiations. The path to efficient and cost-effective travel management is clear. Take charge and put these strategies into action today. Watch your corporate travel management soar and your bottom line sing!