Corporate Traveller shares 8 insider hacks for cutting business travel costs

Travel expert shares 8 insider hacks for cutting business travel costs

Business travel is continuing its growth, with a projected 188 per cent rise in the next five years [1]. Alongside this trend, the costs associated with doing business, including travel, have also grown. In response to these trends, a seasoned business travel expert is offering 8 hacks – from taking flights on the half-hour mark and early weekdays, to booking eight days in advance – to help businesses get more value out of their travel in the next financial year.

Corporate Traveller is a SME travel management specialist division for Flight Centre Travel Group. Customer Success Leader Raychil Coutts says: “With cost of living, the current state of the economy and the upcoming election, businesses want us to make cost effective travel management plans. Knowing the tricks of the trade to secure the best deals is vital for corporates that need to travel regularly. We have a few money-saving hacks that have been tried and tested by business travellers over the years. A factor corporate travellers need to consider is how to balance their time with the cost of travel. You can shop around comparing prices on different websites taking a lot of time, or jump on Savi our marketing leading online booking tool and have a flight. hotel and car booked within 2-3 minutes, saving you time and money. At Corporate Traveller we know that value, service and efficiency are priceless for businesses, which is why many of these hacks will also improve the travel experience and save time.”

8 insider hacks for cutting business travel costs

1. Book flights on the quarter-hour or half-hour for cheaper fares.

Corporate Traveller’s veteran business flyers swear by this rule, and they put this down to a classic case of supply and demand. Flights that leave on the hour are more costly, as they are booked more frequently. For example, an executive assistant or travel booker might be instructed by management to book a flight at 8am, and they will simply book a flight at that exact time. By booking flights 15 or 30 minutes either side of the hour, travel bookers can find a less busy, and therefore more affordable, option.

2. Book early-week flights.

Data shows that, on average, flights that depart on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday have been 12 per cent cheaper than weekend departures [2]. This hack will be useful for business travellers who have the flexibility to book early-week meetings. Late-week flights, while more expensive, come with other bonuses: a traveller may be paying more for a Friday flight, but they have the added advantage of tacking on a weekend away in that destination.

3. Stick to one or two airline rewards programs.

It’s tempting to sign up to every rewards program out there, but Corporate Traveller recommends maximising just one or two of the major ones and growing your membership status within them. The most covetable perks in these programs – such as the first pick of seats, additional luggage and business lounge access – are available for members that reach gold or platinum status, which is difficult to 1Global business travel market size 2028 | Statista 2 How to find the best deal on your next flight ( achieve across multiple programs. The major programs, such as Air New Zealand Airpoints and Qantas Frequent Flyer, allow you to accumulate and redeem points when flying with a broad range of alliance partners.

4. Negotiate prices across your travel suppliers every 24 months.

Many businesses have a ‘set and forget’ approach to their travel policies. This year, Corporate Traveller has seen several policies that have not been updated since 2019. If you’re looking to reduce your business’s travel budget in FY24, it’s worth negotiating prices and scope of services with providers – such as hotels and car hire companies – set out in your policy. It may be worthwhile switching to providers that offer better value. Whichever way your business’ travel has changed over the past few years, you should have a travel policy to match it.

5. Stay close to the CBD.

Some people may think that staying somewhere away from the CBD can cut costs for hotels and restaurants. But in New Zealand, most suburban accommodation providers are motels that are not close to late night dining options or have onsite dining available for late night arrivals. The other factor to bear in mind is transport options. With public transport limited in some places, traffic being an issue in urban areas and a high cost for Ubers and Taxis, staying somewhere within walking distance of where you need to go can save time and money. If you are going to stay slightly further away, make sure there’s good public transport options.

6. Bundle your trips.

Since the pandemic, many of Corporate Traveller’s own customers have changed the frequency and length of their trips. While same-day trips were hugely popular in 2019, weekly trips are taking over, as businesses bundle several meetings in a single twoor three-day trip – and occasionally a leisure trip tacked onto the end.

7. Flexibility trumps loyalty for cutting costs.

Sticking to the same hotel group or airline because you’re on a loyalty program can give you unique perks and deals but may not equate to cheaper travel over the year. Regularly compare prices with other travel providers to ensure you have the best value. Alternatively, set a cost cap for travel and allow your employees to pick their own hotels and flights. This gives travellers ownership over their business trips and better employee satisfaction, while ensuring costs meet an agreed rate.

8. Join value-add programs and sign up to travel newsletters.

It’s worth selectively signing up to hotel and airline e-Newsletters to keep on top of sales and discount codes exclusive to subscribers. For example, Qantas recently announced its Companion Sale - discounted rates on pairs of travel bookings - in its newsletter. Businesses can pass these offers to their travel management provider, such as Corporate Traveller, to book the special price on their behalf. A good travel management provider should also offer deals for its customers. Corporate Traveller’s SmartStay program, for instance, offers exclusive hotel deals, with add-ons including free breakfast, late checkout, and upgrades where available.

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