We are often approached by clients to reveal "trade secrets" on how to reduce travel costs.
The truth is... there are none, but applying various money-saving tips, companies can effectively manage their travel expenses.
We have compiled what we believe to be the best industry tips in order for organisations to save money while travelling:
- Firstly, when it comes to flying, we would strongly advise to book further in advance if at all possible. The smaller the gap between the booking date and the travel date, the higher the price you pay. For example, by booking a flight from Heathrow to Entebbe four weeks in advance, rather than a week before, could save you 46%. This is mainly due to the majority of airlines making cheaper seats available first.
- It is also important to remember to ask about charity, academic and other specialist fares. These flights can be considerably cheaper, or have more flexible conditions, saving you a large amount. For example, booking a one-way flight to Buenos Aires using a specialist fare could save you more than £1,300 (78%) compared with a published rate.
- Organisations should also take advantage of collecting airmiles. Those who fly regularly with a particular airline can subscribe to their frequent flyer programme, for which benefits could include free flights. In addition, try to avoid holiday periods and peak travel times; flights will always be more expensive during these times. Flexibility in travel times allows you to find cheaper rates on flights, hotels and rail.
- Hotel bookings can typically make a huge dent within your travel budget. We would therefore suggest using a budget hotel chain, as many have invested in new refurbishments, eateries, Wi-Fi and boast great city locations. You can save upwards of 40% by staying at a budget chain as opposed to using a more established hotel. Another tip to consider, if you regularly stay in the same places is to negotiate a special rate. Equally, is there is a large group booking of 10 or more people, ensure you book together as this will often enable you to benefit from discounts of 10% or more.
- Like flying, it is important to book rail tickets in advance, as fares can be up to 58% cheaper than buying on the day. We would also suggest travelling non-peak hours, whenever possible, as these rates can be up to 73% cheaper. Buying two single tickets can often be cheaper than a return. Something else to consider if using rail services is signing up for a rail card. These are easy to acquire and can ultimately save up to 1/3 on your journeys.
- Booking travel can be quite overwhelming, especially when planning complex itineraries and high volumes of travel. This is when we would advise using Sterling Travel Management as we have the contacts, knowledge and experience to save you as much time and money as possible.