From keeping track of expenses to taking advantage of hotel freebies, these tips can help you save money on business traveling.
The longer you wait to book your flight, the more expensive it will become. Understandably, some trips are last minute, but when you know in advance when you'll be taking a trip, plan accordingly. Businesspeople avoid winter months. Stay away from holiday weeks, such as Labor Day and President's Day.
Since airlines started charging for checked baggage, every passenger is allowed one carry-on and one additional bag for free, so when traveling (especially for a weekend trip) you can easily pack all the essentials and necessities into one bag. Trying to cram huge-sized carry-ons into tight overhead spaces will not help you when traveling for work so plan ahead.
Use a Flexible Business Card
Flexibility is key when looking for a business credit card. While you're traveling, use the Plum Card from American Express, which gives you more flexible payment options. You will also receive an extra .5 percent on all purchases for the first six months.
Be Smart Regarding Meals
Take advantage of freebies at your hotel. If they don't offer free breakfast take a trip to the local grocery store to stock up on some fruit, milk, cereal, coffee or any other food you like to eat. This will help save money by not having to spend upwards of $10 a meal when you can spend a fraction of that by grocery shopping. Traditionally, lunch is less expensive than dinner up to 30 percent cheaper, according to Tim Zagat, the founder and publisher of Zagat Survey, a provider of user-generated content rating thousands of top restaurants worldwide.
Instead of constantly buying water bottles, purchase one before or after your flight and use the same bottle for the duration of your trip. You can easily fill up your water bottle at drinking fountains or fast food places, so keep your bottle handy and refill it as necessary.
Negotiate Your Own Price for Your Hotel Stay
Shop prices on the Internet. Use Priceline, for example, to negotiate hotel discounts. Using the "Name Your Own Price" feature, you can set your own rates. So, if your budget is to spend no more than $60 a night on the rate for a room, you can set that as your max price; the site then weeds through hotels and finds a match for you.
You can also use sites like Kayak, Hotwire and Expedia to find the cheapest rates for hotels, car rentals and flight travel. Hotwire has a "Low Price Guarantee" in which if within 48 hours of booking, if a lower rate for an identical booking is found they'll pay you the difference between the two rates.