The cost of travel continues to be at the heart of many corporate budgets. And with IATA predicting a return to profitability for airlines in 2023 – the majority of which will be driven by high passenger demand – and with hotel room rates expected to continue rising, according to Morgan Stanley’s Outlook 2023: Business Travel Bounces Back, where can you potentially save money in the new financial year 2023/2024?
Follow our tips to help deliver the best value for your travel budget when 1 April arrives.
· Pre-planning can make a significant difference on flight prices. If you want to find cheap flights, the cheapest air fares will usually be the first that become available and airlines begin to change prices as demand grows. Ideally, buy flights within a 21-day window before departure to find the best flight deals.
· Talk to an expert fares consultant at your TMC about your flight needs, preferences and objectives. Not only do they know the routes inside out, they will be able to explain what value the traveller will get from each ticket. Your TMC will suggest the best routes that deliver the best possible fare and added value.
· Review your flight policy – understand how your travellers are booking and identify any ways they can save.
· Save on CO2 by batch travelling – maximise efficiency by arranging meetings on your return in other countries.
Similar to flight bookings, the further you book in advance should make it easier to find the best hotel deals; although be aware that these are sometimes non-refundable.
· If you arrange hotel bookings with preferred suppliers, there could be an opportunity to negotiate rates. Sign up to your preferred supplier’s loyalty programmes to receive any rewards too.
· The after-effects of the pandemic on working practices mean best booking times have evolved. With hybrid working increasingly the norm, the busiest days for hotel bookings tends to be Tuesdays and Wednesdays – so book outside of those days for better rates.
· Also research whether there are any major corporate meetings and events planned at your travellers’ destination. These tend to book further ahead, so it makes sense to do the same, to ensure you get the best rates.
· During times of high demand, check the rates of a variety of rental company suppliers. Reed & Mackay has preferred rates with multiple supplier and may find more competitive corporate rates.
· Car sharing for travellers going to shared locations is not only preferable from a sustainability point of view, but can be a great way to manage the travel budget.
· Instead of car rental, consider hiring alternative vehicles, such as Black Car limousines, which can be cheaper.