How to Make Corporate Travel Savings

How to Make Corporate Travel Savings

Setting a corporate travel budget isn’t just about saving money. It’s ensuring your company maximizes its return on investment (ROI) and optimizes spending efficiently. 

The rise of remote working means that in-person engagement is at a premium, leading more companies to invest in corporate travel as part of their operations. Hybrid working is creating scenarios where face-to-face meetings and collaborations give companies an edge over their competitors, leading to increased demand for additional travel.

Corporate travel is a crucial for any company’s budget and impacts its bottom line. The average corporate trip in the U.S. cost $1,293 in 2023, with daily costs of $325. This stat jumps to an eye-watering $2,600 for international trips. While global travel has seen a marginal increase, domestic travel costs have jumped almost 30% from pre-pandemic pricing. 

As corporate travel continues to rebound, you can expect your budget to increase with it. 

Our in-depth guide shares advice on why business travel budgeting is important and how to make efficient cost savings without impacting your travel plans. RateHawk is the key to unlocking affordable corporate travel with access to 2.5 million hotels, car rentals, and transport options internationally. 

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The importance of business travel budgeting

The cost of corporate travel quickly starts adding up. It’s just the travel booking that forms part of your budget. Every corporate trip comes with dozens of individual transactions that add to the overall cost – from car rental to food expenses and taxis.

Travel budgets are amongst the most difficult finances for a company to manage and control.

While IT and office administration often have a sustainable budget, travel expenses can fluctuate from one employee to the next. The cost of transport and accommodation is only the start of your budgeting. Over 20% of business travel budgets are allocated to food expenses. 

Having a business travel budget is crucial to maintaining your company’s profitability and maximizing its return on investment. It’s easy to lose control of your spending if you don’t have a corporate travel budget in place. Establishing a budget can make corporate travel more sustainable, ensure expense compliance, and optimize trips. 

Establishing a budget can make corporate travel more sustainable, ensure expense compliance, and optimize trips. 
Photo: Sasun Bughdaryan/ Shutterstock.com

How to manage a travel budget effectively

Corporate travel is crucial to building relationships, networking, and staying relevant within emerging industries. Whether it’s a start-up or a multi-national company, organizations must manage their travel budget effectively to make these trips productive without negatively impacting their bottom line.

Minimizing overspending is crucial for managing a travel budget effectively.

Having a travel budget and strategy in place can maximize the potential of corporate travel and make it more affordable. Corporate travel agents can utilize these strategies to enable clients to make informed financial decisions and travel more consistently at an accessible price point.

We’re sharing eleven tips to save money while booking corporate travel:

Implement a corporate travel policy

Most companies will reimburse their employees for expenses incurred during corporate travel. Having a comprehensive travel policy is crucial to prevent unnecessary spending and set clear guidelines for employees. 

Your travel policy should include defined expense categories to show employees what is eligible for reimbursement and what isn’t.
Photo: Rawpixel.com/ Shutterstock.com

Your travel policy should include defined expense categories to show employees what is eligible for reimbursement and what isn’t.

Setting daily or per-trip spending caps will prevent your reimbursement system from being abused.

Consider choosing location-specific expense limits, as cities like New Delhi are more affordable than Geneva or London.

Invest in smart travel technology

Technology is your best friend in managing corporate travel budgets. Utilizing apps and travel management software to get complete transparency on booking and expenses. 

Digital expense management is more time and cost-efficient than manual processes and ensures accurate reporting for employee reimbursement and company accounts.
Photo: Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock.com

Introducing technology to your management processes can prevent unnecessary expenses and give your finance team real-time data on travel spending. Digital expense management is more time and cost-efficient than manual processes and ensures accurate reporting for employee reimbursement and company accounts.

Streamline corporate bookings

Working with a corporate travel agent can help establish spending limits and implement clear guidelines to ensure budget consistency. Services like RateHawk offer a centralized booking system with back-office management, including invoices, travel vouchers, and order reports for accurate accounting.

RateHawk offers an exclusive precheck option to make corporate travel stress-free. You’ll get access to the best rates on airline tickets, car rentals, and hotels in over 200 countries. Manage all your corporate bookings through one user-friendly platform with all your travel-related services together.

Corporate travel data insights

Data insights are crucial for making corporate travel savings. Incorporating technology into your travel management gives you real-time data to optimize your spending and identify areas of potential savings. 

Monitoring this data will make it easy to pinpoint excessive spending and compare departmental costs to ensure it is consistent with company KPIs.
Photo: Andrey_Popov/ Shutterstock.com

When you book your corporate travel through a platform like RateHawk, you get the best rates with data insights into your spending. 

You want to gather and analyze data on:

  • Cost of individual trips.
  • Average domestic and international travel costs.
  • Monthly travel budget costs.
  • Travel costs per department for each quarter.
  • Cost of departmental travel compared to its budget allocation.

Monitoring this data will make it easy to pinpoint excessive spending and compare departmental costs to ensure it is consistent with company KPIs.

Streamline travel expenses

Relying on manual travel expenses is one of the biggest issues for employees and finance departments. Almost 20% of expense claims have errors, taking an average of 20 minutes to fix. 

Invest in digital expense systems and encourage employees to upload receipts and expenses in real-time to ensure accurate reporting.
Photo: Nuttapol Sn/ Shutterstock.com

Using manual systems is less cost and time-effective, lacking the real-time visibility crucial for ensuring your company stays within its travel budget. Invest in digital expense systems and encourage employees to upload receipts and expenses in real time to ensure accurate reporting.

Offer expense savings incentives

Keeping track of travel expenses is crucial to staying within your corporate travel budget. You can encourage employees to be compliant with your travel policy and guidelines with incentives, especially for those who stay under budget. 

For example, you can reward employees who spend 80% or less of their daily travel expenses with incentives like gift cards, bonuses, and team-building experiences.

You can reward employees who spend 80% or less of their daily travel expenses with incentives like gift cards, bonuses, and team-building experiences.
Photo: Temych/ Shutterstock.com

Encourage employees to share transport

Transportation is a travel expense that quickly starts to add up. If you have employees traveling to the same destination or for the same event, encourage them to share transportation to reduce costs.

It’s an easy way to make corporate travel savings and reduce your company’s carbon footprint. Speak to your departmental teams before corporate travel and conferences to encourage them to share car rentals and taxis to stay within budget.

Stay flexible for extra savings

Flexibility is the secret to saving money on corporate travel. While you’ll not always have a choice on travel dates, encouraging flexibility with clients will allow you to explore more cost-effective routes and transport options. 

Monday and Tuesday flights are typically more expensive as they’re identified by airlines as being key corporate travel days.

Business travelers make up only 12% of airline passengers but up to 75% of revenue on popular flight routes. If you think a corporate trip may be rescheduled, it’s worth investing in a ticket with a free cancellation option to allow easy rebooking.

If you think a corporate trip may be rescheduled, it’s worth investing in a ticket with a free cancellation option to allow easy rebooking.
Photo: dilyaz / Shutterstock.com

Encouraging corporate travel during off-peak times will give you access to the best airline and hotel prices, as these typically operate with dynamic pricing. Pushing your corporate travel back a few days can make major savings for your travel budget.

Plan corporate travel early

Flexibility isn’t the only thing that can save you big on corporate travel. Planning ahead and avoiding last-minute reservations can drastically reduce costs.

Booking early will give you access to the most competitive rates and best packages. While booking early won’t be possible for every corporate trip, take advantage of this strategy for events like conferences and retreats that tend to be scheduled up to a year in advance.

Booking early will give you access to the most competitive rates and best packages.
Photo: Prostock-studio/ Shutterstock.com

 Avoid expensive travel add-ons

Airline tickets no longer include everything. Most domestic airlines have cut back on their bundles, charging for everything from seat selection to cabin baggage and in-flight meals. While this can make corporate travel bookings more complicated, it’s also an opportunity to make savings. Encourage employees to be smart with their travel choices and avoid excess baggage.

You can require employees to abide by certain requirements, including limited baggage on domestic and short corporate trips.

Other travel add-ons like lounge access, airport security fast track, and seat selection can all drastically increase the cost of corporate travel.

Encourage employees to be smart with their travel choices and avoid excess baggage.
Photo: Skreidzeleu/ Shutterstock.com

 Use an all-in-one travel platform

Stay on budget using an all-in-one booking platform that manages everything from car rental to accommodation and transport. RateHawk gives you access to exclusive rates on corporate travel, allowing you to filter searches to match your company’s travel policy and budget.

Our group booking options are ideal for corporate travel, including restaurant bookings, conference hosting, and event organization.

Discover more about our corporate group bookings here.

Make corporate travel affordable with RateHawk

Get access to over 2.5 million hotels from more than 230 suppliers internationally. RateHawk puts everything you need for corporate travel on one platform, from car rentals to transfers and airline tickets.

Help your clients stick to their corporate travel budgets with an all-in-one platform. Our user-friendly interface streamlines the booking process with an extensive inventory, exclusive rates, and 24/7 multi-lingual support.


Get started with RateHawk today to make corporate travel affordable domestically and internationally. 

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