Traveling Smart For Business
Being a public speaker, life coach, author, business owner, and avid conference attendee, I’ve become quite acquainted with the road (or the air, depending on the mode of transportation). In my years of traveling for work, I’ve been able to figure out some great hacks on saving time and money while traveling. I’m going to share with you a couple tips I always use when booking hotels and flights, and hopefully, you’ll also be able to flip these for yourself and save a load of cash in doing so.
FIND A FAVORITE HOTEL CHAIN & AIRLINE
With sites like Expedia, Kayak, Priceline, and Orbitz it’s relatively easy to compare prices on upcoming flights and available hotel rooms. However, don’t always settle for this option. I’ve found that this is a good resolve if I need something quick and easy. If you’re allowing yourself some real time to plan your travels, I always suggest finding your favorite hotel chain and airline and sticking with them as often as possible. This allows you to open up a rewards account with them and earn yourself free hotel rooms and frequent flyer miles. On top of these, you’ll also gain advantage of other perks such as wifi access, VIP lounges and priority check-in and boarding.
…BUT DON’T SETTLE ON ONLY USING HOTELS
I’m a fan of hotels for a lot of reasons. The convenience, the reward cards, the vending machines…but sometimes you need to travel for an extended amount of time and staying in a hotel just isn’t going to cut it. You need to be able to think, and relax, and feel like you’re at home. This is where other services like Airbnb come into play. In most cities, you’ll be able to find lodging with all the amenities of home at a fraction of the price that you would pay if you were staying in a hotel chain. Plus, in my experience, the homeowners leave you with free drinks and snacks, instead of charging you a price at 400% cost like some hotel chains.
DON’T BE TOO PROUD TO USE COUPON SITES
Entrepreneurs, directors, board members and anybody with any sort of stature behind their job title seem to have this overall sense of hatred for even the word “coupon”. I’m here to tell you, you’ll save your ass more times than not by taking a few minutes to check some popular coupon sites like RetailMeNot for deals on hotels, car rentals, restaurants, and other services required when traveling. Don’t be too proud. Saving yourself $50 on a car rental for the week starts to add up when you travel as much as some of us.
I know a lot of us are used to traveling with cash instead of cards, but I suggest utilizing a credit card whenever available. Obviously, don’t put yourself into credit card debt for a Bloomin’ Onion every night, but using a card instead of cash allows you the opportunity to reap the benefits of their rewards points programs. If you’re traveling overseas for work, make sure you have a card that doesn’t have foreign transaction fees.
LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONLY CARRY-ON LUGGAGE
Chances are you don’t need that 3rd pair of shoes, or backup slacks, or 20 shirts. Fit everything you need into one piece of carry-on luggage and skip the baggage check AND baggage claim wait times. Not only will this get you to your gate quicker, and to your destination faster, it will also save you a grip of money every year on luggage fees. If you’re paying $25 per flight to check a bag, and you fly 20 times a year, you just saved yourself enough money to buy 2,500 Chicken McNuggets…or some VR Goggles. Check your airline’s website before leaving to ensure that you have carry-on luggage that meets their requirements in regards to dimensions.
Bottom line is…You don’t need to break your (or your company’s) bank when traveling. Use these suggestions next time you’re traveling and compare the entire statement with your previous travel statements and see how much you’re saving by doing just a little bit of extra work.