Business travel doesn't have to be expensive; simply heed a few of the following money-saving tips to lower your business travel costs.
- Avoid setting meetings around the holidays
Whether it's March Break, Reading Week, Christmas or Thanksgiving (Canadian and American), avoid having to travel for business around these holidays as airline seats and hotels are at a premium.
- Avoid travelling when everyone else is
The best airfare deals often happen for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Also look at the time of day you are travelling; a late-night or early-morning departure/arrival might save you some money.
- Pack light
Packing lightly for your travels can save you money. Many airlines charge fees for overweight bags, oversized bags, and for checking more than the allowed number of bags per passenger.
For shorter business trips, try to pack everything you need in your carry-on. Not only will you avoid the possibility of lost luggage, but you won't be spending time waiting around the luggage carousel looking for your bags. Confirm with your airline what exactly you're allowed to bring in your carry-on, as well as to see if a laptop bag counts (it often doesn't.) If it doesn't count as a carry-on then not only can you bring it with you on the plane but you can also bring along another small bag with your personal effects.
- Keep your airline options open
Look into all the airlines flying into the city you are interested in, including low-cost carriers. Find out what you get for your money like meals and advance seat assignments. If these are features you don't need, see if you can have them taken off the price of your ticket.
- Keep your airport options open
In large cities, your airfare could depend on which airport you fly out of, or into. If it makes sense, look into nearby airports to see how it affects the cost of your ticket.
- Keep in touch
After you buy your ticket, contact the airline or travel agent once or twice before you leave to check the fare. Fares change all the time, and if that same fare goes down before you fly, some airlines will refund the difference. But you have to ask.
- Reuse unused tickets
While most discounted airfares are non-refundable and non-transferrable, did you know that if you are unable to make your trip you can use the money you paid for your airfare towards another ticket with the same carrier? If available, there is often an administrative fee. It would be a good idea to purchase trip interruption insurance if your flight does get cancelled for whatever reason.
- Book the smallest car you need
Not only will it cost you less than a mid-sized or full-sized car, but often if your compact isn't ready for you they'll upgrade you for free to a roomier vehicle.
- Avoid renting a car at the airport
It's often cheaper to rent from an off-site office. Some rental companies will pick you up and drop you off at no charge.
- Return the car on time
If you return the rental after the scheduled return time, you could get dinged for a whole extra day's fee.
- Learn how to share
If you're travelling with a colleague, you might consider sharing a room. If not, at minimum you could share a rental car. It's likely not necessary that you will both need one.
- Get travel insurance
Emergency medical travel insurance is a must-have for all travelling Canadians. Even Canada's Consular Affairs don't mince words when they say on their website "DO NOT leave Canada without supplementary medical insurance." Even for the smallest of accidents, or the most common illnesses, emergency medical travel insurance offers you protection by ensuring you get the attention you need, when you need it while not having to worry about how your emergency treatment will get paid.
Before you leave, get emergency medical travel insurance quotes from many of the best travel insurance providers online and get the coverage you need. And don't forget to pack it in your travel kit with your other must-have documentation (i.e. travelling to Cuba or Mexico and travelling to the U.S.)! Compare emergency medical travel insurance today!
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