You’re travelling for business, not pleasure. Doesn’t mean the trip itself shouldn’t be a pleasure though, does it?
That’s why today the GoRaise team is offering up some of the wisest corporate travel hacks in town. We’ve been all around the world so know a thing or two about dotting the i’s, crossing the t’s and packing a suitcase. Take heed to book and travel happy.
- Unless you manage to scrape a stonking late deal, booking train tickets early always works out cheaper than booking later.
- Train companies release Advance tickets 12-weeks before departure. These are the cheapest tickets, but they are limited in number.
- Travelling at short notice? Scuffed your chance to book in advance? Search for last-minute train tickets on Trainline so you don’t get ripped off.
- ‘Splitting’ your ticket may mean jumping on a connecting train but it can save you a bundle of cash. You’re talking 10 to 30% on one journey.
- Bought a train ticket you no longer need? Can’t get a refund for it? Try selling your ticket on Ticketswap.
- Season tickets can offer a huge saving on regular train travel. A season ticket also brings the benefit of not being tied to peak or off-peak travel. There are no decent comparison sites to compare season tickets, so you’ll want to head to the train company directly for big savings. Virgin Trains do season tickets as do Southwestern and Northern Rail. Here’s a Google search to get started.
- Sunday is the cheapest day of the week to buy plane tickets, while Friday is the cheapest day of the week to fly (Skyscanner).
- Regional carriers are often the cheapest carriers. For example, Brussels Airlines if flying to Geneva or Lufthansa if flying to Berlin.
- Flight prices can vary wildly from airport to airport. For example, an outbound flight from Leeds Bradford may be cheaper than one from Manchester.
- When comparing flights, Google Flights is a great place to get started. It lets you track flight prices and view a graph to see when tickets are at their cheapest. The beauty is you can use Google Flights purely as your search engine. You have the option to leave and book directly with the carrier once you’ve found a good deal.
- If you regularly fly a specific route, do yourself a favour and get your company signed up to fare alerts with Airfarewatchdog. You’ll then receive alerts for deals on routes you frequently fly. In other words, the work is done for you. Simply use the ‘watch a route’ feature and you’ll be ‘in the know’ without lifting a finger.
- As with train and plane fares there’s no point paying more for a hotel room when you can get it cheaper elsewhere. Some of the best sites to compare hotel rooms are Kayak, Booking.com, Trivago and TravelSupermarket.
- Booking directly with the hotel can provide additional savings. Call them with the price you get from a comparison site and see what they say. Booking directly is also quite often the only way to rack up loyalty points with a hotel.
- Getting a room upgrade could be as simple as asking for it. If the hotel isn’t booked up they might be so kind as to upgrade your room for free.
- If plans change and you won’t be needing your hotel room, you may find yourself ineligible for a refund. If so, you might have luck recouping some of the outlay by reselling your reservation on RoomerTravel.com or Cancelon.com.
- If you’re booking a flight you might be able to get car hire included at the airport. This is often free on long-haul business trips.
- Always compare car hire prices. Travel Supermarket’s car hire comparison is decent and, as always, you can go directly to the hire company once you’ve found a deal which can bring additional savings.
- Don’t forget your credit card. Many car hire companies require a credit card to proceed with services. A debit card may not be sufficient. If you don’t have a credit card, you may need to take one out to hire a car.
- Watch out for sky-high insurance excesses! You could be hit with an excess of more than £1,000 for any damage. To waiver this, some car hire companies offer a non-refundable excess deposit of £100 to £250. Avoid it. A cheaper option is car hire excess insurance. You’ll save around 65%. Travel Supermarket and Confused have decent comparison tools to get started.
Before and during travel
- Make a carry-all of essentials to avoid overpacking. A backpack or large tote can hold a surprising amount of luggage. People often overegg when packing. Take a step back, consider what you really need and pack the essentials only.
- Buy duplicate essentials and keep them in your bag (sanitary items, batteries, phone chargers etc.) so you can sling your hook at a moment’s notice.
- If you’re flying never check in your bag. Checking in your bag can add 30 minutes to your journey. If your bag is small enough for hand luggage, then it can go onboard with you, so you don’t have to wait at the baggage carousel.
- Buy non-iron shirts, trousers and other clothes so you’re always smart and ready to go to a business meeting.
- If your clothes do happen to get creased and you don’t have an iron in your hotel room, you can set a hot shower and hang your clothes in the bathroom. The steam will greatly reduce the number of wrinkles in your clothes.
- Don’t underestimate walking times. Whether you’re walking from your hotel to a meeting or walking from a train station, add 5 minutes to your estimate. Foot traffic can slow you down, plus you might want to grab a coffee.
- Travelling in the city? Buses get a bad rep but they’re a good option in cities, although you do need to plan your journey. Here’s a Google search to get started since bus operators run on different routes.
Corporate social responsibility
- Sign up with GoRaise to automatically donate money to good causes when you buy train tickets, plane fares and more online. It’s the quickest and easiest way to fundraise for good causes and it doesn’t cost you a penny extra. Add your company, choose a good cause (there’s 80,000 to choose from) and shop with any one of 3,000 retailers that donate.
- Choose accommodation with hotels and hostels who have published an environmental charter that matches your own company policy. The same goes for airlines and train companies.
- When eating out, eat at independent restaurants who bring their produce in from local farmers and grocers. This way you’ll support small businesses and not an organisational behemoth on the FTSE index.
- There are a few ways you can reduce your personal carbon footprint when on a business trip. You can hire a bicycle instead of a car, split an Uber or walk the journey you would normally hop in a taxi for. You should probably skip the helicopter ride too. Cool as it may be.
If you have another other tips for Corporate travel, let us know in the comments below!
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