Business travel lives in a world of its own. It often has all the inconvenience of traveling, such as fatigue and cost. But you rarely get to experience the fun side of traveling, because you’re too busy working! Therefore, it’s not uncommon for business travelers to try to save money by making cost-saving choices along with their trips. Unfortunately, saving costs can have dramatic consequences on the success of your business trip. When you’re not traveling for pleasure, it’s crucial to understand where you can cut off expenses and where you need to pay the price. Unfortunately, when you approach your travel costs from a budget perspective, you’re likely to make a false economy.
Indeed, a false economy happens when you think you are saving money, but in reality, it comes at a higher cost than expected. If you are a solo entrepreneur traveling for business, you can’t afford to overspend. However, saving too much and in the wrong places could be just as devastating for your business and your growth process. Therefore, you need to be smart about what you pay for, and how it can positively influence the result of your business trip. Here are some ideas to help you avoid false economies and identify the areas where you can’t afford to cut down costs.
Saving money on comfort is not a good plan
While it might be tempting to pick a cheap hotel if you’re staying overnight, you need to be cautious about your choice. Admittedly, you can’t book the royal suite in a 5-star hotel, but you need to make sure you can start every day feeling rested and relaxed. In other words, a good hotel with a high-quality bed is essential to your performance. Typically, you will find a handful of business hotels in city centers and around companies’ clusters. Ideally, you want a hotel that promotes good sleep and rest. More and more business hotels also have a health focus, with a nutritious breakfast menu and even an in-house gym. When you’re staying for a couple of days, you want a place you can call home and unwind. You can’t perform when you’re tired and fuelled with sugary drinks and pastry!
You might want to consider business apartments if you are staying for several weeks, as these are often services by hotels and suitable for extended stays. They come with all the comfort you need, plus a kitchen and laundry room.
Consider the best phone solution
Do you need a business phone? It’s the eternal question that every professional asks themselves when they’re about to launch their new business. The answer is yes, especially as you’re traveling for business. You may need to travel overseas, in which case you need to get a business phone number for your local clients. You can consider SIM card only packages, such as Smarty sim, which lets you sort out your communication needs in real-time without worrying about paying a premium on your smartphone contract. While it’s a good idea not to invest in a multinational smartphone contract? Unless you need to travel all the time for work, it’s not a good idea to buy huge premiums on your phone contract. For occasional trips, your accountant will much prefer a local sim card that can save a lot of unnecessary expenses. Additionally, you can be sure that your local partners or clients ill much prefer getting in touch without the cost of calling a foreign number.
Forget the cabin luggage rule
As a business traveler, you’re probably used to carry-on luggage pieces that can come with you in the cabin. Carry-on suitcases can be hugely practical when you need to travel for a couple of days. They are ideal for a laptop, a couple of shirts, and a small toiletry bag. Additionally, those suitcases are specially designed to be public transport friendly, meaning that you can easily take them with you on the tramway, train, or bus as you make your way to town. Additionally, they can save you a lot of time as you don’t need to check-in your luggage.
However, carry-on luggage is only suitable if you are going to be away for a couple of days. If you’re on an extended trip, there’s no gain in backpacking your business clothes and tools. For trips of a week or more, you should always grab a large bag and check it in on your plane. While it means paying a little extra, it also saves you from turning up every day with crumpled clothes or a dirty shirt because you couldn’t afford to pack sufficient items in a small bag!
Traveling economy or business class?
Do you need to pay for business class? After all, you’re traveling on business, so it would seem fair to pay for the extra upgrade. You’d be surprised to know how many professionals don’t travel in business class. What difference does it make to your budget? The business class can be an expensive upgrade, and it’s one of those cases where it’s not always worth the money. However, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t upgrade whenever possible. But you don’t need to pay for the full cost of a business class. You can upgrade your seat to get more legroom on long journeys or your flight to get better connections. There’s nothing to gain in paying for business class! Instead, focus on how to make your trip more efficient and productive, without breaking the bank. Ideally, you can travel comfortably on an economy class ticket, as long as you’re smart about choices.
Packing your lunch or not?
If you work in an office, you’re probably familiar with lunch packing tips and ideas. You can save a lot of money when you prepare your lunch ahead. However, when you’re traveling, lunch packing is not always a suitable solution. As a business traveler, you can at best pack for lunch on the plane or train. But you can’t prepare pre-packed lunch for every day while you’re away. You need to be smart about your time and food options.
First of all, it’s important to note that if you’re visiting a potential client or partner, it’s likely that the business that welcomes you will be sorting out lunch sandwiches or meals on your behalf. Additionally, when you’re on a business trip, you need to make the most of your time to network with professionals, which is why you need to maximize lunch and dinner times to meet people and spend time together. The cost of a lunch in town may be all it takes to grab a new contract. So, it’s a good idea to skip your lunchbox while you’re on a business trip!
What do I need in my toiletry bag?
Anybody who needs to travel a lot for work understands the importance of toiletry bags. Packing your everyday essentials is detrimental to the success of your trip. You don’t want to be wasting time in the bathroom in the morning because you’ve had to pack products you’re not familiar with. As such, it’s a good idea to look for travel-friendly sizes of your favorite styling and washing products. However, packing a small toiletry bag is not always a smart idea. Indeed, if you are traveling for a couple of days, travel-sized items are handy. But if you’re going to be away for a long time, you need to pack your everyday products in their standard size – or to buy them once you’ve landed. There’s nothing to gain in skipping hair wash while you’re away because you didn’t bring a big enough shampoo bottle, and you don’t want to buy a normal-sized product, for instance. In other words, you need to pack according, and that means packing your trusted toiletry and styling tools in the right size.
Uber, taxi or public transport
Is public transport the best option when you’re visiting a new town? The answer is no. You need to take into account not only the cost but also the time that each transport solution will require. If you’ve got your first appointment shortly after landing, your best bet is to get an Uber that can safely and quickly drive you to the right location, for instance. If Google Maps shows traffic rush, you may want to switch to public transport options that can avoid the roads. If you’ve got a lot to carry with you, calling a cab or an Uber is going to be more practical than making your way to the nearest bus stop.
Is multitasking doubling your productivity?
Business travelers can be tempted to bring their laptop and carry on working while they’re on the road. However, you’re not going to be useful if you try to multitask when you’re already on a business trip. Ultimately, you need to focus on one task at a time, which is the reason for your trip. Anything that isn’t related to your business trip can and should wait; otherwise, you’re likely to make costly mistakes and affect the success of your travel.
Business travelers need to be smart about where they choose to invest their money. You can’t afford a money-saving attitude when you’re traveling on business. You need to think beyond each cost and consider the reason for each investment. If the investment is going to make your trip more successful, make the most of it.