Business travel is basically travel undertaken only for business or work-related purposes, rather than for leisure or occasionally casual travelling. Based on a survey conducted by the American Society of Travel Agents, an estimated 88% of business owners admit they enjoy business travel. Yet only a small percent of the sample said their business travel was mostly planned and funded. In fact, a surprising number said that travel had become an occasional but important part of their business.
Travel and tourism are a billion-dollar industry in the US. The travel industry, particularly the leisure and business travel segment, is a fast-growing, largely untapped market that promises tremendous profitability for companies willing to take their share of it. In fact, for many entrepreneurs, business travel represents the purest form of business: no longer does an entrepreneur need to go to a business-to-business meeting or conference, or even pay for business accommodation; he or she can get away on the cheap, instead. Gone are the days when business travel entailed a tight budget and little more than a plane and a hotel.
However, if business travel is to truly become mainstream, business travellers will need to find a way to cut costs without sacrificing quality or cutting back on the opportunities for productive work. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make a business trip affordable – even free. One of the most popular and effective methods of saving money and improving the convenience of a business traveller’s trip is to make use of reliable internet service providers. Today, internet connections are widely available at very reasonable rates, which allow business travellers to keep their costs low while they are out and about.
Internet services have become remarkably affordable for business travellers thanks in large part to the explosive growth of online booking options. Resorts and hotels now offer all-inclusive plans that allow travelers to book rooms, resorts, cruises and rental cars online. In addition, most of these packages come with travel insurance, so business travellers have an extra layer of protection in case anything goes wrong. Travellers can also take advantage of resale opportunities that allow them to purchase business travel documents and other items they may need en route. For those travelling on a strict budget, last minute deals and bargain shopping are also viable options for saving money on business travel accommodations.
Even when travelling within the same city, business travellers can save money by looking to stay in a different part of the city. Many hotels offer all-inclusive trips, which require travellers to book flights and hotel accommodations as part of one package. While this can be convenient, it can also cost quite a bit. In some cases, business travellers can save several hundred dollars or more per person by looking to stay out of the main business district (where hotels charge high rates for room stays) and looking to take advantage of special offers during off-peak seasons. Business travellers may also want to check with their travel agent to see if any corporate travel discounts are available for the business trip.
While some business travellers prefer not to deal with a third party at all – such as hotel owners and travel agents – it’s often possible for travellers to work out arrangements with other parties. Travel agents may be able to find flights that aren’t booked through their own private travel desk, or arrange to pick up travellers at the airport. Hotel owners may offer transportation to and from the airport or provide shuttle service between the hotel and airport. Travel agents may also be able to find special deals and rates for group travelling, so long as travellers provide contact information. Even if travellers prefer to arrange their own itineraries and make hotel reservations, they can still save a lot of money by going with a professional travel agent or hotel owner rather than relying on free advice offered by other travellers.