How to Secure the Very Best Ratesour top tips to save money across air, rail and hotel for your employees
Are you getting the most out of your travel programme?
In today’s fast-paced business world, companies are always looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. Travel is no exception. A well-managed business travel program can provide significant savings without removing the essence of what makes a great traveller experience – so long as companies take the time to understand what they need from their travel.
At Gray Dawes, we understand the importance of securing the very best air, rail, and hotel rates for our clients. Our travel experts have decades of experience crafting travel programmes that not only save time and money, but also put the wellbeing of the traveller at centre stage.
In this article, we explore some of the key strategies that companies can use to do the same
Understand your Travel Needs
Before you can start to make any savings, you need to fully understand your travel needs. Ask yourself: When do we travel most? Where do we most often go? Do we have any specific travel requirements that must be met?
Then start tracking your travel patterns. Identify your busiest travel months. Make a note of your most and least frequent destinations. Determine what airlines, rail companies, or other transportation companies you have used. This information can be used to negotiate better rates with suppliers and allow you to save big on travel costs.
Another key factor in getting the best air fares is to be flexible with your travel dates and times. Airlines often offer discounts for flights that are off-peak or have less demand. The same is true with rail. By maintaining some flexibility in your travel programme, you can take full advantage of these discounts.
Though it might not always be convenient to travel off-peak, it is certainly worth – if possible – scheduling meetings for times that allow you to catch a train outside of usual business hours or hop on a plane that follows a cheaper route.
When booking a hotel, don’t forget to check whether the dates of your stay clashes with any big, local events or national holidays that can send room prices skyrocketing.
Support Your Travellers
Saving money on your travel is not only a straight one-to-one relationship with you and your suppliers. It is also important to maintain strong communications with your own travellers.
Ensure that your globetrotting employees have complete access to any travel resources you have available. If they fully understand what you aim to achieve from your travel programme, they can begin to make informed decisions about how they spend while on the move.
Here at Gray Dawes, we are always on. Our “follow the sun” model means that no matter whether you’re at a conference in Melbourne or a business lunch in Miami, we are available to answer any questions about your business travel programme at a moment’s notice.
If you plan smart and take the time to research your options, you are guaranteed to nab discounts that considerably cut the cost of your travel:
- Advance bookings. If you have the luxury of knowing where you need to be months or even years in advance, booking early is often cheaper.
- Loyalty programmes. Suppliers often reward frequent customers with exclusive rates.
- Bundled packages. Some suppliers offer air/rail travel and hotel stays as a package that works out cheaper than individual rates.
At Gray Dawes, we have nurtured close-standing relationships with a number of suppliers, allowing us to offer our clients deals that can’t be found anywhere else.
Securing the very best air, rail, and hotel rates for your business travel programme doesn’t have to be daunting.
By taking the time to review your travel needs, research potential avenues of discount, and offering your travellers all the resources they need to cut costs, you’ll be well on your way to creating a more efficient and economical travel programme.
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