Best Ways to Manage Your Business Travel Expenses

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Personal trips can be a little easier to manage as you can plan your itinerary as per your liking. The expenses are well thought out and it’s completely up to you to decide how do you wish to spend your day. On the other hand, planning for business trips can be a bit tricky. Personal trips are once in a while kind of opportunity. So, going a little overboard with your spending might be alright. Business trips can be frequent and hence it becomes a necessity to manage your business travel expenses as efficiently as possible. While most business trips are covered by your company to a great extent, there can still be some expenses that remain outside of that cover. The same goes for the business travel insurance plan that is provided by your company. So, to make sure that you do not go overboard with out-of-pocket expenses, let’s look at some helpful tips.

Read the Fine Print of Your Company Travel Policy

Corporate travel policies contain a lot of small and big elements. From flight approvals to accommodation choices, budgetary limits for the trips, insurance coverage, miscellaneous expenses and transportation and food allowance, there is a lot to cover in your company travel policy. Make sure that you have a good understanding of the things you can and cannot do under the allowed budget limit. Any expenses that go over the budget may not be reimbursed and will go out of your pocket ultimately. Check if any additional items have been added as acceptable expenses in the company travel policy before you head out on a trip. If you are well aware of your spending power and the limit of the company allowances, you can easily manage your business travel expenses. It is important to keep these things in mind as these may help you save a lot on your business trip.

Try to Grab Airline Deals

Airline deals are a lifesaver when it comes to saving on your business travel expenses. Always try and book ahead of time and fish for some presently running offers as well. Most airlines always have one or another offer running on flight tickets. While you are at it, try and find out if there are any deals available for group bookings. These are the most common kind of available discounts. So, if you are travelling with companions, try and book tickets as a group to save some additional Dirhams.  

Consider Bunking with Your Travel Partners

If accommodation in your company policy comes with a sub-limit, try and make reservations in pairs or bunk triple if there is an option. Hotel rooms with twin beds and similar facilities for travelling companions are a good option to find quality accommodation while staying within the budget. If your travel companions have different opinions about accommodations choices and want to make the decision themselves, set a limit on the budget beforehand. Specifying the bare minimum facilities that the group will need for the business trip can also be very helpful. This small step can help you save big time on your business travel expenses.

Check Your Corporate Travel Insurance Policy

Travel insurance in Dubai is a very handy product to have on your person when going abroad, whether for work or to play. Most corporates provide comprehensive travel insurance plans to the employees who have to travel for work a lot. If your company offers the same kind of benefits, make sure that you read and understand your travel insurance coverage ideally before setting out on the trip. If the coverage does not seem to be comprehensive enough, try and talk to the HR rep for better coverage, if there is an option available. If not, you can also consider taking a travel insurance plan on your own. There are several curated options available for business travel insurance in Dubai as well. Compare and have your pick.

Do Not Forget About the Miscellaneous Expenses

Travelling abroad can always have you end up spending more than you initially planned. The big and noticeable business travel expenses are easier to manage. However, the smaller business travel expenses often lead to unplanned budget disbalance. Things like food, transportation and small breaks should be taken under consideration. Try and take public transportation if the company does not cover business travel expenses like cabs and taxis. For food, stick to the local eateries instead of high-end expensive restaurants. If you have client meetings, it is better to keep them around lunch instead of dinner to avoid additional business travel expenses that may not be covered by the company trip reimbursement system.

Split Bills Using Expenses Splitting Applications  

Just like there are mobile applications that help you organize your packing list, find accommodation, find places to see, etc., there are applications that help you keep track of the expenses and then split them fairly at the end. Find one such application, try it out beforehand and use it to share business travel expenses among you and your companions. It may sound like a small thing but expense splitting and recording business travel expenses can be very helpful for group business trips.

Make Your Work Schedule a Priority

Sticking to a work schedule can help you minimize business travel expenses quite a lot. The more indulged you and your team are in your work, the lesser time you will have to send out. If you are planning to go sightseeing with your travelling partners, it is best to set a day or few hours aside for it instead of going out randomly. A little future planning on this front can be a big thing for managing international business travel expenses.

Use Miles and Other Kinds of Reward Points

Do not shy away from using your Airmiles and other kinds of reward points to get discounts on your air tickets. If your company has given you a limited share of funds for airline tickets which is only enough for economy class tickets, you can choose to use your Miles to upgrade to a higher class. Either way, do not shy away from using your discount tricks and tips and get a deal for your travel tickets. Although, if you are a frequent flyer, try not to use all your miles in one go. Consider small upgrades like meals so that you can travel comfortably for most of your trips.

Take Advice from The Locals

Whether it is about finding a place to eat or about going sightseeing, talking to locals can help you a great deal in saving business travel expenses. You may even be able to find a few hidden gems of the area in the process. Ask around and get to know the place, the best way to travel to your destinations during different times of the day and where to get delicious budget meals when travelling.

Avoid Using Credit and Credit Cards

Using your credit card to pay for business travel expenses has the potential to go out of hand. It is always the best policy to use a pre-approved debit card with only limited funds in it. You will be able to keep first-hand track of your business travelling expenses. Knowing the amount of money you have on hand for the trip will make you spend in limit. Even though it is recommended to not use credit cards, keep one on hand for emergencies. But only use it when there is something urgent that needs tending to.  

Plan Ahead of Time

Never take planning for granted, whether you are on a business trip or a personal one. Insurance, business travel expenses, approvals, packing, flights, hotels, outings, work schedule, client meetings and every other thing that you may do should be on your planning list. Always take the worst possible scenarios under consideration and plan for them as well. A well-planned trip will stay under the allowed budget for most things.

The Final Word

Business travelling expenses are covered by your employer for the most part. But that particular thing can make things go a little out of hand. Since we stay under the impression that the trip expenses will be covered as business travel expenses, it is easier to go a little too easy on the spending. Just make sure that you have a full-fledged understanding of the expenses that your company will cover and the ones that it won’t. File your expense reports right after getting back from the trip and get everything reimbursed. Also, do not forget to get approval from the concerned authorities for all the plausible business travel expenses. Following these tips, travelling expenses for a business trip will be easy to manage.

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