If you’re seeking ways to create an effective and efficient business trip budget, you’re certainly not alone. Business travel covers a large portion of the travel industry and is on the rise again after a decline in 2020.
If corporate travel is a must for your business, then you know the importance of budgeting business trip costs. Creating a corporate travel budget helps manage travel-related expenses for your employees and keeps business trips running smoothly.
There are several tips to keep in mind so you can create a successful corporate travel budget.
1. Plan Ahead
When creating a business travel budget, planning ahead is a must. It keeps you prepared by ensuring that you block out enough expenses. Look to the future by considering potential business trip budget changes such as average rising costs, travel disruptions, employee growth, new territories, and more business partners.
These factors may need you to ramp up your corporate travel and up your budget to keep up with growing pains. By planning for these changes in your company’s future, you’ll be more ready to handle any added costs.
2. Build an Itinerary
An updated itinerary keeps things organized and streamlined for you and your employees. Successful itineraries include all the details, such as flights, rental car, hotel, events, meetings, and contact information. Tracking these details also gives you a reference point next time you’re planning your business trip budget.
Include confirmation numbers, times, and notes in your itinerary so your employees will have them on hand should something go awry. Itineraries with a high level of detail are an excellent tool not only for the current business trip but as a blueprint for planning future trips as well.
3. Explore Your Options
While you may be used to using the same airline and hotel brands for your corporate travel, being open to other options can make a difference when budgeting average business trip costs. Changing brands might have greater perks, more options, and corporate travel discounts.
If comparing several options sounds like too much work, consider hiring a corporate travel company to manage your business trip budget planning for you. Travel management companies often have access to discounted prices, have their own travel software and platform, can customize travel for each person, and find the best options to fit your budget.
4. Consider All Expenses
When creating any budget, you must consider every expense so you don’t come out over budget. Budgeting for travel is more than considering the average costs of transportation and hotels—you’ll need to factor in the average costs of food allowances, additional working hours, change fees, and other unexpected costs.
Including as many expenses as possible when building a business trip budget gives you more flexibility with your business travel and brings you and your employees peace of mind during their travels.
5. Seek Help From Technology
There are several useful tools online to make corporate travel a breeze. If building a travel budget on your own feels like too much, they can simplify the process to make the most of your time and keep average business trip costs down.
Today, most travel companies have an app where you can look at their services or get real-time updates on your flights, rental car, and hotel. Having this information at your fingertips is crucial for any business because it allows employees to let them know of any problems with their travels ASAP.
For your business trip budget, you can also use third-party travel apps to compare prices across different brands and browse vacation bundles to find the best deal.
Online travel software is another useful tool that streamlines planning by keeping everything together. Travel software shows the hotel, flight, and other bookings on one platform where employees can look at each booking in one place.
If you work with a travel management company, they often use travel software or have their own program to manage and share your bookings.
Corporate Travel Budget Templates
There are several templates available online to use as a starting point for your business trip budget. With templates, you’re already given a basic layout and only need to plug in your data.
You can find a variety of Excel templates for corporate travel budgets to handle how you budget business trip costs in a spreadsheet. If you’re already using travel software for your planning needs, many of these programs offer their own budgeting template to use on the platform.
6. Keep Employees in the Know
Being direct with your team in regards to your corporate travel policy and allowable expenditures ensures that they don’t accidentally go over budget.
If you’re working on a strict business trip budget, employees need to know. Give corporate travelers the information on food allowances, what will be covered by the company, and what they’ll need to pay out of pocket.
Travel can be stressful, so making sure employees have all of the information they need will keep things stress-free and organized. For travel itineraries, consider using a shared calendar with the important dates and times.
This way, every employee knows where they need to be and when. If any changes come up, calendar events can be updated and your employee will be notified right away.