Reducing Business Travel Expenses: The Dos & Don'ts

4 min read
Apr 20, 2023
Reducing Business Travel Expenses: The Do's & Don'ts

Cutting down on business travel expenses can be a tricky balancing act. It's crucial to reduce costs without compromising your team's satisfaction or your company culture. Fortunately, we've compiled a list of dos and don’ts to help you make savvy cost-cutting decisions while maintaining a great travel experience for your employees.

Keep reading to learn more about reducing business travel expenses without sacrificing quality.

The DOs to cut business travel expenses

Create employee incentives

Want to reduce business travel expenses? Get your employees involved! One proven method is to incentivize them to spend less on trips. Here's how it works: if an employee spends less than their allotted budget, they get to keep a percentage of the savings. This win-win approach can help your bottom line too. In fact, some companies have slashed business travel costs by 20-30% simply by rewarding smart spending habits. So, why not give it a try?

Facilitate date flexibility with a travel request procedure

Want to save big on business travel? It's all about flexibility! While not every trip can be adjusted, when you do have some wiggle room, make sure your travel manager knows. To encourage planning ahead, consider implementing a travel request procedure within your travel policy.

This allows your travel manager to book trips during periods when fares are at their lowest. By avoiding peak travel times and holidays, you'll sidestep sky-high costs for everything from flights to hotels. So, why not make date flexibility a key part of your travel policy today?

Make (appropriate) exceptions to your policy compliance

Following the travel policy is important, but sometimes you need to make exceptions. To streamline the approval process, consider adding a bit of flexibility. Remember, there may be times when a business trip falls outside of policy. But keep an open mind! Your employee might find a cheaper option that's not strictly compliant with your travel policy, such as with an alternative airline or a hotel that isn’t part of your usual network.

Encourage creativity and cost-cutting, and you just might be surprised at the savings you'll generate.

Prioritise the use of public transportation

Why stress out in a taxi during a business trip? Heavy traffic and high fares are the last things your employees need when they’re already pressed for time. Instead, encourage them to try using public transportation.

Not only is it often more reliable, but it's also a great way to save money. Of course, keep in mind any existing agreements with taxi companies, but don't hesitate to also encourage your team to take advantage of buses, subways, and other affordable options. And if they really need a taxi, for example to catch an early morning flight, be flexible in allowing the use of ride share services as a cheaper alternative.

Encourage the use of shared transportation when travelling to the same location

Why not take it one step further? Consider booking group transportation or even a shuttle service for everyone travelling to the same location. This can be a great way to save money and reduce the carbon footprint of your business trips. Plus, it's a great opportunity to build some team spirit and for your employees to get to know each other better outside of work.

So, next time you're planning a business trip, think about how you can encourage shared transportation options.

The DON'Ts to save on business travel expenses

Avoid last minute bookings

Want to reduce your business travel expenses? Don't wait until the last minute to book your transportation and accommodation. Planning ahead is key! Encourage your team to submit their travel requests as early as possible. This should be included in your travel policy, with some reasonable exceptions of course. Make it clear that last minute bookings are discouraged, so you can take advantage of lower fares and avoid unnecessary stress. Both for your employees and your finance department.

Do not force people to book shared hotel rooms

Let's be real: sharing a hotel room with a colleague on a business trip isn't exactly ideal. After a long day of travel, everyone deserves some privacy and space to unwind. Plus, it's important to prioritize your employees' comfort and well-being over cost savings. So, unless your employees specifically request to share a room, it's best to avoid it altogether.

After all, a well-rested and comfortable team is a productive team.

Do not remove business class privileges for frequent travellers

Thinking about removing business class privileges for frequent travellers to reduce business travel expenses? Think again! Cutting off familiar privileges will not go over well with executives or frequent travellers. It is important to recognise the different levels of seniority and hierarchy in your organisation and tailor your travel policies accordingly. Rather than treating all employees strictly equally, consider offering different travel options that are appropriate for each level.

Do not focus only on corporate deals or contracts

While it's great to have corporate deals or contracts with travel providers, it's important not to overlook other options. Your employees or travel manager might find a cheaper alternative that still meets your business needs, so it's worth considering. Sometimes alternatives can lead to significant cost savings, especially for longer business trips. Keep an open mind and explore all options to reduce business travel expenses.


Employee incentives Last minute bookings
Date flexibility Shared hotel rooms
Policy exceptions Remove business class privileges
Public transportation Focus only on corporate deal
Shared transportation  


By following these tips, you can create a more cost-effective travel policy that balances the needs of your business with the importance of respecting and supporting your employees.

Encouraging the use of public transportation, booking in advance, avoiding shared hotel rooms, and finding cheaper alternatives are all effective ways to cut down on expenses. However, investing in the right automated travel and expense management solution can make a considerable difference in your company's profitability and spend reduction.

Consider taking this strategic step by exploring solutions like Mobilexpense to streamline and optimise your travel and expense management process.