Making sure that your travel budget is balanced is crucial and important if you want your business travels to be a success.
Make no mistake, traveling is expensive.
But when you mind your budget and make sure to keep your costs and available funds balanced and in order, you can avoid breaking the bank and spending more money than your company can afford while traveling for business.
If you’re a traveling employee or a travel manager, then you are probably constantly tasked with keeping travel-related expenses as low as they can be anyway.
And in this blog post, you’re going to learn 5 tips for how to keep that travel balance leveled out so that you don’t overspend on your next trip.
Let’s dive into it.
1. Figure Out Your Budget
The very first thing to figure out is how much money you actually have available to travel with.
This will give you a ballpark idea of whether or not a trip is even feasible.
As a general rule, you’ll want to make sure that there’s plenty of money available for you to accomplish the purpose of your trip without stressing the allotted travel money available.
Of course, this will require a bit of math and research.
But that’s just part of the job.
2. Figure Out Taxable Write-Offs
Some of your travel expenses can be written off on the company’s taxes.
And this actually gives you a little bit more wiggle room to work with.
However, it’s really important that you do these calculations beforehand.
You may need to sit down with your CPA or accountant to really nail down the difference.
If you can find enough write-offs, you may be able to cover more of the trip with tax-deductible expenses than you would have anticipated.
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3. Figure Out The Actual Cost Of Travel
Once you’ve nailed down a rough budget outline and you’ve figured out what taxable write-offs are going to be included as business expenses, then you can figure out the actual cost of the trip.
In other words, how much money is actually going to come out of the company’s pocket to pay for it—that won’t be recouped in tax write-offs.
This will give you the most accurate idea yet about exactly how much the trip will cost, and will then allow you to create a balanced budget based on these figures.
4. Do The Math To ‘Balance The Budget’
At this point, you’ll want to make sure to clear the budget with management to ensure that the company can actually afford the trip.
If you need to communicate with management about how much to bill the client on the other end for the company’s travel expenses, this will give you a great number to report so that they can turn around and bill the client appropriately.
And of course, you probably don’t need us to tell you this—but doing this as quickly as possible is always a good idea.
You know how management is…
They want to get those bills put together as fast as possible.
5. If Needed, Find Ways To Cut Costs
Once you’ve nailed down a secure budget, you can start looking for ways to shave even more money off of the cost end of the equation.
For example—you can look for budget flights, book cheaper hotel rooms, find less expensive car rentals, and even look for package deals.
You can even research booking blocks of rooms, or getting package deals on other quantity elements if you have a large team heading off into the field.
You could also look at booking flights at different times, renting cars in different surrounding cities, or even finding better hotel room pricing by booking at a different hotel chain.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many ways to save money on travel-related expenses.
A little research may save you even more—and make you look even better to senior management.
There you have it.
Our favorite tips for balancing the travel budget and making sure that your company isn’t spending more than it needs to in order to send your team abroad.
Equipped with this information, you can now head out into the fray and conquer your objectives.
You’ve got this!
Happy trails, and enjoy the journey.
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