How to Save Money While Traveling for Business

how to save money while traveling

Business travel is often necessary, but it’s also where businesses tend to spend the most. Businesses of all sizes need to be financially responsible when it comes to business travel to ensure that the travel is a suitable investment and done in a fiscally conscious way. We’ll go through some of the best international business travel tips to help you save money on business travel.

Benefits of Traveling for Less

There are many benefits to traveling for less for businesses, such as:

  1. Reducing cost: For companies looking to reduce costs, one of the best ways to start is optimizing business travel.
  2. Increased savings: By cutting costs on travel, businesses can save more money and use the resource for growing the business.
  3. Business growth: Reducing the cost of travel enables business travelers to take more trips overall, thereby increasing growth for the business.
Benefits of Traveling for LessDescription
Cost Reduction- Optimizing business travel can significantly reduce expenses.
Increased Savings- Cutting travel costs leads to greater savings for the company.
Business Growth- Reduced travel expenses allow business travelers to take more trips, fostering overall business growth.

Best Money-Saving Travel Tips for Planning Your Trip

It can often be difficult for businesses to keep costs at a minimum for travel, but we’re going through the top business travel tips to show you how to save money while traveling.

1. Book flights for mid-week when possible

One of the best-kept secrets in the travel industry is that flights don’t cost the same throughout the week. Generally, Fridays/weekends and Mondays tend to be the most expensive days to travel, so you can save money by booking mid-week flights.

2. Avoid foreign transaction fees

One of the higher costs for businesses tends to be the dreaded foreign transaction fee. However, businesses can offset that by identifying credit card companies and bank cards that offer perks like no foreign fees to save money. Also, research partner banks before leaving to know which ATMs to use, as some ATMs will charge you more if they are not a partner bank with your local institution.

3. Plan in advance where possible

This is a common business travel tip because it does help! It’s not always feasible to plan business trips early, but the ideal timeframe is to book three months ahead to get the best prices.

Save Money While Traveling for Business

4. Be flexible

Often seats are cheaper or more expensive during different times of the week or months, depending on public holidays and other events. However, if you’re flexible with dates and can move things around, you can often get great deals you wouldn’t otherwise.

5. Set a budget

Any travel, including business travel, needs some level of accountability. Whether you or a staff member are traveling, establishing a budget (albeit a flexible one) helps set expectations on spending habits right from the start.

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Best Tips to Save Money on Air Travel

Air travel often ends up being the costliest part of a trip, so it’s essential to look for flight deals where possible to find cheap flights and skip baggage fees to save more.

6. Hunt for cheap flights

Before booking your flight, make sure to compare options. Many airlines list different prices on various third-party sites, or you might find that some third-party sites are limited in their selection. Make sure to compare prices with at least 2-3 providers before you book.

7. Subscribe to flight deals

Depending on your location, you can find great travel deals and offers by subscribing to different mailing lists. There are some focused solely on Europe, while others have a wider reach, so it might take some digging to find the right one for you. But you can find the best price for major cities through these mailouts.

Save Money While Traveling for Business

8. Avoid baggage fees

Airlines charge for pretty much everything, so researching beforehand is crucial. One of the charges that catch people by surprise is fees for their baggage. This can include fees for checked bags (mostly budget airlines) and fees for excess weight. Before your next trip, check airline baggage requirements, so you don’t get hit with a random charge.

9. Don’t use airport parking

Airport parking is notoriously expensive, and it can add up with other expenses. Skipping airport parking can make the trip cheaper, although perhaps less convenient. Compare pricing between nearby airport parking garages beforehand.

10. Compare airline flights directly

The best way to score deals on airline flights is through research. Third-party websites usually offer the cheapest fares, but airlines often try to undercut that if you book directly. Before booking your final destination, check airline websites directly to see if they can offer cheaper flights than the third party.

Money-Saving Travel TipsDescription
Book flights for mid-week when possible- Save money by booking flights on less expensive mid-week days.
Avoid foreign transaction fees- Offset high foreign transaction fees by using credit cards and bank cards with no foreign fees. - Research partner banks to avoid ATM charges.
Plan in advance where possible- Booking three months ahead can secure better prices.
Be flexible- Flexibility with travel dates can lead to cost-effective deals.
Set a budget- Establish a budget to control spending during business travel.
Hunt for cheap flights- Compare flight options from various providers.
Subscribe to flight deals- Subscribe to mailing lists for exclusive travel deals and offers.
Avoid baggage fees- Be aware of airline baggage fees to prevent unexpected charges.
Don't use airport parking- Skip expensive airport parking and consider nearby options.
Compare airline flights directly- Research flights on airline websites for possible cheaper fares.

Save Money While Traveling for Business

Travel Tips to Save Money on Lodging

Hotel costs can drive up travel budgets, especially if they come with many additional charges. Don’t spend money on things that aren’t necessary. We’ll go through some top ways to save money on hotel rooms.

11. Don’t spend money on resort fees

The type of hotel booked for business travel makes a difference in budget. Avoiding resort fees and amenity costs can help budget travelers save money while on the trip. In addition, motels, business hotels, and other establishments might be able to offer better deals.

12. Book hotel rooms in advance

Like air tickets, an advanced hotel booking is another way to keep the travel budget down. Many hotels offer deals like a free night for advanced bookings and may offer cheaper room rates.

13. Sign up for hotel rewards programs when possible

If a lot of money is being spent on hotels, consider signing up for specific hotel rewards programs. Loyalty programs have a lot of value for frequent business travelers, including budget travelers over time. Having a preferred hotel also makes tracking expenses easier and might offer other benefits depending on the hotel partnership.

14. Think about location

Hotel location might not be as important if a city has a great local transportation network. For example, hotels near the airport or city center tend to cost far more and might not even be worth it, depending on the city. Before booking, do some research on the country and the best ways to get around to help you determine which areas to look for hotels in.

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Other Ways to Save Money While Traveling

If travel budgets are still high and too much money is being spent, there are other travel tips that you can keep in mind for the trip itself to cut down on costs – let’s look at some of the top ones:

1. Purchase Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a necessary part of business travel because it can help cut down emergency costs. Flight cancellations, missed flights, and more tend to go under the remit of travel insurance and help ensure that you aren’t spending tons of money on fees and penalties.

Save Money While Traveling for Business

2. Use Public Transportation

Going back to the above point about location, using public transport can help bring down costs enormously. If the trip is for a few weeks, it might be worth looking into rental cars, but again, it depends on the city and where you’ll spend most of your time. But taking local transportation can be better for budgets and encourages you to explore the city more.

3. Enjoy Cheap Local Food

Local markets and street food are cheaper and often better than fancy restaurants. If you’re a budget traveler, make sure to explore the local restaurants and find out where the locals eat. Not only will you save more money in the long run, but you’ll explore diverse food cultures by eating street food – particularly in areas such as South America, Southeast Asia, Central America, and others. As a budget traveler, you can also consider making your own food to save on costs for long trips.

4. Choose Inexpensive Activities

You should definitely explore the city while traveling, but it can be hard to balance that with costs. But there are lots of fun, inexpensive activities such as free walking tours you can take advantage of. You can also ask your hotel or ask other travelers for recommendations for tourist attractions with free admission or low admission cost.

What is the best way to save money while traveling?

The best way to save money while traveling is to do your research beforehand. This includes research for deals on hotels and airfare and little things that help keep you from spending money. This can consist of finding partner banks so that you’re not charged for ATM fees and checking foreign transaction fees on your bank card and credit card as well.

How much money should I save for traveling?

Your budget will very much depend on what your round trip destination is. It’s a great idea to research the country beforehand, including average spending per day, to help you gauge how much you should be saving realistically. Some countries are incredibly expensive, while others can be very cheap, but it depends on the type of experience you want to have and how much you can realistically save before the trip.


Optimizing business travel for cost savings is a crucial aspect of responsible financial management for companies of all sizes. By implementing the best international business travel tips, businesses can reap several benefits. Reducing travel costs not only directly impacts the bottom line but also allows companies to allocate resources more effectively for growth. Additionally, efficient travel planning enables business travelers to take more trips, fostering business expansion.

One of the primary strategies for saving money on business travel is booking flights strategically. Avoiding peak travel days, such as Fridays and Mondays, and booking mid-week flights can result in significant cost savings. Furthermore, eliminating foreign transaction fees by choosing the right credit card providers and identifying partner banks for currency conversion can help control financial expenses. Planning in advance, maintaining flexibility with travel dates, and setting a budget contribute to financially conscious travel management.

For air travel, seeking out cheap flights through comparison shopping, subscribing to flight deals, and avoiding unexpected baggage fees are key strategies to reduce costs. When it comes to lodging, travelers can save money by booking hotel rooms in advance, signing up for hotel rewards programs, considering hotel locations, and avoiding resort fees. Finally, travelers can enhance their budget-conscious approach by using public transportation, enjoying affordable local cuisine, and choosing inexpensive activities at their travel destinations.

In essence, responsible financial planning and savvy decision-making during business travel can yield significant savings, enabling companies to achieve their objectives while maintaining fiscal responsibility. By following these international business travel tips, businesses can ensure that their travel expenses align with their growth goals and financial priorities.

Image: Depositphotos

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Myra Nizami Myra Nizami is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 3 years. She is also a freelance writer and researcher with a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a Master's from Kings College London.