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SAVINGS TIPS


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VERYBODY LOVES A BARGAIN don’t they? There’s an adrenaline rush that comes with bagging a great deal plus a compulsion to give smug sideways looks to those that paid full price. Rarely is that


truer than when booking big-ticket items, such as travel; from flights to fancy hotels or hire cars, the cost of trips can really add up. It’s why millions log on to price comparison sites, such as Travel Supermarket or Skyscanner, setting up alerts for their next holiday, finger poised to click as a limited sale flashes up on screen. But what about business travel? Exact costs may vary from company to company, but there’s no doubt that employee travel is one of the biggest overheads, so anything that can cut costs, particularly in challenging economic times, is invaluable. For the individual travellers, too, extra perks or upgrades can make all the difference to what might be a tiring trip a long way from home. Securing these sorts of savings or extra


benefits takes a touch of know-how, though. Often with less notice and inevitably less flexibility on dates and destinations, it isn’t quite as easy as it might be with leisure trips to make a killer saving. Which is why we asked some experts to share their top tips and tricks for bagging a bargain in business travel. Here’s what they told us.


SIGN UP! Subscribe to everything, advises one senior travel buyer. “Yes, we do get a lot of emails, but occasionally these will have a nugget of information that will help us, be that a new hotel opening, a sale of flights or details of a round of cheaper rail tickets.” With suppliers you work with regularly, the buyer adds, “negotiation is the key, whether it is to leverage contractual terms or extend options. Building relationships with suppliers is of great benefit.” This applies just as much to major airlines, too. “We have preferred supplier


50 JULY/AUGUST 2019 buyingbusinesstravel.com


BARGAIN


HOW TO BAG A


From points schemes to alternative routes and traveller rewards, there are many ways to cut travel costs


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