Controlling costs can be a real challenge for road warriors, but mobile solutions give travelers the tools they need to simplify spending on business trips. These four features can promote efficiency and productivity on the road, while maintaining a policy-compliant travel budget.
Track Ticket Prices
One of the simplest ways business travelers can save money is by booking their airline tickets well in advance. There are a number of mobile apps that allow users to track specific flights and receive alerts when tickets go on sale. Likewise, free web apps can tell users if a ticket price isn't likely to decrease, so the traveler can make the best purchasing decision at the right moment.
Used in tandem with policy-approved booking methods, this tip will help travelers control the cost of their next trip without going off-policy. In fact, apps like Concur give users the freedom to book flights with just a few taps of their touch screens, so booking won't get in the way of other important tasks. This way, everyone wins: The traveler gets to book fast with his or her preferred airline and the company saves money in the process.
Find Affordable Parking
Parking can be a major drain on the travel budget, but it doesn't have to be. Apps like SpotHero give travelers the ability to find and reserve parking spaces from their mobile devices. That means users won't have to burn gas looking for an open space. They can simply find their spot and make it to their next meeting on time. After all, no one wants to lose in an endless parking garage game of looking for that one last free space.
By reserving parking through an app, travel managers can easily capture that spend and include it in their next travel spending reports. From the traveler's perspective, there's no need for additional reporting and there's one less receipt to track. In the long run, this additional level of transparency will help travel program managers optimize their policy and guide traveler decision-making.
Use Ride-Sharing Apps
Renting a vehicle is a great way to travel around a new city, but many travelers are opting for ride-sharing and ride-hailing services instead. In fact, TechCrunch reported that 1 million Lyft rides and more than 5 million Uber rides happen every day. The appeal is obvious: There’s no waiting to flag down a taxi, the fares are lower and riders have the ability to choose from different tiers of service. When employees travel together, they can all hop in a single vehicle rather than needing to find multiple cars.
Of course, the corporate travel policy should account for the widespread use of ride-hailing apps, or these trips will be off-policy. Travelers should check with their program manager to better understand which ground transportation options have been approved by the business. For example, a policy might include some apps but not all. Likewise, certain employees may get permission to use a corporate card with the app, or they may need to get reimbursed for these trips later.
Research Meal Options
Meals often account for the largest portion of a traveler's per diem. The ability to research dining options from a mobile device can help employees control how much they spend on meals. This will be especially interesting to employees who participate in reward programs that compensate staff members who conserve company money.
Apps such as Yelp and Google Maps help travelers make affordable meal decisions and still experience local flavors. Plus, they can digitally scout out potential spots for client meals, a task that is normally a problem in an unfamiliar city.
Mobile has and will continue to change the way employees travel for business. If your organization wants to keep up with the latest travel technologies, contact us to speak with an expert consultant today.