With many business executives looking to reduce travel expenses, road travel is becoming more frequent. It can be a less costly and more convenient way to travel to business meetings and conventions.
Tips for Saving on Rental Cars
There are several ways to reserve rental cars for less.
Business travelers should book rental cars in advance, ideally right after travel plans are established and dates are finalized. For the best rate, check with a selection of different online travel sites to find the best deal, keeping in mind that sometimes the car rental companies’ Web sites offer the best deals.
In addition, business travelers with memberships in frequent renters clubs may receive deal or sale notices by e-mail. Check with the car rental company for specials and deals for frequent renters. Special rates might also be available through your employer – check with the rental company if corporate rates apply.
Consider renting off site. Car rental agencies that are located outside of the airport may offer better deals than those on site at the airport. Often times, a shuttle is available to transport passengers to the car rental facility.
Finally, when returning the rental car, be sure to fill or top off the gas tank. Fees vary widely for fuel refilling – but can be very costly.
Saving Money When Reserving Hotel Rooms
Depending on the destination, hotel rates can vary greatly. If the destination is a major city, several hotels and motels may be available. Consider the area in which accommodations are needed; for business travelers with a rental car, more options may be available.
Also consider what amenities might be necessary. Having a rental car may mean that fewer amenities are required; an airport shuttle and on-site dining facilities are less of an issue if traveling to the hotel by car. In addition, think about whether exercise facilities or conference or meeting rooms are needed, or if facilities are available elsewhere. By staying at a “budget” hotel, rather than a luxury resort hotel, unnecessary expenses can be minimized.
When making reservations, keep in mind that reserving a room in advance can save money. The best deals may be found on the hotel’s Web site or one of the various travel reservations sites. If neither offers a satisfactory price, consider calling the hotel’s reservations department and asking for the best rate or the “corporate” rate.
Saving Money While at the Hotel
The hotel room rate is just the beginning – taxes and fees can also add up on the bill. In addition, parking fees and service charges can make the stay more costly. To save money, refrain from consuming anything from the mini bar. Instead, purchase any snacks or refreshments at a local store. Purchase any meals off site as well; the hotel restaurant might be convenient, but it’ll cost much more than a meal at a restaurant nearby.
Traveling by car can save money – not only does it offer the convenience, but can also be less costly than air travel.