Business Travel: Tips For Tightening Your Corporate Travel Belt – Part 1 – Travel tips

House of Lords Conservative member, Lord Taylor of Warwick, was convicted January 25, 2011 of falsely claiming over £11,000 in travel expenses while he was actually home in London. [1]On March 2, 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported on the practice by many members of Congress to pocket unused taxpayer-funded foreign travel per diems (up to $250/day) for personal use. Congressional rules say they must return any leftover cash. Interviews with 20 current and former US lawmakers indicate that it is common practice that they usually don’t return unused per diems. Many also claimed to not know about the rule. [2]The challenge of controlling travel expenses is not limited to governments.As Benjamin Franklin once said, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” It may sound trite, but his wisdom is perhaps even more pertinent in today’s jobless recovery. Controlling travel expenses is an opportunity for small businesses, but is mission critical for industries with travelling positions, especially consulting and sales organizations.Many of the largest Strategy, Operations, Accounting and Information-Technology (I.T.) consulting firms require their consultants to travel 100% of the time. Whether you’re Booz, Allen & Hamilton, Arthur D. Little, Deloitte & Touche, or a self-employed business, leaks in the travel budget will quickly eat away the profits from any contract.How are you controlling your travel expenses?
Here are some tips to consider:1. Increase profits by reducing travel costs. How? For stays of 30 days or more, renting fully furnished corporate lease apartments will virtually always save at least $2,000 per month, compared to hotels or extended stay hotels. Here are just some of the benefits:
No irritating hotel taxes of 12-15 % or more.
Furnished Rental rates are usually less than hotels ($75 vs. $89 to $170 or more per night before taxes).
Corporate apartments, at approximately 750 sq. ft., are 2 to 3 times larger than the average hotel room of 375 sq. ft. and are usually in better shape than extended stay hotels.
Fully equipped kitchens let travelers prepare home-cooked meals, saving money and waistlines!
Incidentals, such as laundry, local phone and wifi are often included in the rent.
Rents are per unit, not per bed, so more than one person can stay together, providing further cost savings.
Since the company can be direct billed, corporate leases simplify accounting while reducing the usual variability and unpredictability of hotels and eating out.
Catherine White travelled extensively as a former I.T. consultant, Project Manager and Business Systems Analyst. This is the first in a series of articles to share strategies for saving money and keeping you and your staff happy and productive “on the road”.End Notes
[1] New York Times, January 25, 2011, page A6
[2] “Fitton: Travel expense scandal hits Capitol Hill”, The Washington Times, Greg Groesch, May 4, 2010