Let’s face it: who doesn’t want to save on their next business trip? Saving money means stretching your travel budget further for the year. On the other hand, saving time on the road can mean more time spent at home or at your leisure. Saving both? Now, that’s what makes you a business travel pro. Here are seven ways to save on business travel.
Bring carry-on luggage only
With no need to stop at bag drop or baggage claim, savvy business travelers spend significantly less time waiting around at the airport. Another time-saving perk of only bringing a carry-on? With everything you need in one compact spot, you’ll spend less time contemplating your outfit choices and more time focusing on landing a new client.
Need help prioritizing what to pack in your carry-on? Check out our guide to packing the perfect carry-on for business travel.
At the very least, avoid baggage fees
Ideally, all of your travel essentials would fit into a carry-on, but that’s not always the case. Extended business travel, bleisure trips, and seasonal weather patterns can all impact your need to check a bag. If you do need to pay a visit to bag drop, be sure to book airfare that includes a checked bag. (A Basic Economy fare, for example, typically does not include a checked bag.) Doing so will not only save you time at the airport, it will also help prevent unexpected charges from draining your travel budget.
Sign up for loyalty programs
Earning miles towards free flights is one of business travel’s foremost perks. As for saving you time? Loyalty members often have access to direct customer service lines, priority boarding and eligibility for upgrades. Have a connection to catch? Getting off the plane first can certainly help with that.
Let’s talk about saving time in airport security lines. Thanks to TripIt’s partnership with CLEAR, Pro members have the advantage of skipping long lines and heading straight to the CLEAR lane. CLEAR membership typically runs $179 per year. However, with your Pro membership, you can try CLEAR on a four month free trial and receive a discounted annual rate of $149. You can sign up online and then complete your application at an airport kiosk in just a matter of minutes. Or, if you’re flying out of one of CLEAR’s 25+ airports, you can sign up for the service on-site.
Plot your course with airport maps
Rushing to make your next flight? Starving after an all-day meeting that ran through lunch? With TripIt’s interactive airport maps, you can get step-by-step directions from your current location to your next gate, restaurants, restrooms, and even a charging station for your electronics. Saving you time? Check. Saving your sanity? Double check.
Sign up for Global Entry
Returning from an international business trip means passing through passport control. However, as a known traveler with the Global Entry program, you won’t have to fill out any customs paperwork upon landing back in the US and can head straight to Global Entry kiosks. There, you’ll scan your fingerprints and complete a customs declaration. Transaction receipt in-hand, you can head to baggage claim or the exit—no waiting in line needed.
Pro tip: Some travel rewards credit cards issue statement credits if you charge the $100 application fee to your card.
Take a train to save on business travel
Pricey last-minute fares? Long layovers? Sometimes getting from point A to point B isn’t as cost-effective or convenient as we’d like. One solution? Consider alternative modes of transportation. In some regions of the world, a train journey connects cities better than a flight does. For instance, these eight train routes in Europe are quicker than flying. Some of them are cheaper, too. For your next business trip, it’s worth comparing the total travel time and fare price between flying and train travel—the results might surprise you.
What tips do you have for saving time or money on business travel? Tweet @TripIt to share.