BLOG: It’s a new year – what are your travel plans?

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The New Year is well under way and companies are thinking about how they can get more face-time with current clients and prospects. Without it, growth will stagnate, or worse yet, decline. However, more face-time means increasing the travel budget, right? Not necessarily. So, how do you increase travel to clients and prospects without increasing your T&E budget?

You want to start with visibility into your travel spend to find savings opportunities.  After all, if you could save 10% or 15% on your current travel spend you could use those savings to fund the increased travel. Yes, it sounds simplistic, but it works. The other important step is taking a look at what’s forecasted for the year in terms of supplier policy changes, economic conditions, etc. You’ll want to know if the savings strategies you put in place could be derailed by upcoming changes in the travel industry or if you could leverage a particular change in your favor.

Now, start looking at your individual travel metrics. Do you have a plan to drive savings around air advance purchase, online booking adoption rate, or preferred vendor compliance, to name just a few areas of concern? You should – that can be low hanging fruit in terms of savings. Also, hopefully, you’re monitoring your unused tickets and making sure your travelers use them and don’t let them spoil. The amount of unused tickets that some organizations forfeit because they weren’t aware they existed can be staggering. What about your supplier base? Are you aware of every contracted rate opportunity that exists among your suppliers based on your current spend levels?

Let your travel management company know what your plans are for the New Year in terms of growth strategy and anticipated travel levels – they can help you come up with a savings strategy to off-set any anticipated increase in your travel costs. Of course, you’ll also want to know about any changes coming in the travel industry, so download the 2018 Travel Leaders Business Travel Forecast on this page.