Travel is one of the most challenging and emotive of all expense categories for which to budget. Not only is overall travel volume unpredictable, but the cost of any given trip depends on market rates and demand, and is based on thousands of purchasing decisions made by employees.
As leaders in business travel, we know that your travel budget is not just about your bottom line, but about the wellness and productivity of your people. This is why we will work together with you to assess and analyse your past travel data and negotiate preferential rates that meet your overall business goals.
Here’s our guide to business travel budgeting in 2018:
Crunch the Numbers on your Current Spend
To budget for upcoming travel expenses, you need to analyse the previous financial year. Analysing how much your employees have spent on their business trips will allow for more accurate estimates. A dedicated travel management company such as Thompsons Travel will provide you with detailed information on travel purchased, through our dedicated team and online booking tool, Thompsons Traveller Online. Additionally, our industry-proven expertise means that we are always on hand to best advise you on products and suppliers and help you to identify ways to reduce costs.
Forecast Future Travel Volume
It is always a good idea to identify and understand the reasons why your employees are travelling. Whether they are travelling to maintain customer relationships, to develop new business or attend internal meetings, your annual business travel budgeting will benefit from these insights.
Historical figures for business trip counts and travel spending can be used to forecast per-employee or per-department averages per month. You can use these norms to estimate your upcoming travel spend and modify or adjust your figures according to your company’s overall growth plan and strategy.
Put the Focus on your Company Travel Policy
To reduce waste and better manage costs, your company travel policy should provide class of travel and star rating options among your preferred suppliers and clearly define daily meal and entertainment allowances.
For our guide to writing an effective travel policy and why it matters, read more here.
To save time and money, employers should plan ahead, but the reality is last-minute business trips are par for the course. Schedule changes at the eleventh hour all too often result in higher-than-usual travel costs, so while booking in advance is not always an option, it is worth the effort.
Creating a travel budget presents an opportunity to identify known travel occasions such as major conferences or trade shows. Planning for these will improve the accuracy of your budget forecasts and will also allow for cost-effective booking.
Target Areas for Cost Reductions
“While your organisational travel expenditure will invariably differ from your projections, it is essential to monitor your travel budget and identify areas for cost reduction,” says Chantal Kliche, Retail Manager of Thompsons Travel, Cape Region. “By using a combination of sensible policy guidelines and smart incentive structures, there’s always room to streamline processes and reduce your company’s travel spending.”
Want to lasso overspending and wastage in your travel budget? Speak to the specialists. With 40 years of experience in business travel management, we can tailor a solution which not only meets your business travel requirements, but also aligns with your overall goals.