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Travel and Expense Management

2015 Business Travel Savings Report

The dawning of a new year is a time for celebration. It’s when people traditionally gather with friends and family to watch the Times Square ball drop, sing the Auld Lang Syne, or maybe just drink vast quantities of cheap champagne while making resolutions they have no intention of keeping.

At Rocketrip we like to mark the occasion by donning our party hats, breaking out the confetti, and reviewing the past year in travel expense data. It’s our way to get into the festive spirit and recognize some truly awesome results from employees who were motivated to spend smart on the road.

So before we flip the calendar to 2016, let’s take a look back on how business travelers saved in 2015.

Average Savings of Over 25% Per Trip

Our customers enjoyed some remarkable cost savings in 2015. Rocketrip’s patented budgeting algorithms use real-time pricing data to dynamically calculate how much a given trip should cost. Employees are motivated to beat their budgets because they get to keep a portion of what they save on flights, hotels, trains, and rental cars.

Over the past year this unique approach to travel management based on smart budgets and aligned incentives produced average per trip savings of $280. To calculate this figure, we subtracted the amount spent by each Rocketrip traveler from an estimate of their trips' expected costs in the absence of any saving incentive, based on actual market prices at the time of booking. Here's a closer look at the spending and saving figures for Rocketrip customers in 2015.

  • Average Trip Budget - $1,044
  • Average Savings Per Trip - $280
  • Gross Savings Percentage - 26.8%

That means Rocketrip saved companies over a fourth of what they had budgeted to spend on employees' trips! We're proud to report that Rocketrip has continued to produce results for our rapidly expanding list of customers.

Top Flight and Hotel Saving Strategies

Each company that uses Rocketrip decides exactly what saving methods will and won't be rewarded under its travel policy. Our customers utilize a wide range of saving scenarios, from allowing employees to shop for low-cost travel options, to encouraging advance booking. Here are some of the most powerful ways to save Rocketrip travelers found in 2015.

Flights
  • Choosing the Lowest Available Fare - Used on 18% of flights, for average savings of $110 (19% against budget).
  • Flying with a Low Cost Carrier- Used on 13% of flights, for average savings of $82 (13% against budget).
  • Choosing an Early Morning Departure - Used on 6% of flights, for average savings of $119 (18% against budget).
Hotels
  • Staying with Friends or Family: Used during 17% of hotel nights, for average savings of $245 per night (100% against budget).
  • Choosing a Lower Star Class Hotel: Used during 14% of hotel nights, for average savings of $79 per night (29% against budget).
  • Booking an Airbnb Instead of Hotel: Used during 11% of hotel nights, for average savings of $116 per night (42% against budget).

Rocketrip customers realized particularly dramatic savings on their lodging expenses by allowing employees to stay in more cost-effective alternatives to traditional corporate hotels. With Airbnb's announcement of a new service specifically for business travel, we expect this saving strategy to become even more common in 2016.

Notable Trips

On the whole, Rocketrip travelers reduced their companies' T&E spend by booking cost-effective trips that were within their Budgets to Beat. In this context of overall cost-control, however, there were some instances of extraordinarily frugal travel.

  • Greatest Single Trip Savings - One Rocketrip traveler stayed with a friend during an extended 15-day assignment in New York City. Total hotel cost? $0. Total savings to his company? An astonishing $5,125!
  • Greatest Aggregate Savings by a Single Traveler - Responsible spending multiplied over many trips can create huge financial results. Our top saving road warrior took 20 trips in 2015, and saved his company $15,596 in total.
  • Most Common Itineraries - The most common destination for Rocketrip travelers this year was San Francisco. Rocketrip's based in New York, and we have to admit our pride was a bit stung when we saw that our city wasn't the top destination of the year. But perhaps this result shouldn't be surprising, as many of our customers have offices in the Bay Area. Check out this case study to read more about how one of those clients is seeing huge financial and cultural benefits from incentivizing its employees to spend the company's money like its their own.

Business Travelers Earn Over $100 Per Trip

Companies are not only slashing their travel costs with Rocketrip; they're also providing employees with a valuable perk. In 2015, business travelers who found ways to beat their budgets took home an average of $109 per trip.

Rocketrip users redeemed those travel rewards for a wide range of gift and cash cards, with the most popular options being Amazon, American Express, Target and J. Crew. It was also a big year in terms of providing our users with new redemption options and perks. We announced partnerships with Virgin America, FoundersCard, LoungeBuddy, and several others. Keep an eye out for more exclusive offers for Rocketrip travelers in 2016!

We'll also be rolling out new product features, growing our team, and continuing to help our customers create travel programs their employees can get excited about. Thanks to everyone who's been a part of Rocketrip's most successful year yet. We're looking forward to building on these results in the year ahead!

IS ONE OF YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS TO CUT YOUR COMPANY’S TRAVEL SPEND?

Schedule a demo with Rocketrip to see how you could reduce T&E costs in a ways your employees will love.

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Featured image by Luke licensed under CC BY 2.0.

All Tags: Travel Costs, Travel and Expense Management

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