Rocketrip rewards business travelers for booking cost-effective travel. Our algorithm pulls smart budgets based on real-time pricing and company policy. Business travelers today are used to shopping around for the best travel deals. They’ve scoped out the most innovative ways to save money for their companies and in turn, make money for themselves with Rocketrip. Finding the best airfare, rail, hotel and car rates can be a complicated process.
Based on our existing data set, we’ve compiled a list of travel booking “do’s” and "don’ts.”
1. DO book early (but not too early)
Studies of over 4 millions trips indicated that the “magical” day to book flights is 54 days in advance. Business travelers know that last-minute booking is sometimes inevitable. If you can avoid booking the flight within the last two weeks before travel, savings can be immense. The same goes for rental cars.
That said; airfares generally remain stagnant until four months before a flight. Book before that, and you probably aren’t getting the most aggressive rate.
2. DO your research
First of all, DON’T assume connecting flight are always cheaper. Check out our findings in our last blog post. While you can save a lot by getting creative with connecting flights, we’ve noticed the difference between connecting and non-stop flights are negligible the longer you wait to book travel.
Secondly, consider alternative modes of travel, like the train. Depending on your route, they can be much cheaper. For example, Philadelphia <> Baltimore trips are generally cheaper via Amtrak. That said, other considerations such as travel time and comfort impact the train vs. flight choice. To generate really significant savings, take a bus. It’s become a top choice for travelers looking for cost-effective travel, and most coach buses offer perks such as wi-fi that allow business travelers to plug in and work during their trip.
3. DO search through online travel sites
Sites like Orbitz, Expedia, Kayak, etc. all negotiate with car rental companies for the best rates. Take advantage and shop around.
4. DON’T rent your car at the airport
Instead, rent from a company near your hotel to generate savings. They often charge lower rates than airport car rental agencies. Enterprise delivers cars to you where you’re staying and lets your drop it off at the airport when you’re done for no extra charge.
5. DO prepay
Prepaying for hotel rooms and car rentals can save you up to 40 percent. Careful, though. If you have to cancel your plans, you’ll be out the cash. If you predict your plans will change, make sure you can get refunded.
6. DO use Airbnb
7. DO combine business with leisure travel
Get a feel for the city you’re traveling to for work and save your company money in the process. Employees often engage in what we call “bleisure” travel (industry term for business + leisure travel).
We’ve seen users take extra time in their business travel destination to catch up with friends or family in the area. Covering part of a business trip yourself will make your finance team happy and gives you a vacation in conjunction with your business trip.
8. DON’T focus only on major brands
Mom-and-pop operations for both car rentals and hotels often offer better savings than the major companies. We recommend using Kayak to find them.
9. DO book bundled trips
A lot of the major online travel agents and metasearch engines offer deals when you book a flight, hotel and car together.
10. DO think about the day of the week
Although reports indicate there isn’t a huge difference in airfares depending on which day of the week you book, they maintain that you will find prices slightly more expensive depending on which day you’re planning to fly. According to Kayak, departing on Saturdays is likely to be 15% more expensive in any region.
According to data from Hopper, the day you buy does matter. Thursdays are the best and Sundays are the worst days for booking travel, although savings range only from $10-25. Hopper offers tools to help you navigate airfares based on dates and locations of travel.
And Remember - DON’T neglect your sleep.
It might not have much to do with saving money, but we’re all about maximizing productivity and business travel efficiency. If you have a layover in Dallas, we thought this nap center located at a Dallas airport was pretty cool.
Have other tips? Interested in learning more about ours? Feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.