Small business travel tips, at one time, might have consisted of items like “Don’t forget to eat healthy food!” or “Consider business class a necessary expense.”
But today, with many small businesses relying on crowd-sharing resources like Airbnb and Uber for business travel, the small business travel tips look a little different.
Small business travel is changing as more Millennials enter the workforce with new ideas about work-life balance and what business travel should consist of.
A new term, “bleisure,” has been coined to describe the act of mixing business and leisure activities, something Millennials are keen to do.
A survey of 250 corporate travel managers and buyers with significant proportions of Millennial employees revealed that nearly half reported increases in employee concerns about work-life balance concerning travel, and another 42% said their employees wanted to combine business travel with leisure activities, in some cases extending the trip. How can these trends mesh with cost-effective business travel?
The small business travel tips you’ll find below are perfect for small companies without huge travel budgets. Check them out!
Cost Effective Small Business Travel Tips for Entrepreneurs
Go ahead, embrace ‘bleisure’
If “bleisure” sounds like a masquerade for a way to waste company money, don’t be fooled – it’s a powerful tool for employee retention.
Allowing your employees to spend a little time sight-seeing or day or two at the nearby beach is a “way to nurture and retain talented staff,” according to Andi Budd, executive at American Express Global Business Travel. “What they’re saying is ‘if we can make our employee happier during their travels, they are more productive’, and then also tying it back to staff retention.”
Let them bring the family
In companies where Millennials make up a considerable percentage of the workforce, 46% of travel managers say there’s been an increase in employees who want to bring family along on business trips. Compare that number to companies without many Millennials on board – only 28% inquire about bringing family on business trips.
If more employees want to bring family along on business trips, let them. Before you protest the additional cost of room and board for 2-3 others, consider the shared accommodations (think Airbnb) trend. Airbnb is allowing small business owners to find cost-effective accommodations for employees in popular cities, and because entire homes can be rented for less than the cost of a single hotel room, it’s easier than ever to allow employees to bring family along on a trip. After all, if bringing family will make them happier, they’ll be more productive and stick around longer. That’s a win-win.
Small companies are leading the charge when it comes to using Airbnb for business travel. Lower prices when compared to hotels, and accommodations with better locations in pricey cities, have no doubt contributed to the trend.
Pick an airline and stick with it
“The key thing for business travel is frequent flier programs,” Banas says. “You want to be brand loyal so you can get that elite status and have access to more perks and upgrades.”
If you can’t stand the thought of always flying Delta (or SouthWest, or American Airlines, or Jet Blue…), Banas says it’s helpful to get a credit card that offers rewards so you can build up points, miles, and cash back no matter which airline you fly with.