Cost Cutting Tips
Below are a few ideas that can help you cut down on travel expenses and save money for your department.
How to Save While Planning a Trip
- Research trip options. Do you really need to travel? Would a video or web conference meet your needs instead?
- Plan ahead. When looking for air travel to certain locations, the best fares are available further in advance than the usual four to six weeks. Examples of such locations are Las Vegas and Orlando.
- Use the university’s preferred travel agency. There is power and negotiation leverage in numbers, so our travel agency could be your best bet for cutting costs.
- Think twice before buying internet airfares. Internet fares are not always the most economical, and tend to be very restrictive. When buying an internet fare, you lose the guarantees that you get through our contracted travel agencies. Also, travelers that use a non-approved ticketing method may not receive full reimbursement due to state receipt guidelines and online ticket fees (this also applies to booking hotels through online brokers).
- Be flexible with your departure and return flight times. Sometimes, three hours can make more than a $200 difference. Consider including a Saturday night stay or leaving the day before your meeting to take advantage of lower airfares. You can be reimbursed for additional hotel and meal expenses if the overall cost is lower.
- Double-check everything. Confirm all trip details, such as dates, times, services, etc., before ticketing. Avoid making ticket changes.
- Consider alternative airports and low-fare carriers. They are not necessarily less convenient.
- Re-evaluate the need for ground transportation. Can you use one rental car together with other passengers? Can you take a multi-passenger shuttle or taxi? These types of transportation might be cheaper and faster. Also, consider having someone drive you to the airport rather than taking your car and paying for parking.
- Be flexible with your hotel preferences. Use negotiated properties and mid-range hotels rather than first-tier hotels.
How to Save While Traveling
- Ask the hotel clerk if there is a lower rate available. Often times, you may get a lower rate if the hotel is at low occupancy. Try calling the hotel first rather than booking straight through the internet.
- Avoid using room service. Many hotels have dine-around or order-in programs from outside restaurants. Check with the concierge or front desk for additional information. The meals are usually better and less expensive than room service.
- Always check your bill (hotel, restaurant, transportation, etc.). Dispute any items that should not be on the bill. You can dispute before and after you pay, so do not just assume that since you have paid for it, you are stuck with the expense.
- Take advantage of hotel courtesies. Use the “freebies” provided as part of your stay, such as health club facilities, continental breakfasts, newspapers, etc.