Is the cost of a business trip worth the hassle?
In 2015 alone, U.S. businesses spent more than $300 billion on travel expenses, according to the Global Business Travel Association. And the numbers for 2016 don’t look any better.
If you’ve ever taken a business trip, you know how quickly the expenses add up. Allow us to demonstrate:
Booking a flight
Not every business will bankroll First Class accommodations, but even Coach seats can cost a lot if employees don’t book far enough in advance.
Booking a hotel
Same rules apply for reserving a hotel room. If you don’t plan ahead, you could be stuck in a flea-infested firetrap miles away from your important client meeting. Perhaps worse, you could end up paying out the nose for something closer – but not necessarily better.
Taxis for everything
You need a taxi to drive you to the airport you’re departing from, a taxi to get you from the arrival airport to your hotel, a taxi to drive you to the meeting, a taxi to drive you from the meeting, a taxi to get you back to the airport and a taxi to drop you off at home. That’s a lot of taxis – and a lot of taxi fares.
Traveling workers meeting multiple clients on a single trip will need a few different business-appropriate outfits. Bigger suitcases means a higher possibility of a checked luggage surcharge at the airport, which could run you a couple hundred dollars more than anticipated.
A layover on an empty stomach can be a dangerous thing. Although airport food is not the pinnacle of fine dining, it will nonetheless cost you as much as a plate at the Ritz Carlton. Plus, while you may know all the cheap places to snag a good bite to eat in your hometown, the same cannot be said when traveling. Be prepared to spend.
Once you step out of the office, you lose your connection to free Wi-Fi. Airports and hotels typically charge hourly to sync up your devices. Do you plan on getting any work done on your business trip? Then you’d better be ready to pay up.
How were you supposed to know those minibar peanuts were $20 a bag? Who knew a terrible flight in would have you scrambling to the nearest drug store for motion sickness pills, earplugs and an eyemask for the flight back? Why didn’t the restaurant list the prices for your celebratory glass of Chardonnay right on the menu?
So why go through with it all?
Nothing reinforces a strong business-to-client relationship like an in-person meeting. The value of a happy customer outweighs the cost of trip, right?
Not always. As nice a sentiment as that is, there is an alternative. Consider a web or video conference that can give you all the benefits of face-to-face meetings without the pricey travel costs or the headaches. Communicate and collaborate with your clients as if you were right there in the room with them.
To learn more, check out our web and video meeting options.