Business travel is getting pricier, and costs will continue to rise through 2017. Scroll down to our infographic and see how your Outdoor Retailer expense report stacks up to the average attendee’s, and use these tips to save money on future travel.
Outdoor Retailer is the biggest business trip of the year for many companies, and according to data from the University of Utah’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research, it isn’t cheap: the average Winter Market 2012 attendee stayed in Salt Lake City for 3.87 nights and spent more than $1,450 during the course of their trip. Attendees spent the most on airfare at $601 per person on average and the least on laundry at $0.31 per person (in this industry, who’s surprised?).
The Global Business Travel Association predicts that the cost of business travel will continue to grow through 2017. Hotel costs could increase by 4 percent and airfare could up by 3.7 percent, each a notch above the overall inflation rate, which will be about 2.4 percent by the end of next year, according to Kiplinger economists.
Save money at Outdoor Retailer
With business travel getting pricier, follow these 5 tips to staying ahead of budget:
- Book early. According to analysis of 1.5 billion airfares by budget booking platform CheapAir, flights are cheapest 47 days in advance. Book no later than four weeks in advance whenever possible; that’s when rates start to skyrocket.
- Consider a budget airline. Airfare took the cake for biggest travel expense by far, even though about 67 percent of attendees flew into SLC from elsewhere in the western United States. Cut ticket expenses by choosing an inexpensive airline, especially if you always pack like you’re on an ultralight mission. Spirit and Frontier have some of the cheapest rates around, but they charge for any luggage beyond the customary under-the-seat bag. Another caveat for cheaper airlines? Reliability. Delta frequently charges 30 percent more than Frontier, for example, but 82 percent of Delta’s flights arrive on-time versus just 68 percent of Frontier’s, according to DOT data.
- Use public transportation in town. The average ORWM attendee spends $97 per show on local transportation, rental car fees, and gasoline. Uber tends to be cheaper than traditional taxis, especially since tips are neither “expected nor required,” according to the Uber website, but it’s hard to beat Salt Lake City’s train fare. Ride TRAX from airport to hotel or hotel to convention center for $2.50 each way.
- Take advantage of business rates. Bringing a big group to town? Book flights together through programs like Southwest Airlines Corporate Travel or Delta Airlines Corporate Travel to earn discounts, miles, and other awards.
- Use an app. It can be hard to reign in the expensed dinner free-for-all, but apps like Rocketrip incentivize employees to beat the budget you set for them by letting them keep half the savings.