Five simple ways to keep track of your business’s travel costs

Costs can very quickly sky-rocket out of control when you go on a business trip. Here, we give you five ways you can track costs when you're away.

It’s very easy for expenses to spiral out of control and cause dramatic side-effects to your bottom line. As travel can be an essential part of your business, it may be time to look at what you’re spending when you’re traveling. Here are just five simple things that you can do to keep track of your business’s travel costs.

Ensure you have a travel policy in place

Having one travel policy for the whole company is beneficial for many reasons. One of which is that all employees will understand any new processes and spending limits on food, hotels and cars for example.

It will lead to a set process being in place that can be easily followed, which may prevent employees from making their own travel plans and causing expense claims issues. All arrangements can be made, archived and tracked from one place, which means you’ll be able to keep an eye of what you’re spending on travel.

Corporate reward schemes

A number of reward schemes that’ll help your business save money are available across a variety of niches and industries. There are schemes with benefits like flight miles, hotel reductions and even fuel discounts that can be incorporated within your travel policy. Using a fuel card is also a great way of managing the travel costs for your business’s vehicles.

The RAC’s Fuel Card, for example, gives you access to discounts on diesel at 1,800 fuel sites nationwide, and you can also manage your transactions online 24/7. This is just one scheme among the many that uses smart management processes to help you keep on top of your travel costs.

Be smart with car rentals

If you plan to use car rentals, often with the same company each time, negotiate a repeat business deal. With lots of stylish cars lined up it can be tempting to rent the most modern wheels going, but you’ll have to restrain yourself and choose a car in budget that meets your business’s needs. Try to avoid the ‘extra’ services that they’ll want to up-sell you and if you find you’re continuously having to rent a GPS system, it may be time to purchase one for the office to use time and time again.

Book in advance

One of the simplest ways to make sure your expenses don’t get out of control is to book public transport in advance. With train fares on the rise it’s even more important that you try and save where you can. You can save money if you book an advance train ticket online, up to 12 weeks from departure. When it comes to flights, you can book up to five months in advance, but the more people who book onto a flight, the more expensive a new ticket is. So, do make sure you book your flights early enough to get a good deal.

Use a corporate credit card

Keep track of all your travel spends on a corporate credit card. There are some great credit cards that have added rewards such as, hotel discounts and flyer miles, plus the added protection whilst you’re spending. It will also make bookkeeping more simple as you’ll only be tracking the spends from one account.

Owen Gough

Fred Morissette

Owen Gough is a reporter for He has a background in small business marketing strategies and is responsible for writing content on subjects ranging from small business finance to technology...

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