Business travel is back. Following the pandemic, businesses of all shapes and sizes have been back together, travelling all over the world at a rate many didn’t predict. Airports are crowded, taxi drivers are busier than ever, and colleagues who’d got in the habit of virtual meet-ups are enjoying some much-needed face time. And as we enter this re-energised environment, the topic of business travel – namely what, and where to book – is a hot topic again.
Here’s a quick guide to some of the very best business travel sites in 2022. Platforms that make it easier, more efficient and in many cases more affordable for small businesses to book everything from flights to trains to hotels.
Flightfox, unsurprisingly, only deal with flights. And unlike some of the options on this list, it’s a more traditional service based on dealing with a travel agent – which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but something we really like.
The foundation of their offer is their guarantee: they will beat any flight price you find by more than their fee.
This sounds too good to be true – but judging by the reviews, it isn’t.
Essentially, flight prices fluctuate, and if your timing is right, you can pick up excellent deals. But getting that timing right requires constant checking, which isn’t realistic for the average small business owner.
Flightfox does the monitoring for you, and that’s how they save you money. It’s well worth a try.
Spendesk is a fantastic tech solution for managing an employee’s travel spending in one place – something that’s a real hassle for growing businesses with multiple staff members on the road.
Naturally, an employee might have a company credit card, but in some cases, they will pay for some expenses on a different card. Meanwhile, some expenses might be paid in cash or by BACS. Capturing and managing everything is an administrative nightmare and gives many a bookkeeper an enormous headache.
What Spendesk does is capture different payment methods all attached to the same user. They pay online with a virtual credit card and then take their prepaid expense card on their travels.
Everything is centrally captured in real-time, meaning reimbursements, tax-related issues and any other admin is largely automated.
It’s a big money and time saver.
If you’re looking for a simpler and free way of managing expenses, Spendee is our recommendation.
Totally free and extremely easy to use and integrate, it’s an app any staff member can download which will track everything you spend in real-time.
You can then attach receipts quickly and easily to every expense.
For small businesses with a limited number of employees who aren’t constantly racking up expenses, this is a simple spend management tool.
TravelPerk brings together the world’s largest travel inventory in one place. So, whether you’re booking planes, trains, hotels or cars, it captures the best options and prices in the world.
For choice and sheer scale, it can’t be beaten. And if your whole team uses it for all business travel, then anyone in finance can track everything together and manage expenses easily and quickly. They can even produce reports, so you have a view of what you’re spending – and any patterns that are emerging over time.
TravelPerk might not be necessary for smaller businesses or companies with limited travel costs, but for most, it offers the world’s biggest and best choice of business travel in one place.
Airbnb for Work
Airbnb often gets overlooked for business travel – but if you have employees on extended stays, it can make so much more sense than a hotel booking. And Airbnb’s work platform is adapted for business bookings. Helpfully, it can also help you to find conference and office space while you’re away.
Everything is linked to a company profile too, so if you book it, a bookkeeper can have access and collect any invoices or receipts without having to chase you.
Tips for business travel booking
Whether you decide to use a spend management tool, a global booking platform or neither, there are a few things everyone should do to make business travel booking and management a bit easier:
- Implement a clear and simple receipt collection process. There are smart, tech-driven automated ways of doing this – or you can do it the old-fashioned way. But the bottom line is that it must be done. Make sure everyone understands the importance of receipt management
- Sign up for business credit or charge cards. Whatever you do, if you’re managing the travel of other employees, having them spend on company cards will make everything easier
- Set clear and reasonable limits and expectations. Having individuals manage their travel booking often works perfectly well – especially for small businesses. The key is to have clear and transparent rules and expectations. Set limits for expenditure, and implement and explain your expenses process
We’ve now partnered with Goodwings – a major hotel booking platform that verifiably removes carbon emissions from every aspect of a business trip.
It’s the simplest way of reducing your carbon footprint – and it’s exclusively available to XLN customers free for a year!
Goodwings aims to turn 1 billion trips Net Zero by 2030, and its partnership with XLN customers is one of many that will help to achieve that goal.
Sign up now to claim your offer – it’s a no-brainer!