Hotels: Savings is in the details
In the last few weeks we’ve featured a few posts about the 2012 Travel Management Priorities the CWT Travel Management Institute identified in its recent research study—improving traveler compliance, driving air and ground transportation savings, and optimizing online adoption. This is part four in that series, and I’d like dive into another of the top four priorities—optimizing hotel spend.
As a frequent traveler, I find myself spending on average 75 nights in hotels each year. So even the little decisions I make during each trip can add up to significant savings or significant additional cost for my company. Here are a few tips you can keep in mind during the process of identifying, booking, and staying at your hotel to get the best value possible.
- Book your company’s preferred hotels. Many companies select preferred hotels only after thoroughly researching those hotels and their safety practices. By booking these hotels, you can be assured that the property meets your company’s standards for safety as well as value.
- Book via approved channels. It may be easy enough to call a hotel property directly and book a room, but if this is not your company’s approved method of booking, you may want to think twice before making that call. By booking via the approved channels, which may be the travel management company or an online booking tool, you can be sure that any discounts your company has negotiated are applied to your rate. Additionally, this will ensure your company has a record of where you are staying in the event of an emergency.
- Take advantage of negotiated amenities. Some hotels offer complimentary amenities as part of the negotiated rate. These may include free parking, internet access, or breakfast. If the amenities are ones you can use, take advantage of them rather than potentially spending more outside the hotel.
- Look at the whole picture. If multiple hotel options are all within your travel policy, try to consider the total cost of staying at one property vs. another. Selecting a hotel near your meeting location may help to reduce ground transportation costs. Additionally, some hotels may offer free shuttles to locations within a certain distance of the hotel. Considerations like these, along with total room rate and included amenities, can add up to a big difference in the total cost of your trip.
These are just a few of the basics to consider before your next trip. And if hotels are your home away from home, we’d love to hear your tips as well. Please share them in the comments below.