"When you call the travel agent or go to book online, 90% of all opportunities to save money on travel have been lost."
"The quickest and easiest way to save money on travel is not to travel in the first place."
How daft is that, I hear. Not as much as you may think.
You see, you can have all the booking tools, management systems and other bells and whistles in the world but if your journey was not really necessary, then the whole trip was a waste of money, irrespective of if the trip cost £40 or £4,000. Saving money does not start by looking at the fare, it starts by looking at why people travel in the first place. This means looking closely at your organisation and their motives behind each travel "event". Why was that travel event required? What did it achieve in terms of benefit for the company? Could a task have been accomplished by someone who was already there or who is going, say, a day later? Would the whole company have dissolved into chaos if you had not been there on that day at that time? Would a telephone call or a video conference call been possible?
Perform the following excercise: Take out three or four travel events at random from last month and get the person who traveled to answer the following:
1. "Why did you travel and what specific positive benefit did your visit bring to the company?"
2. "How much revenue did this travel event generate?"
The objective is not to berate someone from seeing a client or business colleague. The objective is to get people to think about why they are travelling. Is there a real need? Am I travelling simply because I can? (You would be surprised how much travel falls into this later category). "Travel" and the ability to travel is seen by some in business as an absolute necessity. The simple ability to go somewhere becomes a measure of success. The point is, that measure cannot be quantified in all cases and where it can not be quantified, perhaps that travel event should never have happened.