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Business Travel on a Budget

by Kimberly Johnson

airport-519022_640Business travel expenses are expected to keep rising due to higher costs. The average domestic trip will cost 6 percent more this year, or $1,110. The average international trip will rise 7 percent to $3,171, according to the American Express 2008 Business Travel Forecast.
One way to watch your travel budget is to make the most of your hotel stay. Booking with the hotel directly lets you ask about package deals and other discounts they might have, or review value added services and features different brands offer.
Ask about discounts for organizations you belong to, such as AARP, AAA, the armed services, or a labor union. Your credit card may even get you a 5 to 10 percent discount at some of the larger chains.
Free breakfasts. With a free continental breakfast or free hot breakfast buffet, you can save money over buying a fast food breakfast up the street, or ordering room service. Over a week’s time, this can add up.
Forgotten items. If you forget a toothbrush or other toiletry items, before you go to the drugstore and spend $20 to replace them, ask the front desk if they have any. You’ll find that they may have more than you think, for no extra cost.
Shuttle Services: Look for hotels with free shuttle service to your other destinations, including the airport. This will save you money on car rentals and taxi fares.
Package Deals: Some hotels offer package deals that include things like discounts to local attractions, free or discounted hotel restaurant meals, or even airfare and hotel rate discounts.
Rewards Programs. Many hotel chains offer frequent guest rewards programs, giving you points for every stay in their hotel. A Business Rewards package from Radisson Hotels & Resorts currently offers these features throughout the Americas:

  • A Sleep Number guest room
  • Free breakfast up to $15 at the hotel restaurant
  • Early check-in and/or late check-out
  • 2,000 Bonus Gold Points – part of the goldpoints plus program
  • Free in-room high-speed Internet access
  • Free weekday morning newspaper

Whether your trip is for business or for pleasure, you can stay at a nice hotel that won’t break your budget.

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