Do you do a lot of traveling for work? That on-the-go lifestyle can have quite a few perks for the smart traveler. Whether you’re in a new city every week or take a few big trips per year, you can get a lot of personal benefits from your business travel by being a little flexible and planning ahead. Here are a few key ways that you can earn great business travel perks from your next trip.
Buy tickets yourself and get reimbursed.
You could have your company arrange all of your travel for you, but you’ll miss out on a lot of perks that way. If you can, put your next business flight on your own rewards credit card, then get reimbursed by your company. This will let you earn great rewards like cash back or travel points without actually spending any money. If you travel enough for business, you could earn enough points to take a free family vacation without ever spending a dime.
Volunteer to get bumped.
If you have some wiggle room in your schedule, volunteering to get bumped from an overbooked flight can result in big payouts. Getting on the next flight, which could be just an hour later in some cases, could earn you anywhere from $300 to $1,500. Sometimes those dividends are paid in airline money, but often you’ll get cold hard cash.
The best chance of ending up on an overbooked flight comes on weekday commuter flights. There are even apps that, for a monthly fee, will let you see which flights have just a few seats left so that you can plan to get bumped. Of course, there are no guarantees, but if you fly enough, you can start to learn which flights always need volunteers to take the next flight.
If getting bumped is your goal, plan ahead by only packing a carry-on bag and let the gate agent know that you’d like to be at the top of the list if they need anyone to move to a different flight.
Take advantage of “bleisure” opportunities
Combine business and leisure whenever possible to make the most of your business trips. If you have a Thursday meeting in a new city that you’d like to explore, take one day of vacation and schedule your flight home for Sunday evening. This lets you get in a great weekend trip where the cost of the flight is taken care of by your company. You’ll save a lot of money as a result, and you’ll fit quite a few more mini-vacations into your busy schedule.
For more travel ideas, or if you need any business travel visas, give our office a call any time. We’re always happy to share our travel tidbits and help you get where you want to go.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.