Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Business Travel (But Were Too Afraid to Ask) By Sarah Murphy Business travel is booming again after taking a major hit during Covid-19 — but it’s changed. Demand is higher than ever, but there are new challenges to accommodate like managing distributed workforces and inter-departmental collaboration. So, we’ve compiled a list of burning questions about business travel today — and the answers that every finance and travel manager needs to know. Business Travel FAQs: Q: Why is setting your travel budget in advance important? A: Determining your budget in advance helps you identify and estimate major expenses like airfare, accommodation, visa fees, meals, and entertainment. It also ensures that you are able to implement a spending limit, though you should always allow room for adjustments in case of unexpected events. Q: How should you allocate your travel budget? A: Set priorities and allocate the budget accordingly. For some, a hotel in a prime location is more important than an upgraded plane ticket. Each decision should be a combination of the needs of the business and the preferences of the employee. Q: What should you keep in mind when creating your travel budget? A: Note that not all expenses can be fully written off. In 2023, the IRS allows 50% deduction of most meals as business expenses. Be aware of local tax implications and limitations. Q: How can you make your travel itinerary efficient? A: Plan in advance and try your best to avoid long layovers or unnecessarily extended stays, which can cut into work time and increase costs. Set reminders to ensure that employees stay on schedule, but also be sure to schedule downtime for rest so that employees are not overworked or double-booked. Q: What are some tips for cost-effective transportation and accommodation? A: Travel managers should negotiate to receive the best corporate rates on flights and hotels. They can also utilize third-party vendors for discounts, engage travel agents for savings, track flight routes for price changes, book in advance for cheaper prices, and schedule trips at off-peak times. Q: What are the benefits of travel rewards programs for frequent travelers? A: Frequent travelers can earn cashback and perks with travel rewards that can be used for discounts on flights, rental cars, and hotels. Airlines and hotels also offer loyalty programs with exclusive benefits. Q: What is the importance of keeping detailed travel expense records? A: Keeping detailed travel expense records helps you manage time more efficiently and save money. Clear records identify unnecessary costs, streamline reporting, and aid in managing tax deductions and IRS audits. Q: How can technology simplify travel expense management? A: Use spend management software like Mesh to collect digital receipts, sync automatically with your ERP and other corporate SaaS applications, enforce company travel policy, gain cost insights, and track travel expenses on a central dashboard. Get the latest blogs from Mesh by subscribing to our newsletter Manage Your Payments With Full Control & Visibility Get Started Sarah Murphy Sarah is a Content Manager for Mesh Payments. Before working in marketing, she completed her Master of Journalism degree at Toronto Metropolitan University (f.k.a. Ryerson University) and worked as an arts journalist in Toronto. She was a content writer for tech companies in the retail and workforce management sectors before joining Mesh in 2022.