You might know a bit about saving money while travelling for leisure, but what are the rules for business travel? Unfortunately going on a business trip isn’t nearly as enjoyable as boarding the plane with a loved one, but it is up to you to find time to enjoy the local sights and explore the city in between meetings and conferences.
First of all, it’s important to keep ahead of your company’s budget and achieve your business objectives – whether that’s forging relationships or signing a new deal. One way to avoid paying high prices for currency exchange is to sidestep getting your money at the bureau, and stick to corporate cards (travel currency or credit card), where it’s easier to see what you’ve been spending and safer than carrying cash.
That said, it’s not always possible to use a card, in smaller shops or for items like a bottle of water of bus ride. Arrange with your bank to change cash before you travel and speak with an advisor to get the best exchange. Try to not carry around too much cash (no matter where you go) as this makes you vulnerable to theft.
Many banks provide an impressive selection of travel cards that help business travellers manage corporate expenses, particularly if you’re paying suppliers overseas and need easy access to your accounts. Frequent travellers can speak to their banks about the best ways to manage their money in changing economic markets – or in other words, about managing the risks of foreign exchange.
In between important things like invoice settlements come equally important considerations such as paying travel agents and visa agents, booking hotels and car hire, as well as meals and entertainment throughout your trip. Most vendors provide pre-paid or credit cards that have no commission charges for use abroad.
One of the best ways to see how much you’re spending (and to control it) is to check whether your bank provides Internet banking. Personal banking at HSBC provides worldwide access to transactions and statements, along with reporting that matches your companies requirements, which can be really useful for travellers heading overseas to conduct business meetings.
Remember, more and more people are paying high prices for last-minute currency exchange, and it’s simply not necessary. Plan ahead by contacting your bank, warn them of your travel plans and enquire about their travel banking products and services.