Running a corporate travel program is important but it's easy for costs to spiral. Here's how you can make your program leaner and save cash.

Unless your company is very small, local, and self-contained, chances are high that you do business elsewhere. Setting up an organized corporate travel program makes traveling for business easy.

Yet, costs may get out of control even with what seems like a strong program. There are several tricks your business’s corporate travel management division can try to cut expenses. Take a look at these savvy tips for running a leaner corporate travel program.

1. Consider Greener, Cheaper Travel

Air travel is perhaps the most popular choice for business trips: It’s the fastest choice in many cases and easy to access. Airplanes are also responsible for a great deal of pollution and tickets take up a large amount—sometimes the majority—of your travel budget.

Reconsidering your travel practices to prioritize environmentalism can help save money, too. Carpooling can save in some situations, more so when riding in fuel-efficient vehicles. Trains, buses, and even boats are other great options that tend to cost less and are better for the environment than planes are.

2. Loosen Travel Schedules

Travel prices rise and fall based on market demand, which can be rough when making business plans. Price differences are sometimes dramatic from day to day. When conferences have set schedules and business partners request meetings on certain dates, you may feel pressured to splurge on a pricier trip.

Instead of assuming you have no other options, talk to the people at your destination and see if you could arrive a little earlier or later. Conferences that don’t include travel costs are tricky, but partners can often reschedule individual meetings.

You can put a tool on your signup form to gather a range of times when employees can travel and buy tickets for multiple dates to save the most money, rather than scheduling everyone to travel, for example, on Saturday when ticket prices are often high.

3. Tighten Corporate Travel Program Policies

Flexibility is ideal for business travel planning and helps save money when it comes to things with variable costs, such as hotel rooms and plane tickets. It’s also important to note that too much flexibility can get your company in financial trouble.

Giving team members a lot of freedom to change their plans and have to reschedule travel and lodging costs a lot. Loose policies about paying for meals, rental cars, and extra baggage aren’t wise. Some fines and fees related to such practices are small, but they add up.

4. Find Business-Specific Accommodations

One way to save money on business trips that companies tend to overlook is the regular availability of corporate lodging solutions.

People traveling for business can access short-term housing designed for their needs all over the world. It’s much more affordable than paying for each employee to get a hotel room.

Become a Thriftier Businessperson

These tips for running a leaner corporate travel program will help your business save money on unneeded travel expenses. You can take those savings and direct them towards more vital things.

If you want more smart ideas about ways you can save money while running your business and in everyday life, take a look at more articles on this site. Click another one to find another area where you can start cutting costs today.