Using the internet to streamline your business travel is a no-brainer, but finding the cream-of-the-crop Web sites that will book it fast and keep you regularly informed can be a challenge. For comprehensive price searches, business travel information and trip-booking functions, you need the following:
- Airfare, hotel and rental car search sites that do the work for you and maximize options
- Frequent flyer links to help you get the most for your miles
- Business travel newsletters to keep you on top of the information game
- Online booking programs to help manage your company travel.
Book air, find a hotel, rent a car – fastThere are plenty of travel Web sites that promise the best/lowest/cheapest, but some are better than others.
Make the most of your frequent flyer milesThere are endless ways to accumulate air miles, but the options for using them are getting slimmer. To know when to spend 'em, when to hold 'em, you must stay on top of changing rules and programs:
Keep on top of business travel newsThe old saying, "Knowledge is power" is doubly true when it comes to business travel. To stay on top of all that the airlines, hotels, and rental car companies won't tell you, subscribe to regular online revelations by biz travel gurus.
Book through a managed online travel programIf you don't have the interest or time to search multiple web sites for deals and options, an online booking program can give you the best of both worlds.
- Don't overlook airline web sites. The most sophisticated fare search engines include them in their scan, but it pays to check the fare on your carrier's site, then search using SideStep, Kayak etc. to compare.
- Don't waste valuable time searching every fare site; there might be a lower fare out there, but your time has value too.
- Some sites, even the most comprehensive, don't check every airline. Several don't include Southwest, some omit JetBlue and other discount carriers.
- Booking online can have its drawbacks: if you routinely make a lot of changes to your itineraries, you might encounter problems — some sites have a "you booked it, you bought it" policy.
- If you book an airfare on the internet, then try to make changes by calling the airline reservation number, they will probably tell you they can't help you because they don't have access to online inventory.
- At some hotel booking sites, you might not learn the name of the hotel until after you book, but you will know the quality rating upfront.