International travel can be expensive. But it’s essential to get humanitarians to the places where help is needed most. So it’s a necessary overhead cost of aid and development organizations, but it doesn’t need to be too high! As much funding as possible should go to the beneficiaries. To help you do this, we’ve put together this list of 10 tips to save on travel expenses. Special Fares and Flexibility Previously we addressed the importance of flexible arrangements and services. Because of our top-level contracts with most major airlines, we have differentiated ourselves from other travel management companies. Humanitarians need flexible fares that won’t cripple their resources if unexpected changes are necessary. Ten tips to save on travel expenses Unforeseen costs are always unwanted and can be detrimental to humanitarians and your budget. It is best to spend those resources for your cause and not on fees and penalties. Look for humanitarian discounts and programs First of all, humanitarian, volunteer and development organizations can get special discounts on international travel. Many airlines have plans to provide cheaper tickets as their corporate social responsibility initiatives. Plenty of Raptim airline and service partners offer special rates for humanitarian travelers. Save on luggage fees The second way to save on luggage fees. For a short mission, you might be able to travel with carry-on only. This is an advantage if flying with budget airlines, as they charge separate luggage fees. Also, make sure you read luggage allowance information carefully, to make sure you are within the permitted range. If you are going on a more extended mission and need to bring equipment, you might still be able to save. You can reach out to the airline to see if they have special permissions for humanitarian or development luggage allowance. Be flexible about your dates One or two days can sometimes make a huge difference in ticket prices. For example, it’s often cheaper to fly midweek rather than on the weekend, Monday or Friday. If possible for your project objectives, try to be flexible about your dates when booking flights. Plan if possible We know that this is not always possible, but if you can plan, it can bring huge savings. Most airline tickets are costly when booking last-minute. At the same time, planning means you can have time to search for promotions. Also, hotels tend to have special rates if booking well ahead of time. Implement a pre-trip approval process With many volunteers and aid workers traveling regularly, it can be hard to keep track. To make sure that projects are within their travel budgets, implement a pre-trip approval process. This way, you are aware of whether you are meeting your budget limits. You can also review trip plans to optimize time and money. Calculate a reasonable travel allowance Travel allowances generally vary for different destinations. It’s essential to have a reasonable range depending on where your volunteers or aid workers are going. This can help to save money and manage finances in a more organized way. An important thing to remember is to ensure that allowances are not too low. While some destinations might be cheap, safe hotels or secure transportation can be expensive. Make sure that you develop per diem rates with input from those with plenty of local knowledge. Develop relationships with vendors When working on longer-term projects, teams might need to travel to certain places regularly. This means that you might be able to get special pricing as a regular customer. For example, talk to the hotels in the area to see if they are willing to provide preferential pricing, free breakfast or other perks. Look out for promotions and discounts Just because it’s corporate travel, doesn’t mean you can get your tickets on sale! Many airlines, hotels and other travel providers have promotions and discounts. Search around on different websites or look up flight costs on major sales days such as Black Friday. You might save a lot of money! Earn mileage on flights and purchases If your organization is a heavy spender on flights and travel expenses, consider getting a points credit card to pay for these. This means that every purchase you make will convert into miles that you can then spend towards travel. Paying with miles instead of cash can bring incredible savings! Consider a travel management program Finally, it can get overwhelming to manage all of this travel yourself. Travel agents, such as Raptim, can help you save tons of money on travel expenses. That’s because we have the time and experience to look for specials and discounts. We also already have partnerships in place for preferential pricing. And our primary goal is to get you there as cheaply and safely as possible! We Help You to Travel A humanitarian trip needs to be well-planned. There are many steps in the process but don’t worry. We’ve got them covered! That’s why we have put together this ultimate list of humanitarian travel tips. You won’t need to look anywhere else! We believe our world is a better place when compassion can travel where it is needed most. As a global humanitarian travel organization, we devote ourselves to serving those who serve the world. You can reach our experienced staff at any given time. Please use our quick address locator to contact your nearest Raptim office should you have any questions.