Flexible Budgets Made My Last Two Business Trips a Breeze

By Tiffany Mast

When it comes to vacation, I’m a bit of a planner. I like to research the coolest places at my destination and build an itinerary in advance to maximize my time there. My business travel, on the other hand, tends to be a bit more last minute. Which is why flexible budgets saved me on my last two business trips.

Earlier this month I flew down to Los Angeles with a co-worker. As our trip grew closer, my calendar filled up with meetings spread across the city. We had to rent a car at the last minute, which didn’t come in cheap.

My coworker offered to put the car on her budget, and then I expensed our meals. With flexible budgets we could divvy up the expenses, regardless of category. So even though she spent more than her transportation budget and I maxed out the food budget, we both stayed under our total budgets.

Later that week I had to turn around and fly to Austin for South by Southwest. It was a last minute opportunity to sponsor the TechCrunch party and we didn’t want to pass it up.

I ran my budget and noticed the flight budget was higher than usual, thanks to the TravelBank algorithm which bases budgets on real-time market rates. This means that TravelBank budgets are reflective and still accurate when events cause flight and hotel rates to go up.

And although my flight budget was higher than usual, I had to arrive in Austin at a specific time for our event. There was only one outbound flight option and it was over my flight budget. Mind you, I am the traveler who slept with strangers to beat my budget so I am typically pretty competitive when it comes to saving money.

But thanks to flexible budgets I was fine. By saving on my lodging (we opted for an Airbnb outside of downtown), food or ground transportation, I could compensate for the expensive direct flight and still come in under budget.

I was able to use the flexibility of TravelBank budgets to successfully plan and execute both trips, but never had to sacrifice comfort or convenience.

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