“Everywhere I travel, tiny life. Single-serving sugar, single-serving cream, single pat of butter. The microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit. Shampoo-conditioner combos, sample-packaged mouthwash, tiny bars of soap. The people I meet on each flight? They’re single-serving friends.”
–Fight Club, 1999
In the 1999 film Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk’s character Jack is a frequent business traveler. He notes in the above quote how each travel item is individually packaged for him, the consummate consumer, and that each interaction is a meaningless one-off.
However, today’s modern business traveler has access to tools that flip the script by giving the consumer more control over travel consumption and by giving corporate teams meaningful cost-cutting strategies.
For small businesses running their own company travel programs, every dollar counts. Luckily, a new slate of technology is available based on the concept of collaborative consumption – which allows business travelers to spread costs amongst themselves.
From a bird’s-eye perspective, collaborative consumption generally describes economic arrangements whereby multiple parties share mutual access to products or services, as opposed to exclusive ownership. In the context of corporate travel management, collaborative consumption means sharing the cost of fees, flats and food.
We wrote in a previous article how business travelers can actually save on flights while upgrading to a more luxurious private jet experience. The range of private jet subscription services on the market today offer a higher quality experience at a competitive price compared to booking per-use flights with major carriers. This notion also applies to booking local accommodations and transportation.
Besides saving money for the company, collaborative consumption positively impacts the environment by consuming fewer goods, lowering carbon emissions and wasting fewer resources.
Cost Splitting Tools for Business Travelers
Eats, Rides and Accommodations
Unlike Jack’s microwave Cordon Bleu hobby kit in Fight Club, the idea behind collaborative consumption is that goods and services are shared by multiple people. Travel managers who get the gist of this concept can squeeze the maximum value out of today’s travel service providers.
Check Splitting Apps
Small businesses don’t always have established per diem rates or company cards like more established companies. But travel managers can arm their road teams with tools to make payments easy. Sales teams on the go can avoid check time awkwardness with Divvy. Divvy is a mobile app that allows a group of business travelers to split the bill right on the spot. Rather than waiting to submit the receipt back at the office, the team justs snaps a photo of the bill and drags menu items to the corresponding person at the table. Divvy can even split community items like appetizers and tips. Also checkout Billr.
Accomodations Payment Sharing
AirBnb now offers split payments for group travel. More and more business travelers are taking advantage of Airbnb as opposed to legacy hotels. Business associates can more easily split the cost of their group accommodation. Now the person who books the Airbnb no longer has to pay the entire cost up front. Instead, the organizer only pays his or her share. Meanwhile, the other travelers in the group are notified of the reservation and given 72 hours to fork over their share until the reservation is released. If you’re planning a small business offsite, you’re in luck, because this feature works for groups up to 16 people.
Ride Sharing for Business Travelers
Jack’s taxing single-serving travel purchases would also include taxis. There’s nothing more disheartening as a frequent traveler waiting to deplane, waiting again to collect baggage, and then exiting the terminal to see an hour’s long line for taxis.
JayRide can take the stress out of finding transportation after landing by allowing you to choose the most convenient and cost effective way to get to your accommodations. And you can book in advance.
JayRide offers affordable and reliable transport for business travelers to and from the airport. You can choose between luxury options like private cars to more affordable options like shared shuttles. The JayRide team believes that “transport information should be easy, painless and seamless for everyone.” They offer a variety of seat prices to match small business needs. Or, if you’re traveling with a client and looking to impress, you’ll also have the option to book a luxury limo. JayRide utilizes its vast network of transport suppliers to connect business travelers to any destination within the US.
Collective Consumption for All
For small business travel teams, collaborative consumption is a win-win. The company saves money, the team works together and the business’s overall carbon footprint is reduced. ‘Tis the season to share!
David is a digital media attorney and the Editor in Chief at 30SecondsToFly. As an American expat living in Luxembourg, David feels closest to his higher self whilst traveling and expressing his gratitude for new eye-opening experiences through storytelling and filmmaking on his blog www.FarOutExpat.com