When you’re used to both booking the travel and being the traveller yourself, it’s easy to get caught spending more than you need to on hotels. Last minute plans or changes to your schedule mean you’re focussing on the business priorities rather than the actual cost.

The wrong room rate or location can end up making the entire trip a loss-making endeavour. Thankfully, here are 8 top ways to manage your hotel booking, which won’t get in the way of your work.

1. Think location first

We’ll start, unusually, with a tip that may force you to spend more money on accommodation, but for a good reason.

The location of the hotel is vital. It may sound obvious, but cheaper room rates can mean sacrificing on location. But this results in significant time wasted travelling to and from meeting venues and more spent on ground transport. A hotel located close to the meeting place may cost more, but the savings in both taxi fares and time can more than make the difference.

2. Food, glorious food

Travelling business people need to eat, and as great as it may sound to have the opportunity to try out local restaurants, time is usually a limiting factor.

The hotel is likely the most convenient place to eat for travelling employees; therefore it pays to find one that offers a decent restaurant. Once you’ve found a property known for good, well-priced food, book a room rate that includes both breakfast and dinner.

3. Don’t limit your accommodation search to business areas

Most business travel takes place during the week when there are fewer leisure travellers. By looking at accommodation outside of business districts, there are opportunities to maximise your budget. If the location makes sense, consider resort areas whose rates will often drop outside of peak times when leisure guests are few and far between.

4. Use the right credit card

Some business credit cards offer cash back and bonus points. When booking accommodation, be sure to use the card that offers the best bang-for-buck to benefit from any rewards provided by the hotel.

5. Consider B&Bs or other alternative accommodation

The thought of staying in a B&B during a business trip may seem rather alien. But, find the right one, and the modern B&B can be a fantastic venue to unwind and enjoy home comforts. You’ll typically pay less for a room, and they offer a different way to explore a location.

6. WiFi and mobile computing

Savvy hoteliers offer WiFi throughout their establishments completely free of charge. A poor way to spend a company’s hotel budget is to fork out for internet access when it should be free and ultra-fast for guests. Before making a booking, check the reviews to see if guests rate the WiFi connection. For more inspiration, check out this article on the Top 9 European Hotels with the Best WiFi

7. Check out the optional extras

Modern hotels know that they have to offer more than just a room to entice guests. For that reason, you’ll find accommodation that offers optional extras available when booking online. These can range from room upgrades to adding breakfast. Search for options that will make your stay more comfortable and help you save in the long run.

8. Book standard rooms and seek upgrades

There’s nothing quite like a room upgrade, and what better way to protect the budget than to book standard and give the traveller a tip for gaining an upgrade free of charge? If later check-in is possible, the employee may have an easier time requesting a room upgrade than they would earlier in the day. Unsold rooms may become available, and few hoteliers will avoid the opportunity to delight a guest.

Business hotel budgets can quickly get out of hand. Rather than making it something else to add to your to-do list, use these tips to stay on top of costs when you and your colleagues are travelling for work.