Travelling abroad? 5 ways to stretch your rand | The Planner

Earlier this year a list of the 10 most expensive cities for business trips in the world was published. Try these 5 tips to stretch your rands when travelling for business.

The 10 most expensive cities in the world for business travel have been identified by global consultancy firm ECA International in Marc 2023. They are:

  1. New York
  2. Geneva
  3. Washington DC
  4. Zürich
  5. San Francisco
  6. Tel Aviv
  7. Los Angeles
  8. London
  9. Luanda
  10. Paris
New York City.

The exchange rate is against you

The top 5 on this list are all cities in the USA and Switzerland, with another USA city on number 7. South African travellers who have to do business trips on the weak South African rand already know that these American cities are not budget-friendly, and the same goes for Tel Aviv, London and Paris. But Luanda might come as a surprise to many. Angola’s booming oil economy coupled with a huge demand for safe housing, goods and services among ex-pats is driving the cost of living (and travelling) there.

According to ECA International it will cost travellers $796 per day in New York. This is around R14 600 per day, depending on the exchange rate. In London, according to the Office of National Statistics, the average price of a pint of lager is currently £4.23 – approximately R98.

Geneva, Switzerland.

5 ways to stretch your rands

  1. Update and understand your per diem. Setting a realistic spend per day is key for Bonnie Smith, GM of FCM Travel. “A travel management company will offer guidelines around accommodation spend, as well as meals and incidental travel expenses, depending on the location and even time of year,” says Smith. “This can, and should, vary from city to city, ensuring your travellers have a productive and stress-free trip.” This also includes what the company will cover and how the traveller will be reimbursed afterwards. The company travel policy should be clear about whether travellers have to use their personal credit cards and how they will be reimbursed.
  2. Secure the right accommodation. Spend time researching accommodation, because there might be cheaper options such as self-catering accommodation, where you can prepare your own meals cheaper. The travel management company can also offer you many accommodation options to suit your budget.
  3. Use public transport. All cities on the list except Luanda have very reliable public transport systems. If you travel by bus, tram, train or boat, you save a lot of money and you save the environment too. Try buying a day pass or travel card for more savings and forget about private shuttles and taxis.
  4. Eat street food. You can easily blow your entire budget on fancy restaurants. Unless you have to entertain clients, buy your food from food trucks and side carts. These are easily found in the USA and Switzerland, while markets in London are known for their fresh fare. Eat like a local and turn your visit into an authentic experience.
  5. Look out for great deals on entertainment. Look for discounted tickets at for example the TKTS booth in London’s Leicester Square and find museums, parks and attractions with free entry – they are everywhere. Going to a theatre on the day of a show might also yield discounts on unsold tickets.
Bonnie Smith, GM of FCM Travel.
Luanda, Angola.