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Three Ways to Get More for Your Business-Travel Dollars As the business outlook for the travel sector improves, the cost of getting around could go up for travelers. Here's how to get more out of your allocated expenses.

By Bruce Schoenfeld

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Squeeze 6,000 travel professionals into a conference center and what you get--besides a big-league bar tab--is an accurate snapshot of their industry. The news that emerged from the Global Business Travel Association summit, held in Denver in August, was upbeat for airlines, hotels and anyone who owns their stock. Travel is up, and prices with it. That means small-business owners and their teams will need to spend even smarter in the coming months. Here are some ways to do it:

The 12 percent surge in hotel occupancy since last year is that sector's strongest rebound ever. New properties are in the pipeline, but most won't open until 2014, so demand will remain high. Smith Travel Network's Jan Freitag notes that with occupancies sitting at 70 percent, the average 50 percent figure for Sunday nights means that midweek (when most business travelers are on the go) "must be pretty rockin'."

Savings can be found by booking in advance as much as possible. You might not know who's going to next year's convention, so you can't buy a plane ticket, but you can reserve rooms and switch names later. And try to avoid New York City, which weighed in at nearly 80 percent occupancy and an average rate of $223 a night.

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