Skip to content

The Pleo Blog

Book a demo
Train ticket, hand holding Pleo card, steering wheel

There’s no denying, the pandemic left a mark on how companies do business. But it also taught us the importance of face-to-face meetings, and how to travel with financial stability and sustainability in mind. Whilst the world of Zoom keeps us connected, business travel allows for teams to network and innovate without the “you’re on mute” and awkward silences. 

As we navigate an uncertain economic climate, now is the time for your organisation to keep a watchful eye on travel spending and keeping a keen eye for efficiency. 

Luckily, we have the spending data from 30,000+ European customers across the UK & Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, The Netherlands, and Spain to tap into. This data is from 2021 to 2024, and we’ve spotted some trends… 

Looking back...

During lockdown, the travel spend category, unsurprisingly, dropped throughout our markets. And while travel started to pick up towards the end of 2021, the emergence of the Omicron variant forced countries around the world to return back to caution by implementing temporary travel restrictions.

But travel picked up pretty quickly after that. Since the start of 2022, the travel spend category reclaimed the top spot with the highest spend. And this shift isn’t just being observed in our customer base – worldwide business travel spend is expected to surge this year with the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) expecting spending to hit $1.4 trillion by the end of 2024.

But how and what are Pleo users spending on when it comes to getting from A to B?

Trains are the transport of choice across (almost) all markets 

For most of Europe, trains reign supreme for both the number of transactions and the amount spent with Pleo cards.

In the UK, our customers spend the most on the travel booking platform, Trainline. But it’s Uber that takes the reigning spot when it comes to the number of transactions, followed closely by TfL. 

Psst, did you know Pleo auto-generates a ticket for you on your TfL journey as soon as you tap in?

Deutsche Bahn (DB), the national railway company, is number one for both spending and transactions in Germany.

And high-speed trains, like Renfe in Spain and SJ in Sweden are top picks when it comes to travelling for work too. For The Netherlands, they prefer travelling by air as KLM is a clear winner when it comes to total spend.

Our Danish customers tend to hop in a taxi most often, with the taxi service TAXA getting one of the most transactions.

There’s a clear winner for accommodation

Across our markets, is the top choice for finding hotel rooms when business trips require people to stay overnight. 

In the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands, is in the top three of all merchants with the most overall spend in the travel category. 

There are some local favourites too. Our German customers also stay with Motel One, Airbnb, and B&B Hotels. Meanwhile, Swedes choose and Scandic Hotels. 

Pleo is a road trip companion 

While our spending solution can’t help with directions or change the tunes, it does come in handy for managing fuel costs and keeping track of mileage.

Toll roads consistently appear in the top-ten merchants in number of transactions. And the majority of our customers also use Pleo quite a bit to pay for parking via apps – RingGo in the UK, EasyPark in Denmark and EasyPark in Sweden.

But what about when it’s time to fuel up and grab some crisps? Well, our customers also tend to have their favourite petrol stations. In Germany, Agip has the tenth highest amount of transactions in the travel spend category. 

Help your team travel smarter while you save big with Pleo 

Pleo gets rid of the huge headache that is old-school expense management. From buying things for work to subscription management to reimbursements and, of course, business travel. 

Our company cards make it easy for your people on the road to buy what they need, while your finance team back at homebase receives real-time notifications for every purchase. 

Sign up for Pleo and fuel your business today. 

The CFO's playbook for 2024

The CFO's playbook for 2024

Discover the state of spending in an increasingly automated and digitised financial world

Get the eBook

Powered in the UK by B4B partnership

Don't miss other articles in this series