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- Keep reading for our complete guide to planning business travel for your company
You’ve been asked to plan your company’s next business trip—don’t panic!
How do you plan corporate travel? If you’ve never done it, you might be nervous about what and when to book, especially as you want to keep your manager happy.
However, corporate travel is much less scary than it seems and can be booked in a similar way to a personal vacation.
Do you need to learn how to do corporate travel planning—fast? If so, we’ve got you covered.
Keep reading for our complete guide to planning business travel for your company
Gather All Traveler Data in Advance
When planning corporate travel, make sure you have all the personal details for each person you’ll be booking a room for.
You’ll need their full name, as per their passport, along with their date of birth. This will be required for any airline bookings.
As many people go by a nickname, make sure you’re booking using their legal name. Otherwise, the airlines may charge high fees for any name changes.
It’s also helpful to compile any special travel requests, allergies, and dietary requirements. These details will need to go to both the hotel and airline to ensure travelers are given appropriate meals.
Ideally, companies should create a database where they can save all of this information, making it easier for future bookings.
As you can see, being organized is always the best way to plan corporate travel.
Sign Up For Loyalty Programs
Does your company sign up for loyalty or benefits programs with certain hotels, airlines, or car rental companies? If not, you could be missing out on big savings.
Over time, your company can collect points or credits that can be used for free or discounted travel. So, it never hurts to ask travel companies about their corporate loyalty program.
If you’re booking travel for a large group, you may also find some hotels offer corporate discounts, so don’t be afraid to ask if there’s any room for negotiation.
Does Your Company Have a Travel Policy?
Before booking anything, check to see if your company has a travel policy. Most companies will have parameters in place for staff travel.
This might include accommodation allowances per night and caps on meal spending. Or, there may be rules on which airlines or airline classes can be booked by staff.
Make sure you’re familiar with all of the guidelines before making any bookings, or you may end up having an uncomfortable phone call from HR.
Search For Flights
When possible, staff will appreciate having a say in which flights are booked on their behalf.
For example, they may prefer a certain time of day or a particular airport that’s closer to home, so try to incorporate their preferences when booking. Ask if you’ll need to book checked luggage for each traveler as well, as this is often an additional cost.
Whether you book directly with an airline or through a third-party booking site will likely depend on company guidelines. However, whichever booking platform you use, make sure you’re aware of cancellation and rescheduling policies.
Business needs can change quickly, so you want to be able to cancel flights without losing money.
Always book corporate transportation to meet your staff once their flight arrives, making it easy for them to get to their hotel.
If they are flying in on the same day of a meeting or an event, make sure you allow enough time for them to get from the airport to the meeting, taking into account flight delays and traffic.
Select Appropriate Accommodation
Are you booking travel so your staff can attend a conference? If so, one of our top tips for planning corporate travel is to look for hotels connected to the convention center.
They are likely to cater to business travelers and make it easy for staff to get to the convention each morning.
Otherwise, look for a centrally located hotel that will be convenient for the business purposes of the trip. Business travel tends to be busy, and you don’t want to waste time each day traveling a long distance to and from your hotel.
What do business travelers look for in a hotel? Often, they will prefer hotels with comfortable desk space, Wi-Fi, and breakfast, so look for these features in a hotel.
With various time zones, flight times, and meetings all over town, business travel can be confusing and stressful. Make it as easy as possible for travelers by making a customized itinerary for each person on the trip.
Include their flight times, hotel details, meeting locations, and any important notes that they’ll need before jetting off.
This will help them prepare for the trip, which they are sure to appreciate. As the travel booker, it can be helpful to also include your contact details, so that they can reach out to you for help in the case of any travel delays or emergencies.
Ask For Post-Trip Feedback
After the trip, hopefully, everyone is happy and all of the meetings were a success.
However, there’s still one thing left to do— ask for feedback! It can be very helpful to ask travelers how they found the flights, hotel, or conference location.
A hotel may look fantastic online, but be disappointing in reality, so you want to learn from past trips so you know which hotels to book again—and which to avoid.
Over time, you’ll start to learn which airlines and hotels are best for business travel to each city, making it easier to know where to send business travelers.
Improve Your Corporate Travel Planning With These Tips
Are you ready to start corporate travel planning? Although it can seem stressful at first, follow the tips above and you’ll have no problems booking the perfect business trip.
With advance preparation and consideration of what business travelers need, you’ll be able to create the ideal itinerary for your company’s next business trip.
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