Looking for ways to make your next business trip a success?
Look no further than our Complete Guide to Corporate Travel Management. In this series, we’ll explore everything from the pros and cons of different travel booking methods to helpful tips for staying organized on the road. Whether you’re a seasoned business traveler or a newbie to the game, you’re sure to find valuable insights that will help you make the most of your next corporate adventure. So why wait? Subscribe now to access all of our expert advice and start planning your next trip with confidence!
Corporate travel management can be overwhelming, with many details to consider. To get started, it’s important to think through some key questions:
- Will you book your own flights and transfers, either with each airline individually or by using an online booking tool? This option can be cost-effective, but it also requires more time and effort to compare prices and make arrangements.
- Will you hire a booking agent or delegate the task to your assistant? This can save time and hassle, but it also adds an extra layer of cost and complexity.
- Would you prefer to work with a Travel Management Company (TMC)? This option offers many benefits, including access to exclusive rates, streamlined booking and itinerary management, and 24/7 support.
Should I book using an online booking tool or book through a travel agent?
It’s important to note that when considering using either an Online Booking Tool (OBT) or a Traditional Corporate Travel management Agency, it’s common to encounter a biased sales pitch promoting one over the other. However, a reliable agency that provides impartial information on both OBT and traditional booking methods can help you make a well-informed decision.
To make the best decision for your business travel needs, it’s important to consider the benefits of both an OBT and a travel agent. Assuming that both options are reputable, let’s examine some factors to consider when choosing between a Travel Expert and an OBT.
Attention to detail and accuracy are crucial when using an online booking tool, as even a minor mistake such as misspelling of a name can lead to a stranded traveler and a lost ticket. It’s essential to have a thorough understanding of the tool’s functions to avoid such errors.
When deciding between an Online Booking Tool and a Travel Agency, it’s important to consider the unique benefits of each option. If you have a booking agent or dedicated administrative staff in your business, utilizing an online booking tool may be a suitable option. On the other hand, if you prefer a dedicated assisted travel service, utilizing the services of a reputable Corporate Travel Agent may be the best choice for you.
To ensure you select a trustworthy travel management company, it’s crucial to do your research. Checking customer reviews on platforms such as Trustpilot and Google Reviews can give you an idea of an agency’s reputation and whether they are a good fit for your business needs.
Booking your hotels for Corporate Travel
Booking hotels for corporate travel can be a complex task, as not all hotels are suitable for business travel. While many hotels cater to the needs of corporate travelers, some locations may prioritize leisure amenities over business-focused ones.
When selecting a hotel for business travel, it’s crucial to consider the amenities that are essential for your trip. For example, a business traveler may require access to high-speed internet, a well-equipped workspace, and meeting rooms. It’s important to research the hotel’s offerings in advance to ensure that they align with your needs.
Booking directly with a major hotel group can be more expensive compared to using a hotel aggregator such as Expedia. Aggregators have access to huge booking volumes, enabling them to negotiate better deals and pass on the savings to their customers.
However, when booking a guesthouse or B&B, it’s often best to book directly with the property to get the best deal. Direct booking allows you to communicate directly with the property owner and potentially negotiate a better rate.
Before booking your next business trip:
IT’s crucial to perform a few essential checks to ensure that your stay is productive and comfortable. Here are some key factors to consider:
1. Location: Ensure that your hotel is located in a reasonable area, with convenient access to your business meetings and other relevant locations.
2. Quality: Take the time to research the hotel and read reviews from past guests. This will give you a better understanding of the hotel’s overall quality and the surrounding area.
3. Suitability: If you plan to host business associates or conduct meetings at your hotel, make sure it offers suitable amenities such as reliable Wi-Fi and conference rooms.
4. Comfort: Be mindful that a hotel primarily catering to leisure travelers may have families with children staying in nearby rooms, which can be distracting if you need to work in peace. Therefore, ensure that the hotel’s environment is conducive to your work needs.
5. Mobility: Access to reliable shuttle services and transportation is essential, especially if your hotel is located far from your office or meetings. This will ensure that you can get to your appointments on time without any unnecessary stress.
Planning Your Business Trip:
Before you embark on a business trip, it’s crucial to plan ahead. Determine the purpose, dates, location, and reason for your visit. Once you have this information, you can start making travel arrangements.
Booking Your Travel:
When booking your travel, consider factors such as cost, duration, time of day, and preferred mode of transportation. Consider using a travel management company (TMC) to help you book flights, hotels, and rental cars. They can often secure lower rates and assist with any issues that arise during your trip.
Packing for Your Trip:
When packing for a business trip, bring appropriate attire for meetings or events. Pack light and only bring what you need to avoid checked bag fees and airport hassles. Remember to bring necessary documents, like your passport or visa, and any electronics you need for work.
Staying organized during a business trip can help you stay focused and efficient. Use a travel checklist to ensure you don’t forget anything important, keep all travel documents in one place, and create a schedule of meetings and events.
Business travel can be taxing on the body, so it’s essential to stay healthy on the road. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy meals, and get enough rest. Exercise when you can, whether at the hotel gym or by taking a walk outside.
Making the Most of Your Trip:
While on your business trip, try to make the most of your time in the new location. Consider taking a few extra days to explore the city or schedule meetings with local colleagues to expand your network. Make time for personal activities, such as trying local cuisine or visiting tourist attractions.
Keep track of your expenses during a business trip. Save all receipts and note any expenses that are not reimbursable. Use a mobile app or spreadsheet to make the process easier. If you employ a corporate travel agent, align their itinerary with yours, ask for additional tips, and more information about your destination. A good travel agent will have the experience you lack when creating your travel plans.
Visas, Passports & Health Requirements
When traveling for business, it’s essential to check the visa, passport, and health requirements of your destination country. These requirements can vary depending on the country you’re traveling to, so it’s important to be well-informed before you depart.
One thing to keep in mind is that passport rankings differ from country to country and can affect visa requirements. It’s worth checking which passport grants you visa-free entry or has the highest rank if you have multiple passports. You can use the Passport Index website to help you with this.
In addition to visa and passport requirements, health regulations have become increasingly important due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each country has different measures and regulations in place, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest information. You can use online tools such as the CDC’s Travel Planner or consult with The Travel Group for more information.
By staying informed and preparing in advance, you can avoid potential problems and make your business trip go more smoothly
Arriving on time for a transfer can be a stressful experience when travelling for business, especially if you need to attend an important meeting. However, having an agent to assist you in such situations can be invaluable.
To ensure a smooth transfer, keep the following tips in mind when booking:
1. Flexibility: When booking your ticket, make sure it has a reasonable level of flexibility to allow for any necessary changes.
2. Timing: Check your flight arrival and departure times and ensure that you have sufficient time to make your transfer. Consider any potential delays or issues that may arise.
3. Communication: If you experience a flight delay or any other unforeseen circumstances, contact your travel agent or airline immediately to discuss your options. If your transfer company is informed in advance, you may be able to avoid incurring additional costs.
Additionally, don’t forget to investigate all available transfer options, such as buses and trains, when planning your itinerary. Proper planning and preparation can help minimize any potential hiccups and ensure a stress-free transfer.
Business travel insurance is an essential part of any business trip, providing coverage for a range of potential issues from minor inconveniences like delayed flights or lost luggage, to more serious concerns such as illness, injury, or even death during your journey.
Here are some tips to consider when booking business travel insurance:
- Determine what corporate insurance you may need based on the duration and country you are visiting. Research online or speak to your travel agent for guidance.
- Compare policies and travel insurance packages to find the best coverage for your needs. In our next guide, we will outline and compare various insurance packages to help you make an informed decision.
- Read the policy’s fine print to fully understand the coverage and any limitations. If you don’t have the time, ask someone in your business or family to help you review it. Make sure you can afford the excess and that any pre-existing medical conditions are covered. Consider having your medication in your hand luggage and wearing a medical bracelet if needed.
- Many corporate policies offer annual cover which can be more affordable than ad hoc policies issued for each trip. Speak to your corporate travel agent about business travel insurance recommendations and don’t leave anything to chance.
By taking the time to research and compare policies, you can ensure that you have the appropriate coverage for your business trip, giving you peace of mind and protection against unexpected events.
What to pack
When planning for a business trip, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need to ensure a stress-free and comfortable journey. Here’s a checklist of items to consider:
- Universal plug adapter
- Power bank for your electronic devices
- Laptop, iPad, and earphones
- Two USB sticks (8GB) or access to cloud storage
- Pin code security lock to keep your devices secure
- Earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones to help you sleep on the plane
- Anti-bacterial wipes and zip-lock bags for hygiene purposes
- Neck pillow for a comfortable sleep on the plane
- Bag labels to easily identify your luggage
- Medicines and vitamins you may need while away
- Small sewing kit for emergencies
- Sunglasses and reading glasses to protect your eyes and for reading
Make sure to tick off each item on your checklist as you pack to ensure you have everything you need. If you need assistance during your trip, remember to contact The Travel Group for help. Wishing you safe travels!
If you need some help with booking your next business trip, you can contact The Travel Group