How to Develop a Business Travel Policy 

Written by Emma Marais

May 17, 2024

Business Travel Policy

Developing a business travel policy is essential for any company embarking on travel for business purposes. However, trying to figure out where to start or what to include in a travel policy can feel like an overwhelming and impossible task. Many businesses are turning to travel management companies to help them develop their business travel policies due to their expertise. 

Developing a travel policy is extremely important and comes with many questions. That’s why we have put together the most common questions asked about travel policies along with the answers. Below we will cover what is a travel policy, why you need one, how to develop one and what to include in it. 

Let’s start with the basics.

A travel policy is extremely important and beneficial for both the employee and the business. Developing a comprehensive travel policy allows all business trips to be cost-effective and successful.

What is a business travel policy?

A travel policy is a guideline for business travellers to follow on their business journeys. A travel policy covers various aspects of business travel from booking accommodation to emergency procedures. It also reflects the culture and values of the company and should show a business’s support for their travellers and their needs. A travel policy isn’t only about booking your business trip, it also controls the before, during and after of a business journey. 


Why do you need to have a business travel policy?

Having a travel policy can be highly beneficial for both the business and its employees. 

Here are some of the benefits of having a travel policy:

1.) Traveller Safety: Your traveller’s safety should be a business’s number one priority. A travel policy ensures your traveller’s safety while on a business trip. It includes various details and stipulations to keep travellers safe, including the type of transport to use late at night as well as information about travel insurance. A travel policy allows businesses to manage their traveller’s safety and experience. 

2.) Saves businesses money: Travel policies help businesses manage their travel costs and provide them with insight into their travel expenses. Travel policies give travellers the expected costs for accommodation, transport, flights and meals. These guidelines ensure there is no unnecessary spending of the business’s money while on a business trip. Travel policies can also help businesses create better budgets through their valuable insights into travel expenses. 

3.) Allows a more streamlined process: Travel policies allow for a more simplified approval process. With a travel policy in place including all the necessary guidelines travellers don’t need to check with the management for approval every step of the booking process. This saves businesses, management and travellers valuable time when planning a business trip. Travel policies also list all the businesses’ preferred vendors allowing travellers to easily and quickly make the necessary booking from the already approved and trusted vendors. 

Business Travel Policy

How do you develop a business travel policy?

Planning a business trip requires a lot of different arrangements which is why it’s important to have a comprehensive travel policy. Developing a travel policy with clear guidelines and procedures will ensure your traveller’s safety as well as help your employees not overspend.

So where do you start? The following are important aspects to consider when developing a travel policy:

1. Objectives and Goals – Decide what your objectives and goals are for your business travel and clearly define them in your travel policy. These objectives can include ensuring traveller safety, keeping costs down etcWhen you have clearly defined these objectives and goals it makes it easier to develop a travel policy that addresses these specific needs. 

2. Travellers’ needs – Ensure your travel policy always puts your traveller’s safety and their needs first. Your travel policy should provide travellers with emergency plans and procedures as well as the contact information for whom they need to contact in times of an emergency. It’s recommended to get your travellers, managers etc involved in creating this section so you can discuss and find out what your employees’ specific needs are, and what challenges they face during a business trip. 

3. Options- Having a good experience while on a business trip is beneficial for travellers and the business. Allowing your employees to have a choice in where they stay or what airline they use will facilitate this. You can ensure your employees don’t overspend with their choices by putting a cap on the star ratings of hotels or creating a food budget for dining out.

4. Clear Guidelines- Your travel policy needs to have detailed and clear guidelines for all aspects of business travel. There should be no room for confusion or doubt in a travel policy. Develop clear rules and guidelines for everything from accommodation to additional expenses. Make sure your travellers understand what is expected and what the procedures are.

5. Travel Policy Communication- It’s essential that your travel policy is easily available to all employees. Make sure travellers have access to it at all times through a platform that they can access with or without the internet. It’s also important that you communicate the travel policy to ensure it is stuck to and enforced. 


What should be included in a business travel policy?

Your travel policy should include the needs of your specific business and travellers. However, most businesses share key areas and should include the following in their travel policies:

-Guidelines for booking Airlines, railways, hotels and rental cars.

– Guidelines for using other modes of transportation like Uber or taxis.

-Guidelines for on-site spending. This includes meals, entertainment, WIFI and phone calls.

-Guidelines on safety and security for both work materials and equipment and personal safety. 

-Guidelines on the approvals process travellers need to adhere to.

-Guidelines on receiving or buying gifts during a business trip.

-Guidelines for the payment of expenses during a business trip

-Guidelines on reimbursements.


For a business to have effective business trips that ensure travellers’ safety and keep travel costs low it’s essential to develop a comprehensive travel policy. Make sure your travel policy is clear and well communicated to management and travellers. 

The Travel Group is a travel management company that offers many business travel services including helping you develop a travel policy. Their industry experts know exactly what is needed for your travel policy to be effective and are ready to help answer any questions you have. Their comprehensive business travel services mean they can help you plan and organise every aspect of your business trips. Take a free travel assessment to see what they can do for you. 

Business Travel Policy
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