From chasing flights and finding hotels to juggling expenses and schedules, a lot goes into planning the perfect business trip.
According to Corporate Traveller’s Customer Success Manager, Zay Ferguson-Nair, it’s all about having a business travel plan in place.
“No matter the size of your business, a good plan can transform your travel management from a hassle to a breeze. It gives you clear oversight, a strategic edge, and even a checklist to tick off, like booking early, researching your destination, planning your itinerary, and sorting out your travel documents.
“A well-constructed business travel plan is your ticket to seamless travel,” said Ferguson-Nair.
So here are 5 tips on how to plan the perfect business trip, according to the customer success manager.
Your Travel Policy
According to Ferguson-Nair, your business travel plan must reflect your travel policy. “Every flight or hotel booked should be on-policy and within budget. And when it comes to mixing business and pleasure, be crystal clear about who’s managing what and who’s footing the bill,” she said.
She said that thanks to the magic of online booking tools, planning business travel is less of a headache these days.
“But with so many tools available, choosing one can be tricky. A travel management company (TMC) could help you find the best fit – or even design a custom tool for your needs.
“The right platform can help you track your bookings and spending, and manage post-trip expenses which means total control at your fingertips,” said Ferguson-Nair.
According to Ferguson-Nair last-minute business trips are unavoidable for SMEs and costly.
She said planning at least 7+ days ahead can help you secure more cost- effective options and it allows for more wiggle room when it comes to changes.
“Plus, you’ve got a better shot at availability during peak travel periods. If planning ahead is out of the question, your best bet is a TMC, who’ll use their connections and clout to secure the best possible flights, fares, and rates,” said Ferguson-Nair.
Duty of Care and Traveller Wellness
Did you know that duty of care is part of your company’s legal obligation? In other words, it’s up to you to ensure duty of care and traveller wellness are included in your business travel planning so you can keep your travellers safe during their trip.
“This includes providing adequate travel insurance for local, regional and international travel, educating your staff about the risks associated with their destination, and explaining the steps they should take in the event of a travel emergency, including who they should call and how they should keep in touch,” said Ferguson-Nair.
She advised to make sure that your travel management platform allows for traveller tracking and that all your traveller’s details are up to date and easily accessible.
“Your plan should also include your TMC or travel agent’s details and an after-hours travel support hotline. Also, factor in traveller wellness.
“Think sociable flight times, hotel amenities, and food options. Consider everything that contributes to a comfortable and stress-free trip,” she said.
Documents and Details
And lastly, when it comes to business travel planning, the devil is in the details.
“Make sure you know exactly what is required in terms of your travel documents (passport and visas); entry requirement (including vaccinations like hepatitis A, hepatitis B and yellow fever), and itinerary information like rental cars, check-in times and payment expectations,” she said.
She said even seasoned travellers can make the odd mistake like assuming you’re flying into Heathrow instead of Gatwick.
“A modern TMC like Corporate Travellers has access to online booking platforms designed to be user-friendly and come with a range of features for clients.
“Simplifying your company’s travel arrangements by choosing a single travel partner or TMC is still the best way to save money, benefit from negotiated rates, keep a handle on costs, access game-changing tech and receive expert travel support, including making sure you’ve thought of everything,” said Ferguson-Nair.