7 Effective Tips for Managing Business Travel

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Aarzu Khan
A full-time data scientists and a part-time industry analyst; still learning power of effective presentation and firm believer of the thought "Numbers are always magical". Love to be in the network of people who 'know' how to respect their time and keep others engaged in meaningful activities.

In 2017 alone, $1.3 trillion was spent on global business travel and the figure estimated to increase to $1.77 trillion by 2022. The United States is second when it comes to business travel spend, and nearly a third of the total travel and tourism revenues stem from business travel.

As such a big industry, it’s important for businesses managing to travel to have the right strategies and rules in place. Travelling for business can be a complex endeavour, but with the right tactics, it doesn’t have to be. Here are a few tips you can use to streamline your company’s travel efforts: 

Here are a few tips you can use to streamline your company’s travel efforts: 

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Take Extra Steps

There are extra steps you can take to ensure you and other employees travel safely and efficiently. For instance, there are TSA precheck benefits your team can take advantage of—including the ability to clear customs quicker. This is a crucial perk when you a passenger is on a business dime and cannot afford to spend hours waiting in line during peak periods. 

And of course, you never want to skip out on travel health insurance for you and your team. Of course, most of the time, you’ll find that no one needs it. The cost of one uninsured medical emergency can cost you much more than an insurance policy for the duration of the trip. Furthermore, you could find yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit if you send an employee on a work trip and then end up getting hurt. 

Write a Travel Policy

With a travel policy in place, you ensure that everyone stays on the same page and understands the guidelines of business travel with your company. Essentially, a travel policy allows you to set the foundation for what is and is not allowed. If you forego a travel policy, you could end up spending much more than necessary. Your policy should outline different expense categories, detail items that are non-refundable, and explain the expense process. 

Use Modern Travel Planning Programs

The old pen-and-paper method of travel planning is long gone. With different rewards programs, timetables, booking numbers, and other data, it’s best to take advantage of modern travel planning programs. For instance, with Travefy, you can build and collaborate on full itineraries. The itinerary will house all booking numbers, contact details, addresses, and much more. It’s also a smart platform; for instance, enter your flight confirmation number and the system will automatically populate fields for flight time, terminal, gate number, and other important details. 

Plan Ahead

This might seem like a simple tip, but not planning ahead often results in last-minute, time-consuming fixes. Planning ahead doesn’t just revolve around creating an itinerary and booking in advance for lower prices—it also means you have to consider every part of the journey; the full end-to-end travel. 

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For example, what modes of transportation are there? How can you get a reliable cell phone connection, and will you need an international SIM card? Is there a coworking space in your hotel, or conference rooms available nearby? Knowing these small details will essentially streamline the travel experience. 

Consider Hiring a Travel Agency

As you grow, managing in-house travel can start to become a cumbersome process. A travel agency not only saves you time but money as well. Some agencies work solely with businesses and because of their high-volume bookings, they’re able to score discounts and premium upgrades that you may not have been able to achieve otherwise. In many cases, they’ll be a strong negotiating partners and can even get you on flights that are listed as fully booked on websites. 

Sign Up for Rewards Programs

You might think of rewards programs as individual perks, but there are also rewards programs geared towards businesses, too. For example, with American Airlines Business Extra, companies can gain rewards for each person that travels for their company—and the traveller also retains their individual travel points, too. This means that you’ll be able to pay for some flights, hotels, and other upgrades with the points you’ve accrued across your travel program. 

Enforce Documentation

While your team travels, be sure that they’re documenting everything. To make this process easier and more effective, create a checklist of the type of paper trail you expect your team to keep. This might include certain food expenses and transportation. It’s not uncommon for employees to forget about maintaining receipts; reminding them every so often will help convey the importance. You can also have a candid, transparent conversation about why this is so important for the business, which is able to gain tax deductions based on this documentation. 

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