A guide to creating a travel program for your business
April 27, 2021
From sales trips to entertaining potential clients to attending trade shows, travel might be an essential part of your business. However, it can often become very expensive and eat up a large part of your budget. Creating a travel program is an option to help you take control of your travel so that you can increase savings, improve the traveler experience, and streamline operations. Read on for a guide to creating a travel program for your business.
Hire a consultant
Booking travel arrangements that are budget friendly without sacrificing comfort is often time consuming and can require expert knowledge that you don’t have. A travel consultant has the experience and expertise from working in the travel industry to create a travel program for your business that suits your needs and goals, whether that is guidance on how to build one in-house or hiring a consultant to build it for you. You will get access to everything you need, from airplane tickets to hotel rooms, at a competitive price. Travel consultants will also demonstrate to your team how you can use data and analytics to further streamline your travel program in the future, so that you can continue to provide the best possible experience for your travelers.
Negotiate a deal with hotels
It could be that your business travel program involves frequent travel to a particular location – for instance, visiting head office or factories – or, conversely, entertaining other business travelers at your location. If this is the case, you could see if you can negotiate a discount with hotels that you frequently use. You might be more successful with independent hotels that are not tied to a chain, as they may not have strict global policies that they have to adhere to. Alternatively, use a chain hotel that is experienced in dealing with business travelers, such as Holiday Inn or Ramada. These hotels are found in many places internationally, and you can be assured that your guests will enjoy a comfortable stay wherever the location.
Use price comparison sites
The cost of booking airplane tickets and hotel rooms can vary depending on which site you use, and sometimes even what day you make the booking. A price comparison site can be used to help you find the cheapest airplane tickets to your destination. Consider certain factors that help to keep your costs down; for example, choosing to travel off-peak or flying non-direct if at all possible.
Always book insurance
The unexpected can often happen when traveling, and insurance can help to protect your business’ travel budget if the worst happens. This could include anything from canceled hotel reservations and missed transfers, to stolen passports and emergency medical treatment. Travel insurance may seem like an additional expense and as such you could be tempted to skimp on it; however, you – and your company accountant – will be glad to have comprehensive insurance if the unexpected happens during a business trip.