After the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic put corporate travel on pause, employers and employees charged with planning business travel have to re-learn the skill.
Pinpointing the business travel solutions best for your company can be tricky. You want to avoid jeopardizing a business trip and losing money if you can’t make it to a meeting at all costs.
Don’t worry about that, though. You can find all the basics you need to succeed in this handy article.
Who’s Picking and Planning Your Business Travel Solutions?
Before you plan to travel for business purposes, you need to decide who’s doing the planning. Your job description may require you to handle the specifics. When that’s the case, you’ll take on all of the research, planning for reimbursements, booking, and so on by yourself.
On the other hand, your business might have more in its coffers to plan the trip. If so, it can take some of the pressure off you by working with an outside professional who focuses on corporate travel.
They’ll take on all the work and clue you in on the details. That way, you can customize the plans to your company’s needs.
Working with a business travel agent could be a one-time expense if you don’t travel often. Some large companies that travel maintain relationships with outside travel planners. That makes the job much easier, letting you hone in on the trip agenda and fine details.
How Will You Travel?
Choosing travel for business might seem easy from the outside. All you have to do is pick a method, right? The sad truth is that there’s a lot more to planning business travel than choosing whether you’ll take a plane, car, or another kind of transportation.
Money is the biggest factor in planning corporate travel for most businesses, especially when considering options for an expense management system. The company might foot the bill or reimburse employees for their travel costs. In other cases, leaving each employee to arrange and pay for transport is most practical.
Calculating the cheapest method is prudent when your company’s the one paying. You’ll need to rent one or more cars if you have no company vehicle. Using apps and online tools to find deals on fuel can save a lot of money on corporate travel.
Flying or taking other public transportation sometimes costs less than driving, so you’ve got to compare a lot of prices. It’s time-consuming work, but online travel cost comparison tools make it a little easier.
Picking a travel method also depends on how soon you need to be at your destination. Flying is most convenient if you’re planning on short order. Forgetting the other options and focusing on the cheapest air travel rates both expedites your task and gives you access to the quickest travel method.
Where Will You Do Business?
After you know where you’re going and how you’ll get there, you have to consider where to do business. Don’t take it for granted that your hotel has a conference room free for you. You also shouldn’t assume that you can get a private room elsewhere on the day you need it.
If the destination isn’t set by a business partner or organization, call venues and make a reservation to avoid trouble. Make sure the room is large enough and has enough seating for your party…No one likes scouting abandoned chairs in other rooms!
Don’t forget your disabled employees and business partners. For example, some people can’t climb stairs in an old building with no elevators. Wheelchair users need doorways wide enough to navigate, too.
Not accommodating people with disabilities could get your business in trouble with ADA violations. in less serious cases, trying to solve access issues leads to frustration for everyone and wastes valuable time on your business trip.
Nip the problem in the bud by reserving ADA-accessible rooms. It’s also wise to ask disabled employees to tell you if they need anything else on the trip.
Where Will You Stay?
Accommodating employees’ disability needs is a must in any situation both by the law and by common courtesy. You also need to find another kind of employee accommodations—lodging—if you’ll be staying overnight.
If you’re not footing the bill, employees can find hotels or other rentals by themselves. When the company is paying, finding a place to sleep is often as simple as reserving spots in the hotel where your conference room is. However, you could save money with a corporate lodging arrangement.
So, what is corporate lodging and how is it different from staying in a business-focused hotel? Business-focused hotels have the amenities you need, but they’re still geared towards the average patron. The rate you pay includes all the extras that you may not be using.
Corporate lodging companies, on the other hand, focus on lodging meant for business travel.
In business lodging, you have more space to gather for meetings. You also won’t pay for the glitz and glam of a conference hotel. You may not need to find a conference center or other room for your business meetings because you can work on-site.
Another benefit of staying in corporate lodging is that you’ll have the place to yourself. You can conduct meetings without having to speak over screaming children and other distractions.
What Will You Eat?
Don’t forget the details after you’ve checked all the major boxes. For example, planning meals might not seem like a big deal. Yet, $15 lunches add up fast when you’re traveling with tens or hundreds of people.
Make a detailed meal budget if your business pays for food. Even when employees pay, blocking out time for meals and picking one restaurant or area to eat at saves time on busy agendas.
If you’re packing meals or serving food at an event, you must find a caterer or chef well in advance. Taking dietary restrictions and allergies into account is no small matter, so don’t put the task off for too long.
Enjoy an Active and Successful Life
With these tips about business travel solutions, you have a great foundation to start planning your next business trip.
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