Lots of people are enjoying their summer holidays and if they haven’t already booked a trip, they may be thinking about booking a last minute trip away. For businesses that book corporate trips and travel, there are lots of things to think about. Here are some top tips on booking travel…
Decide on a budget and stick to it
Think about what you are happy and able to spend on the trip and try not to deviate. Your budget should help you when it comes to picking the location of your trip, what mode of transport you will use and even what restaurants you dine in, rather than your preferences dictating your budget!
Booking in advance, when possible, can reduce costs. And if you haven’t already done so, make sure you sign up for loyalty programmes or membership schemes, you could get all sorts of benefits, including cost savings, priority service, upgrades and freebies.
If you are on a corporate trip, try and record your expenses as you go. It will save you lots of time on your return and it is so much easier to do it in small batches. Xero has a handy expenses feature where you simply take a photo of the receipt.
Work out what you NEED
It is easy to get distracted by checking out your favourite hotels, airline or location. But think about what is best for your needs and what you need to get from the trip. Write down everything you need to get from the trip and then work your travel plans around this. If you are booking the travel for someone else then ask for this information first before looking at options.
- Is there a location that is central to all of the places you need to visit? Or is there a hotel slightly outside of the central areas that will be cheaper and may not affect your travel plans too much.
- Have you checked if there an easy mode of public transport that you could use to get around to save on taxi costs? Or perhaps you could pick a location which is within walking distance of the locations you need to visit?
- Can you can be flexible on travel dates and times? If you can be it could save money when you come to book. Typically it would be more expensive to travel over the weekend for example.
- Consider whether you need to book a flexible ticket or not, it could be a good move if your booking is dependant on another provider being on time. For example, a flexible train ticket to get you home after a flight. However, if you know you need to book for a certain time, if you book a fixed/advanced ticket you will normally save money.
If there is more than one person going on the trip try to appoint one person to be in charge of the arrangements and bookings. You have heard the saying, too many cooks…
Get the best deal
If you are booking the travel yourself and don’t have strict requirements on the hotel provider or the airline you need to shop around. Check reputable booking comparison sites, contact the airline/hotel directly, or speak to booking agents to make sure you get the best price.
It is worth reading the reviews for the travel you are booking, but when you read reviews you should always consider the source of the review. It is worth remembering that you do not know about the previous experiences or the expectations of the writer, so your opinion may be different.
You could take away some of the stress from booking travel but using a good independent agent and you will then have a point of contact should anything go wrong.
Create a schedule or itinerary
Travel is so much easier when you have a plan. For personal trips and holidays, you can save lots of stress by planning in travel times and activities.
For business trips and corporate travel, it is always best to keep a detailed itinerary for the whole trip. Schedule in your travel commitments, travel time – leaving a good buffer in case of delays, meetings and other commitments.
Have a printed copy as well as an electronic copy, sometimes electronic devices fail, or could get lost/stolen, if you have a paper copy you can make sure you are still on track.
When you detail out your meetings on your itinerary, include full names of attendees, the location (in full form in case the taxi driver isn’t familiar with the building name) and the attendee telephone number in case of delay. You could be going from meeting to meeting with little time to prepare so the more you can do in advance the better.
Have a nice trip!
I hope these tips have helped you when it comes to booking corporate trips or even personal travel. Remember, if you are booking a business trip you should also think about whether you need business travel insurance.
Finally, I love travelling and I hope you find the experience enjoyable too! If you find it stressful why not contact me and see if I can help?