Booking a trip abroad for yourself can be an exciting experience; choosing where to go, which hotels you are going to stay at and all the fun activities you plan to do whilst there.
Booking a business trip for your boss… maybe not so much fun.
When booking for executives, not only will you not be on the trip to ensure everything runs smoothly, you must also consider someone else’s preferences and requirements to ensure the trip is a success, not only from a logistical point of view but also to ensure as little Travel Friction as possible.
Here at Good Travel Management, we understand the stress of booking these trips and the importance of making sure they go to plan. Here are our top 4 tips when booking travel for your boss:
#1 Know your Traveller and Booking requirements
Whether you are new to booking for your line manager or you’ve been doing it for a while, it’s always a good idea to sit down and talk through their preferences and requirements to make sure the trips you book are to their exact taste.
Does your manager prefer direct options, or are they open to a stop over to reduce cost? Do they have a preferred airline (with corresponding reward scheme) they would prefer you to book when possible?
And do they prefer to arrive at the destination with time to spare, or do they prefer to arrive with as little downtime as possible?
Understanding these preferences will reduce the risk of putting together options which aren’t relevant to your boss and will ensure they have an enjoyable trip as possible.
It’s also a good idea to fully understand your company’s travel policy before researching options so you can filter the search results to only show options you can book.
Other preferences to consider:
- Meal Preferences
- Seating Preferences
- Preferred hotels or Star Ratings
- Frequent Flyer and Reward Scheme Numbers
Also, don’t forget to keep track of passport and Visa expiry dates, if you use a Travel Management Company (TMC), they will be able to provide ‘traveller profile forms’ to help you keep all the relevant information in one place.
If your traveller demands high quality but with a budget to stick to, keep in mind the earlier you book travel the cheaper it is, so researching and booking trips as soon as possible means you can get much more for your money
#2 Communicate well
One of the most important things to keep in mind when planning a trip for your boss is to never make assumptions, so communication when planning business trips is imperative.
The key to a good working relationship with your supervisor is for communication to be as efficient as possible, and each person in charge will have their own preference on how and when you do this with them. If possible, it’s a good idea to sit down with them to find out how much the budget for the trip is before looking into options, and if you use a TMC to help source the best flight and hotel deals, make sure you communicate the budget to them too so they can narrow down their search.
Each step on your booking process should be undertaken whilst keeping your boss’s overall trip experience in mind, if you are not sure whether your line manager will like a certain hotel or flight options you’ve researched, make sure you run it past them before confirming.
#3 Put together a travel plan
Putting together a comprehensive travel plan will not only make the trip easier to follow but will also help you keep track of your progress when researching and collating the individual options within the trip.
Things to include when putting this together can incorporate:
- A clear heading with Trip Name, Destinations and Dates
- Flight E-Tickets and confirmations, and names of Airport’s being travelled to and from.
- Meeting appointments and agendas
- Google map directions to help your supervisor get from one location to another.
- Transfers or Car Hire Confirmations
- Hotel Name, Contact Number and address.
- Restaurant suggestions or the booking details should you have planned these in advance.
- Weather and Climate advice so they can pack accordingly
By making the trip plan as comprehensive as possible you can be assured your boss’s trip will run as smoothly and efficiently.
#4 Be prepared
No matter how well you have prepared their trip, there is no getting away from the fact that things can go wrong which are totally out of your control, and for these occasions, you need to ensure there is a plan in place for any emergencies.
If you have a TMC helping you organise the travel they should have an Emergency Assistance line for out of office hours, and as Duty of Care is becoming a bigger priority for companies, a good Travel Management Company can offer additional value-added services such as Traveller Tracking and Crisis Management.
Ensure your boss is fully aware of the Emergency Contact numbers to minimise any unnecessary stress when they are travelling.
If you have a TMC on board, make sure to sign up for their Travel Alert service so you are always one step ahead of any potential disruptions.
Booking travel for an executive traveller is always going to carry a certain degree of stress, but by being well prepared and ensuring you take steps to minimise the time it takes to research and book trips, you can ensure it’s as painless and stress-free as possible.
Do you currently book travel for your Line Manager? What are your top tips? Leave your comments in the box below!