26 June 2019

What Information Do You Need Before Booking Business Travel for Your Colleagues?

Booking business travel for your colleagues can seem like a daunting task. You have to consider a broad range of factors from itineraries to personal preferences. Fortunately, asking the right questions early on means that booking executive travel becomes much easier the next time you have to do it. 

Your colleagues’ comfort is important in achieving their business goals and a well-planned journey can set the tone for the entire business trip. This article will break down the all-important information you need to gather for booking business travel for your boss and colleagues. 

The purpose of the trip

The objective of your colleagues’ business trip is central to the entire booking process. Once you know what the executives hope to achieve, who they plan to meet, and their itinerary, you can help to make it happen. 

Check if there’s an established protocol for making travel arrangements in your company. Find out if the company has a preferred travel agent and any frequent flyer accounts like Lufthansa Group’s PartnerPlusBenefit programme. Perhaps it participates in reward programmes or loyalty schemes that might influence executives’ choice of hotels. Assistants who’ve previously booked flights can offer all kinds of insights from their research and experiences.

The location

Research the destination to anticipate potential problems and find out if there are any areas to be avoided. Look at the agenda and assess how much flexibility is necessary according to the destination’s time zones and distances between places. Remember to schedule everything according to the destination’s time zones. 

Some airports are notorious for long delays at security or passport control. Is there a chance of meetings running over or attendees getting stuck in traffic? If so, an open return or flexible ticket could be better than non-refundable tickets. Choose direct flights, but if none are available, try to find the shortest possible layover. 

Check paperwork and documents

Check entry requirements for each destination. Some countries require visas and passports with at least six months’ validity. Similarly, you should check if vaccinations are required. Ensure individuals are covered by travel insurance and confirm that employees are fit to travel since policies usually won’t cover pre-existing conditions.

Travellers’ details 

How many travellers are going on the trip and will colleagues or family be joining them? You will need all of their full names, passport numbers, and contact details. It helps to know how many people are travelling when booking hotel rooms and ground transportation.

The budget

Check with your boss or the accounts department to see if there’s a budget in place for booking business travel. An assigned budget can act as a helpful reference point, but you should ensure you designate enough for each part of the booking, including airfare, ground transportation, and hotels. Advanced bookings are generally cheaper so try to book as early as possible. You might need a credit card number to secure any reservations.

Keep the bigger picture in mind when booking flights and accommodation because cheaper options can work out to be more expensive in the end. The cheapest flight may land at an inconveniently located airport further away from the hotel, offices, and conference halls, meaning higher taxi fares.

On a strict budget? Read our article to help save you money when booking business travel.

Travel preferences

When booking business travel for colleagues you should talk to them about their preferences. Consider airlines, classes, ground transportation, and the type of hotel room arrangements they prefer.

  • Some cities have more than one airport so it’s worth checking which one’s better.
  • Would your colleagues rather carry luggage on the flight for quick disembarkation or check luggage into the hold?
  • While considering their comfort on board the plane, you should check their seat and legroom preferences as well as any dietary requirements. 
  • Do your executives prefer to arrive on the same day or stay in a hotel to be well-rested before a morning meeting?
  • Maybe the executive has been to a hotel and has developed a set of preferences within that space; for example, they might ask not to have a room near the lift if it proved to be noisy last time.

Make a note of preferences for future reference. Ideally, you should meet with your colleagues on a regular basis to get feedback on what they liked and didn’t like about the last business trip they took.

One last thing — keep all the details of the transportation and accommodation companies in one document. This way you can easily confirm times and make changes when necessary.

If you’re booking business travel for your colleagues and you don’t know where to begin, download our booking checklist now.

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