Handling business travel booking is one of the critical steps in travel management. Organizations streamline business travel booking by implementing well-defined travel policies. Employees can refer to the travel policies to know what they can book and what they cannot book.
In addition to simplifying business travel bookings, the policy focuses on controlling business travel costs. To do that, companies encourage early bookings by incentivizing employees to choose cost-efficient booking options.
Simultaneously, employees expect employers to allow them to book their choice of business travel products and services. As a result, numerous procedures for managing business travel booking have emerged.
How do Companies Simplify Business Travel Booking?
Organizations provide employees with multiple ways to make business travel bookings. Some organizations deploy in-house travel managers, while others partner with travel management companies or use travel management software. Hence, procedures for business travel booking vary across organizations.
Deploying In-House Travel Managers
A business travel manager manages an organization’s business travel needs fully. In addition to making travel policies and ensuring policy compliance, the professional helps employees make business travel arrangements. The travel manager helps employees book the best business travel products according to organizational travel policies.
Moreover, they negotiate with various suppliers and vendors to make business travel products available at lower rates. Along with facilitating business travel booking, the travel manager reconciles travel expenses and manages credit card transactions. Hence, employees can focus on other aspects of business trips when the company has an in-house travel manager.
Partnering with Travel Management Companies
Many companies manage business travel programs by partnering with travel management companies (TMCs). A TMC makes essential travel products and services available at lower rates by building connections across the travel industry. Alongside this, it provides employees with wider booking options by enabling access to domestic and international travel inventories.
Many TMCs book corporate travel products for employees according to organizational travel policies. Moreover, many TMCs provide employees with self-booking tools. The self-booking tools help employees book their work trips on their own. However, they have the option to get expert advice by contacting the TMC while making business travel bookings.
Using Travel Management Software
Many companies streamline business travel management through automation. They onboard travel management software featuring built-in travel management and expense management solutions. Employees can use the software to access a large travel inventory of flights, accommodations, and car rentals. Also, they can book their choice of business travel products in minutes using the self-travel booking tool provided by the software.
Such travel management software solutions allow businesses to implement organizational travel policies. They ensure that employees do not violate travel policies while choosing and booking travel products. Moreover, new-age travel management software recommends the best flight and hotel options for frequent business travelers based on their booking preferences and travel history.
What do Employees Consider While Making a Business Travel Booking?
Most businesses allow travelers to book travel products and services. They onboard self-booking tools that give employees access to an extensive travel inventory and select their choice of business travel options. But employees have to consider several factors while making a business travel booking. Here are some of those factors:
Businesses help employees avoid incurring non-reimbursable travel expenses by implementing travel and expense policies. An employee can refer to the policies to decide what airline class and hotel star he can book. Before starting business travel booking, employees spend some time understanding the organizational policies. Also, they ask several questions to avoid travel policy violations.
Some organizations keep costs under control by creating an employee travel budget. While approving business travel requests, the managers share the estimated business trip cost with employees. In such cases, employees have to focus on the prices of flights, hotels, and car rentals to stick to the travel budget. Also, they explore ways to book the desired travel products by leveraging the best deals.
While making business travel bookings, travel itineraries play a crucial part. Employees track the schedule of events and activities during work trips by planning business travel itineraries. They refer to the travel itineraries to decide the departure and arrival times of flights. Also, they decide on the check-in time of hotels to relax and unwind before meetings.
Companies control costs by encouraging employees to complete travel bookings early. Some companies require employees to make travel bookings within a specific timeframe, e.g., 10 days before the departure date. Employees complete travel booking early to comply with organizational policies. Also, early travel booking helps them book their choice of flight and accommodations during peak seasons.
Achieving business goals becomes highly difficult if employees are stressed during work trips. However, experiencing stress and anxiety after long airline journeys is common among frequent travelers. To avoid that, smart business travelers reduce air travel time to remain relaxed and energized after airline journeys. They do this by booking direct and non-stop flights instead of connecting flights to relieve stress and mitigate the risks of flight delays and cancellations.
Staying safe has become one of the top priorities of work travelers after the pandemic. While comparing accommodations for booking, they check the measures taken by the hotel to keep guests secure. Additionally, many business travelers focus on the location of the hotel to reduce commute time and enjoy downtime.
Options to Save
Many organizations control costs by incentivizing employees to opt for cost-efficient travel solutions. They share a part of the savings with employees as a reward. Employees explore ways to reduce trip costs without affecting their business travel experience and safety if organizational travel policies reward them for reducing business travel booking costs.
Final Words in
Nowadays, organizations have multiple different procedures to handle business travel. Hence, the procedures for business travel booking differ across organizations. But each organization focuses on making booking flights and hotels easier for employees. Likewise, employees prefer booking business travel products that keep them safe and stress-free during business trips.