Time-saving tips when managing travel policies

When it comes to business, it can be challenging to save and manage your time due to many factors like travel hiccups and unforeseen happenings, so, it is crucial to be cautious of your time and reduce your risks to these unwanted time consumers. There are some essential time-saving tips you need to think about, during corporate travel, as well as what software you need to be sure your travel policies are solidly set and effortlessly followed. 

Why are travel policies so overriding?

Although most companies claim to want to save time and money, sometimes they end up doing the exact opposite because of their travel policies. These travel policies, although necessary to control travel expenses, can be cumbersome and hard to follow, such that they end up costing more resources. Additionally, some of these policies are immensely rigid and end up being less than efficient. Or they are confusing and it is hard to get travel policy compliance from your employees. A good travel policy helps make employee business travel easier to record, report expenses, and provide fair guidelines that are easy to manage. It is the process by which employees can approve, book, and make purchases for travel for business purposes. In fact, a good travel policy would normally pertain to both international and domestic travel and have information about managing and controlling all your travel arrangements, procedures, and related expenses. Therefore it will affect employees in many different departments. This means that it must be easy to manage.

Why is it hard to manage them?

However, unfortunately, this is not always the case. Travel policies can be far from user-friendly if employees can’t have access to them. In this case, they’ll be unable to refer to the policy when booking travel. Here’s one tip: it is crucial to assure that your employees can access the policies readily through a shared drive or other HR or employee portal, or a corporate booking tool.

Another reason for the difficulty is if the policy contains too much jargon that employees cannot understand easily. For that reason, another tip for managing travel policies well is to ensure you have a concise and easy-to-read document. It should clearly explain the company’s travel regulations, and might even contain a checklist or summary bullet points that employees can easily read and check off at each step.

So why have them in the first place? Corporate travel policies help ensure that the budget remains in line, and any approvals for expenses are easily made with any expense tracking made as automated as possible. They also help reduce sudden increases in costs by using negotiated vendors which can help control the overall cost of corporate travel to start with.

A woman reading a notebook while having a drink in her office

How does a company set its travel policies well?

First, a company must employ a competent travel manager, someone who will be very familiar with the travel industry and the trends that are happening in it. One of the most important roles of a travel manager includes setting up the company travel policies. The policy must involve the rules for all potential trip expenditures that are easy to understand with established rules and procedures for staff to follow when planning a trip. Their other responsibilities include:

Booking trips and accommodation for travelers and any group trips.

Looking out for the wellbeing of business travelers, pre, during, and post-trip.

Keeping track of the business travel budget and assuring travel spending stays under budget.

Choosing and managing travel vendors.

Evaluating or delivering travel spending reports to the finance team for analysis.

When a travel policy is well set, it’s easier to ensure customizable approval workflows (per remark), automate approval most efficiently, and ensure its accuracy.

Secondly, the company must use a corporate booking tool (CBT). This is crucial to ensure compliance with travel policies and for peace of mind for the corporate traveler. If the business traveler, the corporate travel agent, and all other involved parties are happy with the tool, that is a huge win for the company. Managing the corporate travel policy becomes effortless, and approvals are done almost automatically with just a few clicks. Plus, everything for the trip from the airfare to the hotel to the ground transportation is all taken care of.

One such tool that guarantees ease in this area is the TTS Corporate travel booking tool.

TTS Corporate allows companies to effortlessly set up travel policies that include flights, accommodation, and transportation options that are flexible enough and easily managed per respective trip, airline, destination, and any other necessary tailoring depending on the specific needs of the traveler. The tool will also help you set approval workflows; this enables users to approve or deny trips based on a series of guidelines and set parameters, so employees can get approvals in a few clicks and the approval workflow is seamless.

A photo of a woman walking at an airport looking at her travel ticket while carrying her suitcase

Other time-saving tips

In addition to the above tips, companies can also save time by implementing the following in their travel policies.

1. Avoid peak travel times

2. Joining a frequent flyer program as a company that your employees can make use of for business travel.

3. Encourage your business travelers who frequently travel internationally to join global entry.

4. When possible, travelers should travel with a carry-on.

5. Make it easy for employees to plan by making necessary travel plans known well ahead of time.

Additionally, the business can remind employees to do their research and ensure that the company’s travel agency is working to ensure that the travelers can avoid delays with transportation, accommodation, weather conditions, and more.

Your travel policy and agency should make it easier for your business travelers to have a smooth sail on and off the plane and during their travel.

Conclusion

In summary, travel business policies should not be about controlling your employees, but they preferably should be about making your employees’ lives easier when they travel. Employees do not want to feel like they’re being micromanaged, so ensuring this balance is crucial for a successful business. Your travel policy should allow for flexibility, ease, and convenience as required for the trip to improve efficiency.

If you make it your goal to provide your business travelers with convenience and ease, you will find that this will ensure a simple process of managing your travel expenses. Although travel policies require the management of many moving parts, fortunately, businesses can access a simple travel management tool to make this easy.

Article by Kathy Jackson, Account Manager @ TTS

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