Many company’s chief financial officers will tell you that their employees do a very poor job of staying in compliance with their corporation’s travel policies. Others will tell you that they are constantly being asked to pay for expenses exceeding proposed budgets. This constant fight can be handled by making sure that travel policies are clear and up-to-date along with appropriating funds correctly. Many company’s chief financial officers will tell you that their employees do a very poor job of staying in compliance with their corporation’s travel policies. Others will tell you that they are constantly being asked to pay for expenses exceeding proposed budgets. This constant fight can be handled by making sure that travel policies are clear and up-to-date along with appropriating funds correctly.
Regardless of a company’s size, they should have written corporate travel policies that are in line with the company’s culture. These policies should clearly spell out where employees are expected to book their travel or if they can choose to book wherever they find the best rates. Policies should also enunciate when corporate travel cards will be used and when employees can use their own credit cards while receiving compensation at a later date. Furthermore, the policy should state what class of flights will be covered and if particular airline alliances are preferred. The policy should state how to determine the type of accommodations the employee must choose along with how to determine an appropriate rate. Policies should also be put into place on car rentals, taxis and other forms of transportation allowing employees to understand when these expenses will be covered. Clear and realistic policies are likely to increase employee compliance.
The corporate travel policy should cover an estimate of a reasonable cost for airline tickets into different cities. Encourage employees to book as far ahead as possible by putting a requirement in place that tickets booked on short-term notice must be approved by upper management. Encourage employees to use exchange rates to the company’s advantage. Additionally, make it fun for employees to hunt down the best fare for their seats by splitting the savings with them.
|Average Ticket Prices US to Major Destinations|
|Destination||First Class||Economy Class|
|US to Africa||$5,800||$4,800|
|US to Asia||$3,800||$2,800|
|US to Australia||$5,800||$4.800|
|US to India||$5,000||$3,700|
|US to Europe||$3,500||$2,500|
|US to South America||$3,800||$2,800|
Corporate financial officers can help keep travel budgets under control by making sure that all policies are outlined clearly in writing so that employees know what is allowed and what they must avoid. The policy should cover all areas of travel including airlines, taxis, car rentals and trains. The written directions should also cover when a hotel will be paid for along with advice on picking out great ones at reasonable costs. Encouraging employees to save money by splitting the rewards with them when they find a great deal may also help keep costs in check.
People know about business travel, but it’s not to be confused with business travel management. Business travel is just travelling for business purposes and that’s it. Business travel management, aka corporate travel management, is the utilization of strategic techniques so that businesses can control expenses, initiate better travel spending, and ensure safety in travelling. Business travel management companies handle business travel management. They handle all the ins and outs of travel management for businesses so that their clients won’t have to worry this process that could be really tedious.
In researching, there is no variation of business travel companies. They are all basically the same in that they are for-profit businesses specializing in providing the best service possible for corporate travels. The companies may differ in various offers from one another, and they are in competition with each other for more customers. One company may have different offers on group travelling for businesses, another one may offer no fees for after hours, and another one may offer monthly pricing plans. And no matter what offers each company may have, the bottom line is to provide the utmost service in corporate traveling where businesses can get the best return possible on investment. And furthermore, with all the steep competition, these companies go out of their way to sway consumers in thinking each one of them is the best business travel management company for them.
There are tons of benefits when utilizing business travel management. For one, business travelers will obtain the most cost effective tools available when using business travel management companies. Also, the following are other benefits for using a proficient business travel management company:
Ryanair has a program called Business Plus. This program offers improved frequency and flexibility. They offer the option in flexibility to change the flight time, departure airport, or destination. It’s a plus or minus two-day flexibility. They are able to do this because they have a really big network consisting of 200 destinations that range over 31 countries along with 1,800 routes per day. With this capability, high frequency departures are offered for key business routes.
Mostly all of Ryanair’s flights arrive on time. As a matter of fact, more than 92 % of all their flights arrive on time. This makes them one of the more reliable business travel management companies that would deliver on time results for their clients.
Ryanair also offers premium seats and priority boarding through its business plus program. With these two benefits, the clients would have a more enjoyable ride especially because this aspect allows the customer to be the first ones to board and disembark, and Ryanair allocates the seat for the customer. With this, there’s limited stress and a breeze as the customer is capable to get right down to business easier and quicker.
As with other business travel management companies, baggage allowance of a small cabin bag and a carry-on is permitted. However, Ryanair takes it a little further with their baggage allowance incentive. With them, clients are able to take a free 10 kg cabin bag along with a small carry-on and a free 20 kg check-in bag. Additionally, there is no need to go through queues because they provide at the airport a dedicated business plus desk.
Besides these incentives in the Ryanair program, all the airlines make it convenient for consumers by having them purchase travel through various travel partners. That way, these travel managers would centralize the travel in just a few steps. They will obtain regular reports concerning the companywide travel spend overview, the details of where the company employees are going, whether or not they are complying with the travel policies, and help them to make good choices. There are also some travel partners that have it where employees can conveniently use designated tools for booking online travel and ensuring compliance. There are also some programs that allow for monthly payments, and sometimes they offer other discounts.
Over 94 percent of all business travel in the United States happens on the ground within four hours of where the business executive is based. The other 6 percent are usually made by air and last for less than four days. Businesses expect to pay an average of $1,887 on business trips. Almost 50 percent of all business travelers say that they feel intense pressure from their employers to control expenses while traveling. These excursions are usually made because top management finds that there is no substitute for being there in person. The average business traveler is 38 years old, has a college degree and is male. Beyond that, business travelers tend to divide into two distinct groups who each have their own expectations.
Business travelers who are road warriors tend to take more than 13 trips annually, and they tend to spend at least four days away from their main office on each business trip. Staying connected to their families is a high priority because of the amount of time that they spend flying. Therefore, they are very likely to bring along the latest gadgets and they embrace new technology with open arms. They are also likely to bring along multiple ways to connect because they do not want connectivity issues to ruin their trips. While they are capable of writing expense reports that outshine other travelers in their offices, most prefer to use technology to make filing these reports faster and easier. Many road warriors have been to the same destination multiple times, so they are harder to impress although they will not hesitate to spend money on a new adventure when the opportunity presents itself.
In order to become a road warrior, businesses must recruit younger members who are willing to spend time traveling. These travelers are very likely to take more than 14 business trips a year. They are also more likely to tack personal days on either end of a business trip, and they may even bring someone else along with them. Therefore, the best companies have created well-written policies on how many personal days can be taken on a business trip and who can go. The inexperienced business traveler is more likely to spend money entertaining clients in unique ways. This has given rise to travel industries offering unique experiences for the business traveler. The inexperienced business traveler is also more likely to use social media to connect with local friends in each destination, and they are more likely to share their experiences on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.
In order to make the most of the travel budget, corporations must have well-written travel policies. Establishing these policies ahead of time sets clear expectations on what employees can and cannot do while traveling on corporate expense budgets. Corporations need to make it easier for travelers to use the latest technology to stay connected to their families and friends while on the road. Allowing employees to file expense reports quickly adds to the enjoyment level of trips while lowering stress and burnout rates. Businesses need clear policies on who is allowed to go on trips along with policies on what expenses are deductible.
About 48 percent of all business executives who make more than 13 trips a year say that their primary concern when traveling is staying safe. Business travelers should take precautions to stay healthy while traveling along with using caution to protect themselves from dangerous situations. It is essential that travelers know what to do in various scenarios. Businesses should create a written plan covering the most common scenarios along with what they expect their employees to do in each case when traveling overseas.
Travelers can take several precautions to help them stay healthy when traveling overseas. All employees should be washing their hands on a regular basis. Encourage your employees to drink bottled water. When setting up travel itineraries, read reviews of restaurants as choosing top-rated restaurants often helps one avoid food contamination. Within reason, allow employees to use part of their travel budgets to stay active or house employees in hotels with good fitness facilities. A company’s travel budget should pay for recommended vaccinations wherever they choose to send your employees. Employees should have access to the latest travel health warnings from a reputable organization before leaving.
Employees should have a list of the best hospitals and emergency clinics in the area in a folder when they travel. The name of these facilities should be written down in the local language helping employees share the information with taxi drivers and chauffeurs if needed. Furthermore, it is a great idea to write down any health conditions in the local language. Teach employees that they can contact the local embassy for more help. Many companies pay for travelers’ insurance on their key employees or offer it at a greatly reduced rate.
Staying safe on the road begins with booking the right hotel. After checking a hotel’s reputation, then book a room between the third and sixth floors for your employee. Rooms located on the first floor are more prone to being broken into while those above the sixth floor are harder for emergency responders to reach. Teach employees that if their room number is announced when they check-in that they should immediately ask for another room. In addition, encourage travelers to carry their own hotel safety devices with them.
Someone at the company’s headquarters should have immediate access to any employee’s travel itinerary. Employees should be taught who they can contact 24 hours a day seven days a week to receive help if they feel like they are in trouble. A file should be created with copies of the traveler’s passport and tickets. The employee should give this to someone at the office before embarking on their travels; they should also give it to a trusted family member or friend along with emailing a copy of it to themselves.
After they leave, employees should be encouraged to carry all their important travel documents, credit cards and cash in different locations. The safest spot to carry these important items is in front pockets as it is much harder to pick a front pocket than a back. Employees may be tempted to turn their back for just a second if the documents and money are in a pocketbook.
Staying safe while traveling on corporate business begins with staying healthy. Take precautions before leaving by getting the right vaccinations and reading about the area. Drinking bottled water and hand washing can help prevent many illnesses. Encourage employees to make copies of their travel documents and to carry all important papers and money in separate locations. Ask employees to choose hotels based on their safety ratings.
When it comes to business traveling, there is a lot to be put into consideration, not as it is opposed to when you are traveling for vacation. In case you are traveling for business for the first time, it’s vital to note that cost does not play a crucial role as much as your time. In case it is your first time, or simply it’s been a while since you took a business travel, the following is a step by step guideline on the preparations you need to make.
Preparations which are essential prior to making the trip include gathering information on your company’s travel policies, booking, and packing.
A great company travel policy is used for the protection of companies’ employees while traveling, to reduce the small business travel expenses, and to limit clients’ legal liabilities. It should be developed by starting with the booking of any trip and ending with paperwork the company’s employees file after their return.
To establish a travel policy, a set of rules are developed to guide the company’s travelers. These guidelines must be communicated regularly to these employees. The guidelines should show the preferred providers, per diem rates, the service class to choose, and other basic guidelines. Also, some specifics must be addressed wherever applicable. For example, companies don’t want their employees spending all day at an airport in which is not their final destination. In such cases, the company may want to specify a layover if it saves the company over $300 off the air flight. This is just an example. In reality, many small businesses won’t require an employee to spend several more hours in a city that’s on its way to Fargo to save just a few dollars.
Negotiating airline rates is becoming more difficult these days due to airlines consolidating, the narrowing of routes, and the limited discounts available that would protect the airlines already shaky bottom lines. Nevertheless, negotiating airline rates can still be done with thorough data.
When working on negotiating with airlines, the company’s manager must be able to demonstrate a significant level of travel volume to even get an airline to answer the phone for negotiations. The manager must also be able to shift and control that volume to the preferred airline. Once those foundations are established, he/she must be realistic in setting negotiations that are based on the company’s travel program. And if the manager is not experienced in these types of negotiations, he or she may need to consult experts to assist with this process.
There is a true saying that better preparation prevents poor performance, and this can be applied with the negotiation process as well. The following are certain steps companies should adhere to for more propensity of success with this negotiation process:
The corporate travel services for business travelers by Ryanair is known as business plus. The ticket price for this plan starts at $78.50 (69.99 €), and it includes free changes on the travel day. Business passengers will have premium seating, but it’s subject to availability. Fast track security will be accessible for these passengers at selected airports as well. Also, passengers are able to take a free 10 kg cabin bag along with a small carry-on and a free 20 kg check-in bag. Business passengers also don’t have to go through queues because a dedicated business plus desk will be provided at the airport. Passengers will, however, have to pay for food and drinks regardless if they board on first or last. Ryanair is offering this business class service to all its flights as it pursuing to gain a larger portion of the corporate travelling market of Europe.
Ryanair has been following their competitor, EasyJet. Both of them have been adding new destinations in order to win over more business passengers and to improve the frequency of flights. They both know that passengers these days want different things. It’s no long the lounge, free food, and free drinks. It’s not to spend all day at the airport, but to spend more time at the meetings, and to have more value for the money.
Having said this, Ryanair’s chief marketing office, Kenny Jacobs, assured that the business plus fair would always be more affordable than the flexible business fare from another carrier. And even though there would be no installation of different seats and no curtains, the business passengers would be located at the very front and back of the planes to ensure these passengers can easy and quickly get on and off the plane.
In case you work for a company that does not have a lot of employees, it is highly likely that your company has a travel policy. The policy is very vital in determining how much you can spend during your trip and where you can spend it. How stiff your company policy is, will vary, but the most common policies have preferred hotel chain, airline, and car rental partner. Of course, there are exceptions for traveling with clients, billable travel and special events.
Booking for travel differentiates from personal travel in the case that, when you are traveling for business, time is of the essence. Direct costs can be made for things such as hotels and airline. In cases where you are not working, there is also an opportunity of cost charged.
When it comes to what you pack for a business trip, the weather will not necessarily be a determinant. There is a great need to look into the kind of environment that you will be in, and the number of the business meetings that you will get to attend. The kind of associations you have and activities you partake, will determine the dress code that will be most appropriate, hence what you shall pack.
Of course, now during the trip, there are also factors that are highly relevant, so as to ensure your trip is successful. It is vital to think about flexibility, organization, and your corporate credit card.
Mistakes, when it comes to business trips, are unfortunately inevitable. Therefore, one needs to roll with the punches and just be flexible. Common irregularities, such as flight delays and cancellations, will stop you, but an easy solution might be using an application, such as TripIt, that will alert you in case anything comes up.
When it comes to business trips, you have to keep your act together. You have to be conscious of your time and monitor your spending by keeping receipts. Many companies have adopted the use of Concur that monitors all expenses during a business trip.
There are instances whereby companies issue their employees’ corporate credit cards, while in other cases you use your personal credit card. In case you are issued with a credit card, ensure that you are up to date with your company’s policy, so that you can monitor and keep track of charges.
Business travel can be quite different from leisure travel. There is a lot of focus on the time when it comes to business travel because there is more pressure to ensure things get done in time and there are stringent time lines to be met in terms of business activities.
This makes it paramount for any person on a business trip. Time should be well managed and spent well to ensure that all activities are accomplished as planned. Therefore, for a long time there has been an emphasis on the efficiency of any business travel arrangements done through travel companies.
Apart from being keen on time, business travelers are also keen to ensuring that they use up as few working days as possible traveling. If a trip can take three days, then business travelers will prefer it takes three days and not any longer. The reason behind this could be due to the fact that traveling is an expense and businesses will endeavor to keep their expenses to the minimum so as to maximize on profits. A travel management company provides support, especially in terms of logistics for a business traveler, and it is important that they make the traveling process as smooth as possible and to take the least time possible so that maximum time can be allocated for handling the business at hand.
When looking for a travel management company, most companies will consider the logistics involved as well as the performance of the travel management company. While expenses are a major determiner, statistics show that most companies will look at logistics and efficiency and will not mind spending more, if it leads to improved efficiency.
The comfort of those traveling is also a point to consider as this may result in improved performance by those traveling to conduct business. Hence, the extra expense is actually viewed as an investment for better performance.
Globally, travel companies are slowly starting to make use of data analysis, so as to be able to monitor trends and thus be in a better position to not only offer improved services but to also offer personalized services that provide more comfort and efficiency for each traveler according to their specific needs. Some are monitoring trends with the aim of ensuring that business traveler has a stress free experience.
With this sector expected to generate $1.6 trillion by 2020, it is clear why travel companies are seeking to improve their services and attract more clients.
Most business travelers now prefer to employ the use of technology, especially mobile applications so as to handle reservations and booking by themselves, which they can personally make sure, it is in accordance to their desires, and therefore more travel companies are embracing the use of mobile applications. With a growth forecast of 12 % for the year 2016, the business traveling sector is steadily growing.
The entrepreneur Ilana Greene put a lot of planning into her business travel. Since that, she is a small business owner, her primary concern is cost-effective travel means. On several occasions, the business travel proves expensive to her, because she books on short notice that implies she has to go during peak times.
Despite her inability to control the costs, the company can meet the cost, and give her comfortable traveling. As a business person, Ilana knows how to cut travel cost by taking advantage of opportunities or even planning in advance. The following are tips that she uses to cut cost, that you may also fund useful when traveling.
To ensure her company saves money, Ilana asks for corporate discounts. Especially when she books a flight on short notice, she just calls the airline and books online. Asking for corporate discount gives her many advantages including the size of the company, and the number of passengers is irrelevant when booking. There are many hotels, car rental agencies, and airlines giving discounts, with some giving as high as 25 % discount.
By joining a frequent flyer program, Ilana is able to get rewards from credit card companies. She uses Southwest airline Visa Signature card, which gives her one point for each dollar spent and 2 points for each dollar she spends with approved Southwest Rapid Rewards partners for hotels and car rentals.
With these points, she can travel freely on Southwest in two years and a United Airline’s frequent flyer for two free flights per year. The discount and the points accumulated saves her business a lot of money and helps her write off the travel expense from tax.
What is key to the techniques, is to install a travel agent app that allows her to contact an agent directly through the e-mail.
Ilana uses Campbell Travel Agents to book flights to get access to their affiliate companies and travel partners. Through travel agents, she has been able to save thousands of dollars.
Regional airports usually give Ilana subsidies travel fares and offer her improved checkpoint security that improves her overall travel experience. Also, use a network of regional airports helps Ilana be more productive since she is less concerned about booking arrangements, especially at peak times such as winter storm.
Since train travel is less costly than air transport, Ilana has found it useful in saving money and having comfortable travel. Plus, the train travel saves her money on accommodation.
After one has selected a location to visit, it is important to collect a much information as possible for about the destination. One should seek clarity on the laws and customs governing the area. One should also gather information about the weather conditions to expect and any danger that can arise during the trip. Information about the destinations of choice can be found in NetGlobers pages for travel advice.
Additional information that the person traveling can look for is the legal documents required to enter the country. One should ensure to have a passport that is up to date since specifications by countries about the legality of visas vary differently. In an event where one plans to drive to the destination, the driving license should be up to date, and the owner should be acutely aware of the laws governing roads at the select destination.
The person planning to travel should gather information on how much they would spend and therefore estimate the amount they would have to withdraw when they arrive. They should ensure that there is a certain amount of money in the currency of the country they are visiting to in case their home currency is not usable. The person traveling should visit the doctor for examination before making the trip to get closure on their medical state. Ensure that a few photocopies of the passport and other vital documents are packed safely before making the journey.
It is important to have all your door locks, and windows checked to ensure they are functioning as required. It is very unsafe to leave even a single window in the house open. Electrical appliances in the home should be unplugged so as to prevent any losses arising from fires or any other eventualities. Water coming into the house should be turned off before leaving and so should the gas valves and thermostat. The person traveling can also set timers to switch on the lights at certain times to repel those who might think that the house is empty. The security alarm in the house should be left open and information sent to the security provider informing them of the length of the trip. Neighbors should also get a notice about the trip so that they can call authorities whenever they suspect any burglary attempt.
To make the house look occupied, one should inform mail and newspaper providers to cancel deliveries to your home temporarily. The neighbors can also help in collecting the messages. The homeowner can hire someone to mow their lawns or clear snow from the driveways to keep the home looking occupied. A car can also be left parked outside if possible. The message left on the answering machine should not disclose your absence from the house.
After a flight, a passenger may experience certain effects on the body. Economy-Class Syndrome is a condition that comes up due to less blood circulation that may result in blood clots in the system. The leading causes of the disease are several hours of immobility and stiffness due to inability to stretch the legs. Low cabin pressure, dehydration and low humidity can also increase the risk of vein thrombosis.
Symptoms of Economy-Class Syndrome include swellings on the legs, cramps and also swollen knees. Some of the symptoms of thrombosis are not visible. Remaining seated with the legs crossed can worsen the effects of thrombosis. Activities that increase the risk of Economy-Class Syndrome include smoking of tobacco, exposure to excess heat, use of oral contraceptives, being overweight, and consumption of alcohol. Thrombosis is a serious condition which requires urgent action to prevent more complications. The condition has the potential to become pulmonary embolism if the clots travel to the pulmonary artery through the blood stream. The embolism can make one experience sharp chest pains and spitting blood. The worst case scenario can lead to death.
Economy-Class Syndrome can be reduced by ensuring that you move around the cabin frequently to enhance circulation of blood. It is advisable to remove the shoes in the plane to allow free toe movement. Flexing joints whenever you can and ensuring the feet remain flat on the floor while you are seated is a good habit to reduce Economy-Class Syndrome. The thighs can be exercised by sliding the feet forward and then backward severally. It is advisable that one dresses in loose clothes when taking flights to avoid swelling due to clots where the clothing is tight. Staying hydrated and avoiding alcohol can aid in reducing the effects. One can also take medication to prevent the condition. People with heart conditions may be given antecedents to manage the consequences of thrombosis. Upon arrival, it is advisable for one to take a slightly warm shower and rest to enhance quick recovery.
Jet lag is another common effect of air travel. It comes up as a result of the sudden change of time zones. The condition is common in people traveling to the east and is experienced by up to three individuals in a group of four. Effects of jet lag include mood shifts, tiredness, and occurrence of sleep disorders. A passenger is advised to try sleeping onboard with earphones plugged and using an eye mask to reduce the effects of jet lag. One should also avoid alcohol and caffeine. On arrival, one should adapt quickly to the time zone, relax and perform light exercises. One can also seek medical attention from a doctor to get help in overcoming the effects of the condition.
When one decides to make a trip to Europe, it is advisable for a person to carry all the vital documents. The precaution ensures that the tour is a success throughout and that in an event of an emergency, one can handle it without many complications.
The European Health Insurance Card is a crucial document for any traveler. The card gives access to medical services in any country across Europe. A holder of the card is given the same care as the citizens of the country they are touring. In ordinary situations, a person without the card is sent back to his country in an event of sickness. With the card, one can get medical help from any health center with the option of compensating immediately or when they get back home. The card is sure to make a person’s trip in Europe memorable and with no complications.
The European Health Insurance Card is made and distributed by every country independently. The document is available for anyone who is interested free of charge. The process of acquiring the card can last for not longer than a month and therefore parties interested are advised to apply for one a month before they make the trip. In an event where a holder can lose their card, a temporary replacement can be given on short notice.
The EHIC card contains the name of the holder and information such as when they were born and the number of identification. The card does not, however, contain data on the person’s health history. A person applying for the EHIC needs to have an appropriate medical insurance cover to qualify. The insurance must be from countries that are members of the European Union, or from countries such as Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Iceland. People from other countries need to have a residence in a country in the EU to qualify. If people are traveling as a family, every member should have their own EHIC.
The validity period for every card varies differently in each country and does not cover any sickness a person may have had before the trip. The card is only acceptable by the health providers in the public sector. Events such as loss of personal items, rescue from mountain skiing resorts and cruises do not get cover from the card. Such events rank as private and therefore cannot enjoy compensation. The EHIC covers occurrences, such as bites from insects, altitude sickness, being stung by sea creatures, and, travel vaccinations.