Organising corporate group travel requires meticulous planning and attention to detail, whether for a conference, team-building event or client meeting. Unlike individual business travel arrangements, coordinating travel for a group brings new challenges and considerations. From transportation to accommodation and everything in between, here's a comprehensive guide to ensure your next team business trip runs smoothly.

Corporate group travel management

What exactly makes corporate group travel planning so different from planning corporate travel for an individual? There are several factors to consider when booking group travel to ensure a successful and seamless experience. Some of these key factors include:

  • Long-haul transportation – How will each of your travellers get to their destination? Should they take a plane, train, bus, etc.? You may need to account for travel time, traveller preferences, budget and sustainability goals whilst ensuring all necessary travellers arrive in time for any events.
  • Short-haul transportation – Once your travellers arrive at their destination, how will they get around? Will they need to rent a car, use public transportation or take taxis? With a larger group, you’ll need to consider how this will work logistically and financially. Be sure to make group bookings for larger parties ahead of time.
  • Accommodation – Where will your travellers stay? Booking individual hotel rooms might make the most logistical sense for group travel. However, opting to rent a home or apartment might help you adhere to your budget, with the bonus of contributing to team cohesion. You’ll also need to consider the preferences and needs of each traveller, such as mobility needs, accessibility, etc., and assess how that would affect the type of accommodation they need.

6 tips for managing corporate group travel

While corporate group travel arrangements don’t differ hugely from individual business travel management, there are a few unique hacks that could help you get ahead with your group bookings and corporate bookings.

1. Book off-peak flight times

Airlines typically offer cheaper fares during these off-peak hours, as they are less in demand. Opting for flights during off-peak hours can save money and reduce the likelihood of delays and overcrowded airports. Plus, off-peak flights can also help to optimise productivity for business travellers. By booking a flight that departs early in the morning or late at night, corporate travellers can maximise their time at their final destination.

2. Set a clear budget

Establishing a budget upfront helps make informed decisions about transportation, accommodation and other expenses, preventing overspending. Setting a clear budget allows you to evaluate the costs associated with different options and optimise group business travel management.

3. Use loyalty programmes

Take advantage of loyalty programmes offered by airlines and hotels to earn rewards or discounts for your group bookings. Plus, from time to time, members of loyalty programmes can receive perks like upgrades, early boarding or priority baggage handling. This can be especially valuable for group corporate travel, where upgrades to business or first-class can make a big difference in comfort and productivity.

4. Consider group blocking for flights

Group blocking allows you to reserve a set number of seats on a flight so you can make sure that everyone travels together. Plus, there’s a chance you could secure discounted rates on group bookings.

5. Consider alternative accommodation types

Explore options beyond traditional hotels, such as serviced apartments or holiday rentals, which better suit the needs and preferences of your group. With an extensive network of accommodation and exclusive tools for managing group bookings, you can simplify the entire process from start to finish and book accommodation for up to 30 travellers by using the Booking.com for Business tool.

6. Get travel insurance

Protect your group against unforeseen circumstances by investing in comprehensive travel insurance that covers cancellations, medical emergencies and other travel-related risks. Find out more about which type of travel insurance could suit the needs of you and your company best in our dedicated guide.

How to tackle common group travel management challenges

Managing group travel comes with its own set of challenges and requires attention to detail. With added travellers come higher costs, an increased need for communication and visibility and a larger number of individual needs and requirements across the group. Here’s a list of the most common challenges that occurred while planning and managing corporate group travel and how best to prevent and overcome them:

1. Setting clear budgets

To help prevent overspending, establish transparent budget guidelines and regularly communicate with stakeholders to ensure expenses stay within the allocated budget of your expense policy

2. Clear communication

Ensuring seamless communication in group travel management is especially important so that all travellers are on the same page. Even a slight change in plans, can have a lot of collateral damage to plans, bookings and agendas. Utilise travel management software or platforms that provide real-time updates on planning, agendas, bookings and traveller status, enabling better coordination and tracking. Establishing clear communication will also help you track the visibility of travellers’ bookings and locations.

3. Ensuring traveller safety

Prioritise safety by researching destination risks, implementing safety protocols and providing travellers with emergency contacts and resources. Find out more about how to ensure safety during business travel.

4. Adhering to individual traveller preference

Accommodating individual preferences is no easy feat. At the same time, it’s essential to maintain consistency and fairness across the group. Our pro tip is always to prioritise needs over wants. For example, if one traveller in the group has accessibility or mobility needs. This means establishing the needs of your travellers ahead of time so you can incorporate these factors into your planning process from the get-go. It’s important to reiterate that communication is key – transparency and visibility in your communication can help you avoid any issues with traveller requirements and preferences too.

Corporate group travel planning presents its own set of challenges. Still, with careful preparation and strategic management, it can be a rewarding and successful experience for both travel administrators and travellers alike.

It’s a real balancing act – by considering factors involved such as transportation, accommodation, budgeting and safety and implementing best practices and tips, you can ensure your next team business trip is a memorable and productive one.

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