Not all heroes wear capes, but those who can seamlessly coordinate business travel for their team sure have a superpower.
Administrators and office managers are often the unsung heroes behind every successful work project. From wrangling a team of engineers to a remote worksite, to ensuring your CEO’s international sales trip goes off without a hitch, there's a lot to handle. One of the most crucial tasks? Managing business travel.
Juggling multiple schedules, hunting for the best deals and ensuring everything runs smoothly can be overwhelming. But don't worry, we've got some tried-and-true booking hacks to transform you into the ultimate travel coordinator.
1. Use an integrated platform for all business travel bookings
Hack: Ditch those spreadsheets and sticky notes
Using a comprehensive platform like Booking.com for Business streamlines your entire business travel booking experience. No more hopping between airline sites or hotel portals. With the ability to book flights, accommodation and even rental cars for business trips all in one place, you've got a digital assistant right at your fingertips. Bonus? Shareable itineraries mean no more manual inputs and you’ll never be responsible for those heart-sinking mistakes with incorrect itinerary details.
2. Store business traveller profiles once
Hack: Say goodbye to repetitive data entry
How many times have you had to enter your travellers’ details before? Setting up and saving your traveller profiles means that you have instant access to their preferences, frequent flyer numbers, and other essential details. This not only saves you loads of time for future bookings, but ensures your travelling employees always get the experience tailored to their preferences. They’ll think you’re an absolute star for always remembering those little details for them.
3. Make use of flexible payment options
Hack: Take advantage of prepayment and flexible cancellation options.
Work trips can change in the blink of an eye. When that happens, flexible payment and cancellation options allow you to adapt plans without any financial hiccups. Plus, for those travellers without company credit cards, the prepayment feature is a lifesaver, ensuring they're not left stranded or having to charge costly business travel expenses to their personal cards (or wait for the lengthy reimbursement).
4. Keep tabs on your travellers
Hack: Use a platform that offers full visibility into travel movements.
If you have a lot of people out and about on work trips all at once, it can be hard to remember where they all are. You have a duty of care for your traveling colleagues, and it’s in everyone’s best interests that you know where they’re at, should anything happen. Frequent business trips can also mean their travel budget can get away on you if you’re not keeping an eye on the costs of their flights, accommodation and rental cars. With an integrated booking platform like Booking.com for Business, you can get insights into where your team is, their travel spend and even any last-minute travel tweaks they make. This way, even if they decide to adjust a leg of their journey, you’re not left out of the loop.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of 24/7 support
Hack: Ensure you’re aligned with a platform that offers round-the-clock support.
Even the best-laid plans can hit a bump in the road, flights get cancelled, travellers miss connections. Accidents can and do happen, so knowing that you have a dedicated team of travel counselors ready to jump into action anytime will give you much-needed peace of mind. You can lean on their expertise when you need to modify or cancel a trip - it’s not all on you, they’ve got your back. Even better, they don’t charge you a cent for their services!
6. Squeeze maximum value out of every dollar in your budget
Hack: Utilise platforms that provide business discounts & loyalty programs.
Did you know that you can access the same sort of hefty discounts enjoyed by the big companies and travel agencies? Booking.com for Business offers exclusive business rates across hotels and airlines, ensuring that you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Just look for the ‘Exclusive Rates’ in the search results for the best value and biggest discounts. Your personal Booking.com Genius membership also translates over to Booking.com for Business, so you’ll also get those offers. And as a final bonus, when you save your travellers’ hotel loyalty membership details to their profiles they’ll also earn those sweet, sweet points when they visit their favorite hotels.
7. Always stay updated
Hack: Join administrator forums and groups.
The world of business travel is always evolving. From new airline policies to the latest, greatest hotel offerings, staying updated can give you an edge. Join forums or online groups where fellow administrators and office managers share their tips and tricks. A few great resources we recommend are:
8. Prioritise safety and comfort
Hack: Keep your business travellers' well-being front and center.
Ensuring your travellers' safety and comfort is paramount. From researching neighbourhoods to understanding the amenities provided, take that extra step. After all, a well-rested team member is a productive one.
9. Industry-specific options are gold
Hack: Opt for platforms that provide for your industry’s unique needs.
Every industry has its quirks, and this is especially true when it comes to travel needs. Let's take construction as an example. Unlike the urban corporate traveller who might prioritise a downtown hotel close to a business district or a conference center, construction workers often have very different requirements:
Remote locations – construction projects, especially in industries like mining or infrastructure, might be located in more remote or lesser-known areas. This means travel platforms must have a broad range of accommodation options that extend beyond the usual city centers. Think lodgings near construction sites or even B&Bs in very remote areas.
Extended stays – a construction project might require workers to stay for prolonged periods. Therefore, options for extended stay properties or serviced apartments, which offer kitchen facilities and other home-like amenities, become crucial.
Equipment storage – unlike the typical business traveller who might just carry a suitcase, construction professionals might have equipment, tools, or protective gear. Accommodation with ample storage or even specialised facilities can be a major bonus.
Early starts – construction often kicks off at the break of dawn. This means breakfast services that start very early or even 24-hour service options can be essential.
Safety protocols – particularly in high-risk areas or specific project sites, there might be added safety protocols or requirements for entering and exiting. Properties that understand and can facilitate these without hassle are vital.
Bulk bookings – often, construction projects require moving entire teams, which means group bookings become the norm rather than the exception. And these aren't just for a few days but extended periods. Being able to book multiple people on one trip is really helpful.
Contrast this with the IT industry, where travellers might prioritise high-speed internet connectivity in their rooms or proximity to tech hubs. Or consider the finance sector, where luxury hotels with premium business facilities might be the preference for hosting clients or partners.
In essence, the right travel platform understands and caters to these industry nuances, making the process seamless. It's not just about booking a room, it's about ensuring the stay aligns perfectly with the traveller's purpose. And when this alignment happens, you not only ensure smoother transitions but also significantly happier travellers.
There’s no denying that managing business travel comes with its fair share of challenges. Especially as it’s often not a main part of your job as an administrator. But with the right tools and a few hacks up your sleeve, it can be as breezy as a beach vacation (well, not quite but you get the idea). Remember, every minute saved is a minute earned. With these hacks, not only will you be saving time but ensuring that every trip you coordinate is a roaring success.
Here’s to becoming the ultimate business travel booking champion of your organisation.