Five steps every travel manager should take right now

by Traveleads | July 21, 2020 | Latest News

As the world of overseas tourism travel has opened up, we’re looking forward to a sense of normality returning for business travel. Things won’t entirely be the same though, so here, we’ve highlighted five steps every travel manager should take right now.

While much can be said for the use of technology and video conferences (Zoom is said to have nearly tripled its revenue this year), we know that many businesses appreciate a face to face meeting, or simply, can’t avoid travel and therefore need a partner who ensures duty of care and traveller wellbeing is a key priority.

Throughout lockdown our team of expert travel consultants have been helping businesses make essential trips as well as rearranging those already planned. But as we begin to look ahead, what do travel managers need to consider ahead of their colleagues returning to business travel?

Thanks to our expert travel team and our membership in organisations such as Advantage, Focus and ABTA, we’re in a trusted position to help guide you.

1. Update your travel policy

A key consideration right now is to update your travel policy to bring it in line with current regulations and requirements.

When designing your updated policy, you should consider the following elements and utilise the expertise of your account manager to get the best possible solution:

– Defining what is permissible travel for your business. ‘Essential travel’ is open to interpretation whereas permissible takes into consideration company confidence, traveller confidence and government regulations, allowing for clearer situation-specific decisions to be made

– The types of travel permitted, whether flexibility is a necessity or any other changes to the booking procedure

– Checking your travellers’ confidence and personal circumstances. This may be an activity in partnership with your HR team or department leaders to ensure individuals feel safe to travel or supported if they do not

2. Consider your duty of care

Duty of care has, of course, always been an important factor but has especially been highlighted this year.

If you don’t already have one, consider issuing a mandate in that all company travel is to be booked through your travel management company, as part of your duty of care to travellers. Not only does this make data insights and reporting easier for you as a business, it also means you can maximise services such as our traveller tracking.

Our technology can pinpoint exactly where your travellers are at any given point in their journey (or, where they’re planning to travel to) – for many of our partners, this proved to be a lifeline earlier this year as the Covid-19 outbreak began and repatriation was high on the agenda.

With a trusted travel partner, you can also rely on out of hours service and emergency assistance – advice and urgent support is only a phone call away, wherever in the world your travellers are.

3. Ask the experts

Our travel consultants are here to make your lives easier. We know that now, more than ever, most travel is quite complicated so make the most of our team’s expert guidance on your trip requirements.

Whether it’s recommending hotels within walking distance of meeting locations to avoid public transport or advising on whether executive or business lounges are available to limit the traffic of people, they’ll take care of it.

Plus, should anything change or need rescheduling, the team is on hand to have the conversations on your behalf, meaning you don’t need to be involved in the minutiae – nor do any travellers need to be out of pocket on their credit cards, so your team can embrace the full benefits of our partnership.

4. Approvals and responsibility

It’s more than likely that you’ll need a stricter, more stringent approval procedure in place when it comes to immediate business travel.

We’re seeing some of our partners request board-level sign off for every trip whereas others may need to consider if certain destinations need additional approval.

We can help you work this into your travel policy and ensure it’s followed by any traveller booking a trip. Make sure the updated procedure is communicated to your team so that travellers aren’t hit with unexpected barriers upon making a booking.

While the ultimate decision to travel is down to our travel partners, our team of experts are on high alert for changes to government advice or situations which may affect their visit and will help guide you where possible.

5. Are you insured?

Before your team is ready to travel again, ensure you’ve checked your travel insurance. Your existing policy may need updating; importantly, look out for if you’re covered during a pandemic.

Keep your travellers updated and make sure they have all of the correct documentation and instructions well before they plan to travel.

If this checklist has sparked questions about your upcoming return to business travel, you can chat to our expert team here, or download our latest Guide to Travelling in partnership with Focus, here.

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