Business travel can be both exciting and exhausting. Between booking flights, finding accommodations, and managing expenses, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But fear not, weary traveler!
The right business travel management tools can save you time, money, and countless headaches.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 10 tools every business traveler should have in their arsenal and answer some common questions about business travel management.
What Is Business Travel Management?
Business travel management refers to planning, booking, and managing all aspects of corporate travel. This includes arranging flights, accommodations, ground transportation, and managing expenses related to business trips.
A well-managed business travel program ensures employees have a seamless travel experience while controlling costs.
How Do You Manage a Company’s Travel?
Managing company travel involves setting clear travel policies, selecting preferred vendors, implementing a centralized booking system, and using a robust expense management tool.
Regularly reviewing and analyzing travel data can also help identify areas for improvement and cost savings.
This brings us to the question, should you allow your employees to handle their own travel arrangements?
Allowing employees to handle their own corporate travel booking can have several advantages:
Flexibility and Autonomy
Allowing employees to book their own business travel gives them the flexibility and autonomy to choose travel arrangements that suit their preferences and needs. This can lead to higher employee satisfaction and a sense of ownership over their travel plans.
Time and Cost Efficiency
Employees may better understand their travel requirements and preferences, which can result in quicker decision-making and efficient bookings. Allowing employees to take charge of their travel arrangements reduces the burden on travel managers or administrative staff, freeing them up to focus on other important tasks.
When employees are responsible for booking their own travel, they tend to be more mindful of costs. They can search for the best deals, compare prices, and choose options aligned with budget guidelines. This level of cost-consciousness can contribute to overall travel cost savings for the company.
Empowerment and Trust
Allowing employees to book their own business travel demonstrates trust and empowers them to make decisions in line with company policies. It promotes a sense of responsibility and accountability, fostering a positive work environment.
Employees may have specific preferences regarding travel arrangements, such as seat preferences, hotel amenities, or airline loyalty programs. Allowing them to book their own travel enables them to customize their travel experience and may contribute to their overall comfort and productivity during business trips.
However, it is essential to establish clear guidelines and policies to ensure travel policy compliance and manage potential risks.
Have a well-defined travel and expense policy that outlines guidelines for bookings, preferred vendors, budget limits, and reimbursement procedures.
Communicate the policy clearly to employees to ensure they understand the expectations and limitations. It should clearly outline what expenses are reimbursable, whether or not they can use their personal credit card or will be required to use a company card, etc.
Implement an approval process to ensure that travel bookings meet company requirements and align with the travel policy.
This allows managers to review and authorize travel requests, ensuring consistency and control over travel arrangements.
Provide employees with clear instructions on submitting expense claims and the necessary supporting documentation. You should also consider introducing a dedicated app for travel and expense management to automate expense management.
Communication and Support
Maintain open lines of communication with employees to address any questions or concerns they may have about booking their own travel.
Offer support and assistance when needed, such as providing resources for finding the best deals or offering guidance on travel-related matters.
What Is Corporate Travel Management Software?
Corporate travel management software is designed to streamline and automate various aspects of business travel management.
These tools can help book flights and accommodations, track expenses, and provide insights into travel spending patterns.
They can also integrate with other systems, such as accounting or HR software, for seamless data transfer and workflow management.
What Is the Difference Between Business Travel and Leisure Travel?
Business travel refers to trips taken for work-related purposes, such as attending meetings, conferences, or visiting clients.
On the other hand, leisure travel is taken for personal enjoyment and relaxation.
While both types of travel involve similar activities (booking flights, accommodations, etc.), business travel typically has additional requirements, such as expense tracking and adherence to corporate travel program policies.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the best travel management software. Consider how often people travel, the types of travel, etc., when making your choice.
What Are the Benefits of Business Travel Management?
Effective business travel management can lead to cost savings, increased employee satisfaction, and improved productivity.
By streamlining the booking process, enforcing travel policies, and automating expense reporting, companies can reduce travel-related stress for employees and ensure they have a positive travel experience.
How Do You Find a Corporate Travel Management App?
When searching for a corporate travel management app, consider factors such as ease of use, integration capabilities, customization options, pricing, and customer support.
Researching online reviews and seeking recommendations from colleagues or industry peers can also help identify the best app for your needs.
Additionally, many corporate travel management apps offer free trials that can provide an opportunity to explore the features and determine if it is a good fit.
Once you’ve identified a travel management app, ensuring all stakeholders are on board with its implementation is important.
Create usage guidelines for employees and ensure everyone understands the policies for booking flights, hotels, etc.
This helps with risk management to ensure employees aren’t booking personal travel on your dime or spending excess on car rentals, meals, and entertainment.
How Do You Book Flights for Business Travel?
Booking flights for business travel can be done through a corporate travel management tool, which centralizes bookings and approvals while providing personalized recommendations based on traveler preferences.
Alternatively, flights can be booked directly through airlines or third-party platforms, though this may not offer the same level of control and oversight as a dedicated tool.
What Is a Corporate Travel App?
A mobile corporate travel app is designed to streamline and simplify booking and managing business travel.
These apps often provide features such as real-time flight alerts, itinerary organization, and expense tracking, making them an essential tool for busy professionals on the go.
The Top 8 Business Travel Management Tools: In-Depth
Planergy for Business Travel and Expense Management
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without us mentioning our own tool.
With our business travel and expense management software, you can easily track and manage employee travel, allowable expenses for reimbursement, create expense reports, and more.
Our travel and expense management system works hand-in-hand with our procurement software to give finance teams a comprehensive control and oversight on all spend management.
TripIt: Your Personal Itinerary Wizard
TripIt is a comprehensive itinerary organizer that consolidates all your travel plans in one place, making it easy to access and share with colleagues.
The app also sends real-time flight alerts to keep you informed about any changes to your flights.
Additionally, TripIt offers helpful features such as maps and directions, ensuring you can easily navigate your destination. With its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with your email, TripIt makes managing your travel plans a breeze.
TravelPerk: One-Stop-Shop for Travel Bookings and Approvals
TravelPerk is a comprehensive solution for booking and managing corporate travel. The platform centralizes bookings and approvals, streamlining the process and saving time.
With transparent pricing and flexible options, TravelPerk ensures you get the best value for your travel budget.
The robust reporting dashboard provides insights into travel spending patterns, enabling you to identify areas for improvement and cost savings.
TravelPerk’s user-friendly interface makes managing all aspects of your business travel easy.
Airbnb for Work: Unconventional Accommodations for Business Travelers
Airbnb for Work offers unique accommodations tailored for business travel, providing a more comfortable and personalized experience than traditional hotels.
The platform simplifies group bookings, making coordinating travel arrangements for your team easy.
Additionally, Airbnb for Work offers convenient workspaces and meeting rooms that can be booked on demand. The platform also features experiences and team-building activities, enhancing your trip and promoting team bonding.
PackPoint: Handy Tool To Ensure You Pack Everything You Need
Packpoint is a handy packing app that can simplify preparations for your business travel by ensuring you have all the items you need for your trip.
By avoiding forgetting essential items, devices, or documents you can avoid any last-minute panic, cost incurred, or time wasted trying to replace them during your trip before your presentation or meeting.
Not having to worry about missing items will avoid disruption to your schedule and ensure you can perform your tasks effectively.
Packpoint will even make suggestions based on your destination, the weather forecast, and the activities you have planned.
Egencia: Comprehensive Corporate Travel Management
Egencia is a complete corporate travel management platform that offers a user-friendly mobile app for booking and managing trips.
The tool provides 24/7 customer support and travel assistance, ensuring you have access to help whenever you need it.
With its robust features and comprehensive approach to travel management, Egencia makes it easy to stay organized and in control of your business travel.
SAP Concur: Integrated Travel, Expense, and Invoice Management
SAP Concur is a powerful platform that combines travel, expense, and invoice management in one centralized solution.
The tool allows for seamless data transfer and workflow management, ensuring all aspects of your travel process are integrated and efficient.
Customizable policy enforcement and approval workflows help ensure compliance with company policies, while detailed analytics and insights into travel spending enable you to make informed decisions about your travel program.
Google Travel: Plan and Track Trips Easily
Google Travel, previously known as Google Trips, helps you plan trips and will centralize all your travel information by linking it to your Google account.
By guiding you through the process and identifying the most useful information and best offers it simplifies the planning process and keeps everything in one place.
Not just for business travel, Google Travel is equally useful for leisure and family trips.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Are Business Travel Management Tools?
Business travel management tools are software applications and platforms that help organizations and individuals streamline and optimize their travel planning, booking, and expense management processes.
How Can Business Travel Management Tools Benefit My Organization?
These tools can save time, enhance productivity, improve cost control, and ensure compliance with travel policies. They provide a centralized platform for managing travel-related tasks, such as booking flights, tracking expenses, and creating itineraries.
Are These Tools Suitable for Small Businesses As Well?
Absolutely! Many of these tools cater to businesses of all sizes, including small and medium enterprises. They offer scalable solutions that can be tailored to your organization’s specific needs.
Can I Integrate These Tools With Our Existing Systems?
Most business travel management tools offer integration capabilities with popular travel booking platforms, accounting software, ERPs, and other relevant software. This ensures seamless data flow and minimizes manual effort.
Are These Tools Secure?
Reputable travel management tools employ robust security measures to protect your data. They utilize encryption, secure connections, and adhere to industry standards to safeguard sensitive information.
How Do I Choose the Right Tool for My Organization?
Consider your specific travel management needs, budget, scalability, integration capabilities, and user-friendliness. It’s also beneficial to read reviews, request demos, and evaluate multiple options before deciding.
Simplify Your Corporate Travel Expense Management With These Tools
Efficiently managing business travel is crucial for organizations of all sizes. From itinerary creation and business expense tracking to policy compliance and analytics, you have everything you need to stay on top of business travel.
By leveraging these tools, you can optimize your travel planning, save time, reduce costs, and ensure a seamless travel experience for your team.
Embrace the power of technology and make your business travel management a breeze with these innovative tools.