8 steps for organising successful business travel

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business travel

If you work as a PA, an EA or an administrative assistant, it is highly likely that you will be required to make travel arrangements for your boss at some point. Your company may have a designated travel agent, but whether you use an agent, an airlines’ website or by any online method to compare flight, hotel and car packages, you will need to follow a few steps to ensure that you have everything covered.

Step 1:

First of all, ask for the destination, departure and return dates and any airline and seating preferences.  Then you need to check the following:

When are the meetings scheduled for?
Will the flight arrive in enough time to allow for a relaxed journey to the first meeting?
Are there any earlier flights in order to allow for a full night’s rest?
Is there a direct flight available instead of connecting flights?
Is there Wi-Fi available on the flight to allow the boss to work while in the air?
Are there any better connecting flight options which offer a shorter layover?

business travel planning

Step 2:

Make sure that your boss’s travel documents are up to date. He/she must have a passport with at least six months validity before the expiration date. Check also whether a visa is necessary to enter into the destination country.

Step 3:

Air miles – check which airline he/her has their airmiles with as most airlines have alliances with each other and the miles earned can often be deposited into partner accounts.

Step 4:

Booking flights, hotels and car/taxi services come next. For websites try looking at these:

Booking.com
Expedia
Travelocity
Skyscanner
Kayak

With Kayak you can compare hundreds of travel sites to Kayak’s prices to find the lowest offerings available. For days trips without the need for a hotel stay, head directly to the airline’s official webpage in order to compare prices solely for the flight itself.

kayak app

Step 5:

Package air, hotel, and car, if possible. You can often save anywhere from 5% to 50% when trip amenities are packaged together instead of purchased separately. If you do prefer to choose a hotel, you can use an experienced venue finder who will be happy to help you free of charge.

Step 6:

In the event of an unexpected flight delay or missed connection, a smartphone app like Hotel Tonight can help assistants find last-minute hotels for much less money then they would normally pay. Using this will ensure that your boss won’t be stuck in the airport or have to try and find himself a hotel when he has arrived.

hotel booking
Step 7:

De-clutter travel arrangements – use an app such as TripIt. This brilliant app syncs your e-mailed itineraries and is priceless (albeit free!) for busy travellers. TripIt puts all your travel plans right on your boss’s iPhone no matter where your travel was booked. All you need to do is simply forward travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com to build a trip itinerary. It’s hands down the most recommended app for frequent jet-setters but watch out for the ads.

Using an app like TripIt offers a way in which to cut down on travel materials such as flight confirmation numbers, hotel confirmation numbers, restaurant reservations, and other paper-based clutter. Instead of taking every one of the confirmation printouts, forward the travel arrangements (i.e.: all confirmation emails from air, car, and hotel) to the TripIt account.

Step 8:

Keep your boss informed – there are a number of apps to help travellers find up-to-the-minute flight information but Flight Aware is one of our favourites. Seat Guru features aircraft seat maps, seat reviews and a colour coded system to identify superior and not so good airline seats, along with flight information, in-flight amenities and shopping, gate changes and baggage claim locations.

If you bear the above in mind when scheduling travel arrangements for your boss, booking the next trip should prove to be a much easier process.

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