Tips for Travel Managers - Keeping Control of Your Travel

In the past we've talked about "managed travel" and the major business benefits in taking control of your staff's travel arrangements when they are on business trips by putting a corporate travel policy in place. Working with many companies as their travel account managers we see the problems that travel managers face on a day to day basis. Many of these issues result from a poor understanding on the part of staff as to why they should abide by their company's travel policy.

In this article we're going to look at our tips for travel managers to help them effectively manage their travel booking issues and the reasons why keeping control of your corporate travel is vitally important.

# 1 Policy Compliance Control

Having spent the time putting together your travel policy to enable your company to:

  • make cost savings.
  • make better use of your employee's time.
  • manage travel risks.

It can be extremely frustrating when your travel policy is ignored resulting in travel expenses and unmanaged costs that can quickly escalate out of control.

In some cases this may be due to lack of understanding or even lack of knowledge of the travel policy. Irrespective of the reason it's vital to take control and try to ensure good compliance when it comes to your company's travel bookings. It's therefore very important to have the right controls in place.

Make sure:

  • everyone knows what your travel policy is and that they understand the importance of adhering to it. Your travel management company can help with this.
  • that when bookings are made outside of your travel policy you capture information about why people are booking non-compliant options and put steps in place to prevent it happening again.
  • staff know how expenses should be submitted and how long staff have to submit them after they have returned from their trip. Having an example expenses form is always helpful as it gives staff a guide to work to.

You need to decide how to tackle out of policy bookings e.g. you may wish to completely block them and take staff through the proper procedure or you may wish to be a little bit flexible and use any non-compliant bookings to educate staff to improve future compliance.

# 2 Staff Find Cheaper Travel Booking Options

With the accessibility of the internet many people will have booked their leisure travel online and think they are being helpful by surfing the net to find cheap business travel options. It's something most travel managers will encounter.

Again this is a case of education. It's important for them to understand that bookings made outside of your travel policy don't allow your travel management company to leverage their expertise in ensuring the best hotels are booked at the best prices, nor does it allow negotiated discounted or corporate rates. Plus it's taking up valuable employees work time that could be better spent working on company business.

# 3 Business Travel Information

If you don't have your travel bookings information past and present then you can't make informed decisions regarding future travel bookings.

Travel managers need to know how effective their business travel policy and booking process is to know the impact these are having on their company's bottom line. Quite simply if you don't have this information to hand then it can't be measured and you can't see what you're spending, what you're spending it on, and who is spending it so improvements can't be made.

By consolidating all your travel spend through one corporate travel agency; allowing you to fully understand and manage your company's travel expenditure, it's easy to see what you need to focus on to make savings.

# 4 Traveller Safety and Security

Travel managers have a corporate duty of care and a legal requirement and responsibility to ensure the safety and security of their staff while they're travelling on company business.

Business travel, just like leisure travel can involve a certain amount of risk e.g. political or civil unrest (as evidenced throughout the past few months), severe weather, natural disasters and disease to name a few examples. There are steps that can be taken to ensure business travellers are as prepared as possible for their business trip and know what they should do in the case of an emergency.

Allowing "unmanaged business travel" may result in the loss of your 'duty of care' for your employees and put both your staff and business at risk. Working with a travel management partner who can advise you and work with you to have the right processes in place can provide safety and security.

Booking Partners Travel Management Partner for Travel Managers

Hopefully the tips above will give you a good starting point in taking control of your business travel management. Booking Partners can provide you with bespoke travel management information enabling you to better manage your corporate business travel expenditure to give you even greater cost control. For more information contact us directly on +44 (0)330 022 8643 or via e-mail at

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