A recent study by Certify confirmed that “each year, companies spend almost $112 billion on domestic travel, while employees spend about $949 on different travel expenses. Now, with all these money at stake, it makes lots of business sense to offer your employees the necessary tools which will enable them to make smarter travel decisions.
Unfortunately, without a well-documented travel policy, you may end up losing valuable time and money when your employees try to discover the most affordable rates without considering logistics. For instance, if the most affordable option on Airbnb is across town starting from the meeting site, the employee tends to spend precious time commuting and eventually escalate ground travel expenses.
Furthermore, when booking air travel, if 3 people book flights to a conference via different carriers, arrival times might actually differ. Consequently, rather than the 3 of them taking an Uber ride together from the airport to their hotel, the company will be forced to pay for 3 different rides.
Is it making any sense at all?
Apart from all these, lacking a travel policy could equally result in the company missing out on rewards if employees arrange their own trips without being aware of the travel rewards membership enjoyed by the company.
Additionally, it can also result in resources being wasted on expense reporting. This means that employees will spend lots of time filling expense reports – while the accounting department also spends lots of time and resources preparing repayment checks.
With that out of the way, below are 5 amazing hacks that will guide you towards preparing a travel policy for your company to avoid the aforementioned pitfalls:
1. Get started with templates
There are lots of free travel-policy templates available on the internet (like the one here) which you can use as a reference to start crafting your own policy immediately.
2. Get a trusted travel manager
In case you can’t afford a full-time assistant or your teams’ bandwidth to assign someone as your travel manager, visit some of the freelancing websites out there like Upwork to hire a virtual assistant (VA) who can easily assist with your planning and at a very affordable rate.
3. Do your homework well
Hotel chains are coherent but can sometimes be expensive because of the extra costs of meals and Wi-Fi. However, Airbnb can be cheaper but less dependable (spotty Wi-Fi). Moreover, prolonged-stay hotels often provide tremendous value at cheaper rates than most traditional hotel chains out there – and frequently comes with more amenities.
You want to properly research every available option to decide what works best for your business.
4. Automate the process
You can save money by booking flights, rental accommodations, and cars via different carriers, but it could equally create administrative headaches. Fortunately, you can use travel apps like Concur to easily automate expense tracking.
5. Get the most for your money
Leverage on travel rewards programs to cut-off your business travel expenses. From hotel-loyalty programs to company level frequent flier programs, these stuff can quickly add up when your employees are often traveling.
Once you’ve created a sound travel policy for your startup, you will tremendously minimize expenses and boost efficiency – and your team will consequently be grateful to you for making corporate travel – which is traumatic enough – an effortless and smooth process.