Setting up an in-house corporate travel policy is a great solution for businesses to control and manage all their travel-related operations with ease. Not only do these policies control the costs of travel, but they also reduce the time needed to book and report any travel-related invoice.
In addition, corporate travel policies allow travelers to have some flexibility when booking accommodation, flights, and more according to their preferences while still sticking to the company’s pre-set requirements. This makes these policies easily adaptable to both the traveler and company officials when calculating travel costs for their operations.
Having said that, there are some vital elements to include when creating your corporate travel policy. From accommodation and airline budgets, transportation, and personal expenses; here are the top things to include.
First, it is critical to include a maximum rate cap for hotels and accommodations. For instance, several companies chose to set a standard room policy for all travelers, with some exceptions to higher management and executives. Furthermore, it is highly advisable that all hotel bookings include flexible cancellation policies seeing as travel plans tend to change sometimes without long-term notice. Keep in mind that some destinations have higher rates than others, therefore, make sure that specific destinations are also part of your travel policy. Another factor to consider is seasonality; where hotel rates vary from season to season depending on demand and special occasions.
Additionally, specify what kind of extra room charges are applicable; including Wi-Fi, room service, parking, dry cleaning, and more. Several companies include Wi-Fi as part of their policy, while other charges such as room service and dry cleaning would be expensed by the traveler. Thus, make sure to account for these extra charges when setting your accommodation budgets.
Second, make sure to set a clear airline policy for travelers booking both domestic and international flights. For example, you may choose to have an economy cabin class policy for all travelers regardless of level or grade. On the other hand, you can create grade-specific cabin class policies whereas higher management can book business class tickets.
Also, make sure to include flexible cancellation as a mandatory factor when booking flights. This allows the company to have the flexibility to change dates and timings depending on traveler needs.
Moreover, another factor to include is the traveler’s transportation cost and mechanism. Transportation budgets can shift depending on destinations and the ease of traveling from one place to another. Keep in mind whether the traveler would require a car rental, taxis, or public transportation when calculating these costs. Some cities have higher than average taxi costs while others rely heavily on safe and dependable public transportation.
Also, keep in mind post-pandemic trends whereas many travelers are opting for car rentals for privacy and safety.
Entertainment and Personal Expenses
Finally, make sure to account for the traveler’s meal plans. There are several approaches to traveler entertainment. Some companies include meal plans within a per diem; a daily allowance for the traveler to use for food and other necessities. Others create daily price caps for employees to follow in which they would provide invoices to be reimbursed.
Be mindful of potential client entertainment during the traveler’s trip. Some business trips require some client entertainment, therefore, make sure to account for those when applicable.
Choose Your Approval Mechanism
Once your policy is set up and integrated within a travel management tool, you’ll need to evaluate the process to approve travel requests within the organization. There are three ways to implement approval processes. First, you can use the mechanism of approving all travel-related requests when they come in. The second is to implement an approval process that only caters to factors and elements that are not included in the travel policy. Finally, you can choose not to apply an approval process since all travelers would abide by the policy.
Creating a travel policy proves to be extremely beneficial for both the traveler and management. These policies simplify the booking process and the stress that comes with it in terms of planning, approvals, and reporting.
From a traveler’s perspective, this sets a base for booking trips that are based on the company’s policy. It also provides them with flexibility for preferences as long as they align with the pre-set selection and rules that the company applied. Also, travelers can enjoy a reward system whereas they would receive percentages on savings when booking below price caps on rates.
SafarHub is the best solution for your company to implement a travel policy in an automated and simplified platform. The tool prides itself on its ease of use and cost-saving mechanisms that benefit both the traveler and management.
Learn more on how SafarHub is transforming the way companies manage their travel-related operations.