Guide to Creating and Implementing a Travel Policy for your Small Business

Developing a well-thought-out travel policy for your small business can help you save time, reduce expenses, and increase employee satisfaction and productivity. Creating a corporate travel policy may seem daunting, but with some careful planning you can make it simple to administer and easy to use.

Guide to Creating and Implementing Small Business Travel Policy | GTI TravelAnalyze Current Travel Policies and Data

Review the previous and current policy that is already in place. Which policies have worked well in the past? What are some of the pitfalls you have encountered regarding business travel? If possible, collect all financial data to analyze past and current corporate travel costs. You may be surprised to find that with a little tightening of policy, your business can save a lot of money. Consider hiring an experienced travel management consultant who will work with you to develop a travel policy that meets your needs.

Travel Requests

Your travel policy guide should include a detailed description of the procedure they must follow to obtain approval for a trip. Create a form that includes the required information for trip approval that includes:

  • Dates of the trip
  • Purpose of the trip
  • Name of the event (if applicable)
  • Estimated total cost
  • Department to which the trip will be charged (if applicable)

Specify Options

Allowing employees to book their own travel arrangements without approval from a manager or assistance from a corporate travel agency can be costly. Employees may not be concerned with choosing economical travel options. If an employee travels frequently or is responsible for making travel arrangements for others, researching and planning can take up an excessive amount of time and keep that person away from his or her work.

  • If your company allows employees to use frequent flier miles and other rewards, make sure this is included in your travel policy guide.
  • Let your employees know that the company will pay the lowest available rate for travel arrangements. If he or she prefers an itinerary based on different travel times or other factors, make it clear that it will be up to the employee to pay the difference.

Many of these issues can be avoided by using a corporate travel agency to take care of all your company’s travel needs. Experienced designated agents who are available to assist employees 24/7 can help streamline the planning process, decrease stress and cut costs.

Expense Reimbursement Procedures

Set daily limits for employees to cover meals, tips, taxis, parking and other costs. Specify which expenses are covered and require receipts to be reimbursed. Clearly state the procedure for submitting an expense report, including the deadline for submitting requests.

Contacts and Emergencies

Require employees to provide a mobile phone number, contact information for their hotel, and an emergency contact at home so they can be reached in the event of an emergency. With just a click or phone call, a corporate travel agency gives you access to itineraries, flight and hotel details, meeting times and locations, and other pertinent information. If employees are traveling overseas, a corporate travel agent can also provide assistance with travel warnings and contacts for the US embassy in that country.

Create Your Travel Policy Guide

Corporate travel agencies can assist you with drafting your travel policy. They will address your current concerns, review previous policies, collect, consolidate, and analyze data, and make suggestions for improvement.

GTI can help you determine best way to implement a travel tracking system and devise travel policies that benefit both your small business and employees.

5 Ways Small Businesses can Cut Down on their Travel Expense

If you’re looking to reduce expenses for your small business, finding the most cost-effective ways to travel is a great way to save money. With a little help, proper planning and knowing where to cut back, your small business could save thousands of dollars and significantly cut travel costs.Ways Small Businesses can cut travel expenses

1. Look for Corporate Discounts

Most major airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies offer corporate discount programs that can help save a significant amount on travel costs. Whether you are planning a trip in advance, need flexibility with travel dates, or want to book a flight or hotel on short notice, ask your travel agent if they can get you an even bigger corporate discount and help to avoid costly change fees.

2. Sign Up for Rewards Programs

Using frequent flyer miles programs and rewards offered by airlines, hotels and credit cards is also an effective way to cut costs. If you travel frequently, these points can add up quickly and save your company thousands of dollars each year. Consult with your corporate travel agent on the various rewards programs available to book flights and hotels. They would ensure that you get the best rates and use the least amount of rewards possible to maximize savings.

3. Plan for the Unexpected

In today’s fast-paced world, small businesses often incur the biggest travel expenses from unexpected events such as weather delays, emergencies and last-minute bookings. When you choose a corporate travel agency that offers live assistance from travel agents 24/7, they can help you deal with any situation that may arise.

4. Save Time and Money by Using a Corporate Travel Agency

The hours that employees spend researching and planning travel could be spent working. Complicated itineraries or group travel can take days of planning, and corporate travel agents have access to resources that can cut business travel planning time to minutes instead of days or hours.

Business-oriented travel agencies have access to state-of-the-art technology and global travel networks that can significantly expand your cost-saving options and save your company up to 40 percent off regular corporate rates. Agents can assist you with:

  • Airfare and rail tickets
  • Hotels
  • Car rental
  • Airport parking and ground transportation
  • Group travel arrangements
  • Team-building activities
  • Meeting and event management and registration
  • Changes in flight arrangements or baggage problems
  • Help with passports, visas and travel warnings
  • Advise you on the most affordable days and times to travel

5. Enforce your Travel Policy

Having a system in place that tracks employee compliance can deter business travelers from violating your company’s travel policies. A travel management plan will guide you in setting appropriate travel policies. Periodic review and adjustment of these policies can make all the difference when it comes to cost-effective, efficient business travel.

Skilled agents who know the ins and outs of corporate travel services are an invaluable tool that can save money and alleviate stress. Less anxiety can lead to happier employees, better productivity, and significant cost savings. Enlisting the help of experienced corporate travel agents can help your small business maximize its travel budget and keep things running smoothly no matter what your business travel needs may be.