Travel managers have a tough job. They have to plan the perfect trip for their clients and management. Sometimes, pleasing everyone is impossible.However, there are some ways that travel managers can still plan great trips while making management happy. It just takes a bit of work and creativity.
Here’s how it’s done.
1. Save Money
No company wants to spend more money than necessary. A lot of unnecessary costs can be cut while traveling. Look for alternative accommodation options. Or see about a connecting flight that costs less. Search for entertainment options that are free. Instead of a musical, plan a trip to a free museum. Check for restaurants not located centrally. Lots of money can be saved in small ways. Cutting out a cup of coffee a day can make a huge difference. Of course, travel managers can’t control what travelers do on their trip. But they can influence decisions. Before the trip, break down the costs. Explain the budget and why each expense is necessary. If you’re planning for your own staff, encourage them to make cheaper choices. Travelers are just as interested in saving money.
2. Find Good Rates
The best way to save money is to find a good rate.
For hotel bookings, you need to use an online booking service. Business travel managers should look into services designed for corporate travel rates. Leisure travel is a totally different market. Business travelers have different needs than leisure travelers. It’s important to know what these are. Hotels outside the city center are normally much cheaper. Alternative options like apartment rentals or hostels are another way to save money. You might even be able to find a good room on a boat! Save money by finding better rates for flights.
Use a search engine that sorts flights by price. You can usually save money by going to a nearby destination and taking public transportation. Opting for a longer journey is another way to save money.
Hotels and airfare are the most expensive parts of travel.
Once you cut these costs down, you’ll have room in your budget for other activities. That way you can splurge on what you really want to do.
After all, it is usually about the destination and not the journey.
3. Choose Familiar Destinations
You may want to go to the ends of the earth. Most travelers prefer to go to Europe or New York or a resort in Thailand. Let them do that. You can go where you want on your own time. Choose destinations that are well-established and safe. Choose familiar places. If you’ve been, you probably have good insider tips. Ask around and see if anyone you know has been recently. Returning to the same destination allows you to establish connections. You’re more likely to get a better rate if you repeatedly send customers or employees to the same hotel. Show that you are interested in repeat and consistent business. Before too long, you’ll become an expert in the destination.
4. Use Productivity Tools
There’s no way you can remember everything. Invest in tools designed to help you be productive. If you don’t already have the classics, get them. You need a planner, calculator, cell phone, and an organizational system.
Good software and a good internet connection is necessary in the modern world. Don’t cut costs when it comes to computers.
Learn ways that you can be more productive. Everyone is different. It’s important to know how you work.
Understand your sleep schedule and work at hours that are best for you.
5. Stay Flexible
You will make mistakes. There’s nothing wrong with that. Travel is a precarious business. The important thing is to change things when mistakes are made. Don’t let the same mistake happen twice. Evaluate why things went wrong. Put a system in place to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Apologize when the fault is yours. Management should be understanding. After all, they can’t expect you to perform perfectly all the time. If they aren’t understanding, consider working somewhere else. Travel is an industry that requires a high degree of flexibility.
You can fulfill management’s objectives as a travel manager. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.