Although corporate travel is specifically for business purposes, such as meeting new clients or suppliers, sales visits, conferencing, and attending business events, you'd still want to make the most out of it. It's an opportunity to create new networks, expand your skills, and visit new places.
Business trips can be exciting yet intimidating, especially for your first time. However, if you're well-prepared and organized, you can derive many benefits from this trip and represent your company positively and professionally. That said, here's a comprehensive first-timer's guide to corporate travel to get you through that business trip:
Book with Travel Agencies
One of the most crucial things you should do when preparing for your first corporate trip is to book with a travel agency. They offer better services and relevant information you'll need for the flight. Other than that, their packages come with irresistible offers.
Here are some benefits of booking with a travel agency:
- It saves time: Traveling agencies consist of experts with years of experience in the travel industry. They can handle all your traveling details, from arranging for transport, flights, and accommodation to scheduling your meetings, leaving you with enough time to plan and enjoy the trip.
- It is cost-effective: Another advantage of using a travel agency for the trip is that they offer discounts and perks. They help countless business people travel to their destinations, enabling them to leverage the large volume of travelers and get travel discounts unavailable for individual fliers.
- It provides personalized services: The agency can tailor their services to match your travel expectations, preferences, and needs. They go out of their way to ensure you get everything you ask to make your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.
- It provides full-time support: Corporate travel agencies also act as your emergency contact throughout the trip if something goes wrong or you need a translator to help get the message across.
Using a traveling agency for your corporate travel allows you to lessen the stress from planning and ensures you meet all your obligations. ConsiderCorporate Travel Management by Travelbank to help you manage your expenses and use their traveling tools and features to make your business trip more memorable.
Understand Your Company's Travel Policy
Ensure you learn and understand your company's travel policies or guidelines before leaving for a trip, as you must abide by them to avoid using your personal savings to cover certain costs. Travel policies may vary depending on the organization's size, industry, and culture. However, some common elements that could be included in a typical travel policy are:
- Booking procedures: Your company may have set procedures to follow when booking your flights or accommodation to ensure you don't exploit their resources. They may require you to book with a specific travel agency or hotel to take advantage of the discounts and perks offered.
- Expenses limits: Your employer may also limit the amount of money you can use throughout your trip. You may have to cover the rest from your pocket if you spend more than the set limit.
- Reimbursement process: Some employers may not cover your traveling expenses beforehand but may have a reimbursement procedure to compensate you for the amount you spent on the business trip. However, you must read through the policy to understand all the requirements to complete the process. For instance, you may need to keep all your receipts to prove the expenses were business-related and fill out an application for reimbursement.
Make sure to read all of your company's corporate travel regulations to avoid problems throughout your business trip.
Find More about the Destination
Another thing to do before you embark on your first corporate trip is to do your homework, especially if this is your first time going to the place. Researching the destination is crucial as it'll help you understand vital factors like cultural differences, safety and security, and travel restrictions that may affect your business trip.
Knowledge of the place is vital for credibility and professionalism throughout your stay and engagement with business partners and colleagues.Additionally, researching your destination ensures you make informed decisions, like choosing the best travel agency or airline, depending on your budget and business policy. You'll also get an idea of the sites to visit during your free time to make traveling more engaging.
Create Your Itinerary
It's also crucial to create an itinerary, whether or not it's your first corporate trip. Your company may have booked the trip and given you a bunch of things to do during your trip, but it's on you to plan and organize the events. Your itinerary must include the following:
Travel agency: Ensure you include all the details of the traveling agency and services offered to know what is and isn't catered for.
- Flight details: You must include the airline you'll use, boarding and landing times, and other crucial information.
- Transportation: Write down all transportation details, noting those provided by the hotel and those offered by the traveling agency.
- Accommodation: You should also include accommodation details like the hotel's name, location, contact, and check-in and check-out time.
- Meeting and conferences: If the purpose of the trip is attending a business meeting on behalf of your employer, then it's something you should be on time for. Ensure you note down the venue, time, and point of discussion for the meeting or conference.
By organizing all the crucial details in a list or schedule, you can ascertain that your business trip goes according to plan.
Gather Your Travel Documents
Ensure you have all your travel documents in order. Your business trip may require you to travel to several destinations in a single trip, and each country has its regulations on documentation. Therefore, when researching, look into these aspects and prepare them days before the trip. Here are some documents you may need:
- Business travel insurance
- Traveler's passport and visa
- National Identification Card
- Proof of hotel booking
- Health documents
- Itinerary details
Ensure these documents are up-to-date and will last you throughout the trip duration. You can even create a checklist to ensure everything is in order.
A corporate trip is an ideal and strategic way to impact business agendas. As mentioned in the article, corporate traveling has numerous benefits. For first-timers, it may seem like a lot. However, the guide above will come in handy in preparing for your corporate travel. With proper research and preparation, you'll enjoy your time and maximize your corporate trip.