How to create a travel policy, travel policy

 

Most people don’t realize how much goes into arranging business travel – that’s where a travel policy comes in.

A corporate travel policy is a huge asset to any organization looking to manage their travel costs as well as their employees. However, the challenge lies in writing a policy that meets both the company’s needs while also ensuring the traveller’s comfort and happiness.

 

What is a corporate travel policy?

A corporate travel policy is a defined set of guidelines, customized to the organization, which must be followed when booking business trips. The organization usually establishes the policy, sometimes with the help of their corporate travel management company.1

 

What are the benefits of a corporate travel policy?

There are many benefits to having a travel policy for both the organization as well as its travellers.

One of the major benefits is the savings increase that a policy creates for an organization. Having an established set of rules to follow when booking travel means that employees are more conscientious when making their travel arrangements and there is usually a limit to the amount they can spend. The organization and its travellers also benefit from preferred vendors and negotiated rates which also generate greater savings.

Having an effective travel policy often leads to a better managed travel program; superior information and data is gathered for analyzing purposes and the organization is given a clearer overview of where their employees are travelling. The data that a corporate travel policy provides allows an organization to compare their travel spend against the industry standard or another organization.

Finally, the most important benefit of a policy is traveller safety. A travel policy enables an organization to outline the proper procedure that their travellers should follow in the event of an emergency or catastrophe and it also details who they should contact during such an event.3

 

What makes a corporate travel policy GREAT?

So, how can you make your travel policy better and inspire your employees to not only read it, but also book their travel in compliance with it?

 

  • Clear Guidelines

A corporate travel policy should have very clear guidelines and cover the entire scope of the travel journey – from the preferred method of travel based on distance, down to the selection of the flight class.

 

A travel policy should touch upon:

  • Preferred Vendors – There should be a clear understanding of who the preferred vendors are for air, hotel, car rentals and rail so that employees know exactly who they should be booking their travel with.
  • Booking Details – A travel policy should provide details about each segment of the travel journey, such as: which type of hotel room to book, should you choose the lowest fare available, which type of car you should rent, etc. Details such as these will ease the booking process for travellers and ensure that they understand the proper processes when booking their trips.
  • Expenses – It’s important that there is a clear understanding of what exactly qualifies as a company expense – are meals a company expense, is gratuity also covered, etc. There should also be a clear the procedure on the steps for completing a reimbursement request.1
  • Duty of Care – As previously mentioned, every organization is responsible for their travellers and, as such, is responsible for their safety. Including a section which outline the steps to follow in the event of an emergency, and who to contact during such an event, is crucial.3

 

  • Visual Appeal

If we’re being honest, most of us aren’t very motivated to read a text-heavy document, filled with technical, legal terminology.

According to Booking.com and their recently released e-book, The Ridiculously Uncomplicated Guide to Creating a Travel Policy People Will Actually Read (and follow), people’s desire to read a document increases by 80% when it includes colored graphics. As well, people tend to do 323% better when following instructions paired with visuals than simply following text instructions.

Designing a visually appealing travel policy document will increase the likelihood that your employees will not only take the time to read it, but will remember the information that they’ve read. Even including an infographic with the policy’s main features can be an asset!4

 

  • Accessibility

Your corporate travel policy should be easily available and quickly accessible to each of the employees within your organization. You can do this by emailing your travel policy to each of your employees or by posting it on your organization’s intranet or travel platform. You can also make your policy readily available through a mobile app –our itinerary app, EncoreGo, allows travellers to access their corporate travel policy from anywhere while on-the-go.

The travel industry is continuously changing, and it’s important to stay up-to-date with these changes. Regularly reviewing your corporate travel policy will ensure that you’re able to properly manage your organization travellers and reap the savings rewards of a successfully managed travel program.

 

What other features make for a GREAT corporate travel policy? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Sources

  1. Christopherson Business Travel: Guide to Creating an Effective Company Travel Policy by Carmen White
  2. MobileDay: 5 Reasons your Company Needs a Business Travel Policy
  3. Skift & Booking.com: New eBook: How to Create a Travel Policy that Employees Will Actually Read

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Future of Travel

Have you ever had to flag down a flight attendant, while in the air, to get some water? Well, in the very near future, you might not have to even lift a finger to get what you want.


We, at Encore Travel, decided to put together a list of the pros and cons regarding the addition of home-sharing in business travel policies.