When it comes to business travel, employers and employees both want trips to be seamless. While employers focus on the need for travel and its cost implications, employees have a different set of concerns and responsibilities and concentrate on preparation and execution.
“To save time and money, employers should plan ahead, but the reality is last-minute business trips are par for the course,” says Chantal Kliche, Retail Manager of Thompsons Travel, Cape Region. “Schedule changes at the eleventh hour all too often result in higher-than-usual travel costs, so while booking in advance is not always an option, it is worth the effort.”
Here’s why planning ahead can ensure that business travel is successful.
Before You Begin
Your first step towards saving time and money is to ensure that you have a well-defined travel policy in place. “Successful planning means doing your groundwork,” says Kliche. “Outline specific guidelines to ensure that all employees are on the same page when it comes to their travel arrangements, responsibilities and budgets.”
When creating your travel policy, be sure to provide options and include employees in the decision-making process. “This is because employers will prioritise cost-effectiveness, while travellers will prioritise quality services and support,” says Kliche.
Planning Ahead Saves Costs
It pays to plan ahead. Research shows that business travellers can spend up to 200% more for flights booked the day before travel, while the lowest airfares are generally available 21 or more days before departure.
“One of the ways to mitigate the impact of price fluctuations on your travel budget is to implement an advance purchase strategy,” says Kliche. “Additionally, if you plan business trips regularly, you can significantly reduce your expenses by taking advantage of travel programmes such as frequent-flyer memberships and travel-rewards credit cards.”
Booking your trips through Thompsons Travel ensures that you get competitive prices. “We leverage significant buying power as a consortium to always offer our clients the best possible rates.”
Better Availability, Greater Choice & Seamless Logistics
Planning early enables you to take advantage of a broader range of options on flights, lodging and car rental. “There are also better dates and availability, allowing you to plan an itinerary,” says Kliche.
Get Tech Savvy
Online booking tools have revolutionised the business travel planning process, allowing companies to have a bespoke online booking tool created around their specific needs and requirements incorporating their travel policy.
“As a Thompsons Travel client, you get the best of both worlds,” says Kliche. “You get access to Thompsons Traveller Online, which is web-based, giving you the freedom to manage your travel at any moment according to an inbuilt approval process, maximising efficiency. You also get the support of a dedicated team who will help you to make the best decisions and assist with other details such as arranging forex, visa applications, booking ground transport and dealing with travel emergencies.”
Contact the Specialists
“Thompsons Travel’s extensive knowledge and expertise, combined with global buying power and longstanding supplier relationships work to your advantage,” concludes Kliche.
Plan ahead and contact Thompsons Travel today.