Drafting an entire travel policy for your company is no easy task as it requires you to, firstly, cover all aspects of travel and, additionally, consider both the employees’ and your company’s needs. This is why we have prepared a quick guide to help you define and check all the necessary boxes.
Choose a Travel Management Method
Most businesses need team members to travel regularly or on occasion, and these businesses have a choice between unmanaged travel and managed travel.
Unmanaged travel refers to employees booking everything on their own: their own flights, hotels, rental cars and other accommodation using different booking engines. After a trip is complete, an employee submits his or her receipts for reimbursement. This way of travel can lead to sporadic spending, and of course, there’s little to no control.
Managed travel is significantly different. When a company opts for managed travel, it engages an outside corporate travel agency or travel management company (TMC) to handle some or all aspects of the travel experience for a company and its team members. Opting for managed travel services enables your employees to use the latest travel technologies, save time, resources, but also allows for more control over travel budget spending.
Decide What To Include In Your Company Travel Policy
There are many variables that may drive decisions about a company’s business travel guidelines. If you’re the person tasked with writing the policy, you may be involved in quite a juggling act, as you have to balance the needs of employees with the needs of the company. As we already mentioned, writing the travel policy isn’t a one-person job. People in HR, operations, and finance will have their opinions regarding proper approaches. While we can’t recommend the exact approach that’s right for your company, there are certain items that every policy should cover:
- Booking process explained
- Expense categories
- Non-refundable purchases
- Expense reporting and reimbursement process
- Safety information and travel support
- Carbon reduction targets
Make sure to include these sections for a clearly-defined and all-encompassing policy!
Travel policy outline and tool set-up
There are some technical guidelines when it comes to the actual writing, so we summarized all points in a DO and DON’T format:
- Include information that employees want to know
- Write clearly and simply
- Include specific monetary or trip length amounts
- Write guidelines that appeal to everyone
- Include unnecessary details
- Use legal jargon
- Leave out limits per city or per trip, if they exist
- Use a document format that can’t be easily navigated
Setting up an Automated Travel Policy
So, you’ve got all your bases covered: we’ve shared the best practices for creating a travel policy document. Now it’s time to dive into how you can automate your travel policy and make everyone’s life so much easier. DIB Travel offers automated travel policy controls bookings in real time with no micromanagement.
The process is super simple. Just set your parameters, and any future bookings must fall within the policy, or they won’t get booked. For out-of-policy bookings, employees can request approval from their moderator (usually the team or department lead) right inside the app!
What you can customize on our platform:
- Advanced booking requirements
- Flight cabins allowed
- Global maximum flight budget
- Maximum flight budget for long or international flights
- Maximum flight budget by route
- Global maximum train budget
- Global maximum hotel budget per night
- Maximum hotel budget per city per night and more.
Notify your employees
Don’t forget to spread the word! You’ve conquered the task of creating or updating your company’s travel policies, but your job isn’t done quite yet! If no one knows about the policy, then all that effort is pointless.
Some research has found that business travellers prefer to find policy information on the company intranet or from a travel arranger—as opposed to email. This information proves that it’s useful to put up your travel policy on the company intranet, to set up the policies in your mobile booking tool and to make sure that this information is easily accessible. Nevertheless, the more channels you use to get the word out the better! Even though only 13% of travellers in the survey said that email was their preferred method of communication for the policy, it’s worth publicising via email to reach that percentage.
Before taking off for your next business trip, it’s important to create an efficient and comprehensive policy that suits your company’s travel capacity. If you do opt for fully managed travel, make sure to explore all perks available when partnering up with DIB Travel.
If you need more input for drafting up your first travel policy, download our free written tutorial here.