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8 steps for organising successful business travel

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If you work as a PA, an EA or an administrative assistant, it is highly likely that you will be required to make travel arrangements for your boss at some point. Your company may have a designated travel agent, but whether you use an agent, an airlines’ website or by any online method to compare flight, hotel and car packages, you will need to follow a few steps to ensure that you have everything covered.

flight

Step 1:

Ask for the destination, departure and return dates and any airline and seating preferences
When are the meetings scheduled?
Will the flight arrive in enough time to allow for a relaxed journey to the first meeting?
Are their any earlier flights in order to allow for a full night’s rest?
Is there a direct flight available instead of connecting flights?
Is there Wi-Fi available on the flight to allow the boss to work while in the air?
Are there any better connecting flight options which offer a shorter layover?

Step 2:

Make sure that your boss’s travel documents are up to date. He/she must have a passport with at least six months validity before the expiration date. Check also whether a visa is necessary to enter into the country.

tvcglobe

Step 3:

Air miles – check which airline he has his miles with as most airlines have alliances with each other and the miles earned can often be deposited into partner accounts.

Step 4:

When you have the answers to the above, booking flights, hotels and car/taxi services come next. For websites try looking at these:

Booking.com
Expedia
Travel Supermarket
Travelocity
Kayak

With Kayak you can compare hundreds of travel sites to Kayak’s prices to find the lowest offerings available. For days trips without the need for a hotel stay, head directly to the airline’s official webpage in order to compare prices solely for the flight itself.

Step 5:

Package air, hotel, and car, if possible. You can often save anywhere from 5% to 50% when trip amenities are packaged together instead of purchased separately.

Step 6:

In the event of an unexpected flight delay or missed connection, a smartphone app like Hotel Tonight can help assistants find last-minute hotels for much less money then they would normally pay. Usng this will ensure that your boss won’t be stuck in the airport or have to try and find himself a hotel when he has arrived.

best-travel-apps
Step 7:

De-clutter travel arrangements – Having just announced a partnership with Google that automatically syncs your e-mailed itineraries with your TripIt organizer, this app is priceless (albeit free!) for busy travellers. TripIt puts all your travel plans right on your boss’s iPhone no matter where your travel was booked. If you haven’t already synced your Google and TripIt accounts, simply forward travel confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com to build a trip itinerary. It’s hands down the most recommended app for frequent jet-setters but watch out for the ads.

Using an app like TripIt offers a way in which to cut down on travel materials such as flight confirmation numbers, hotel confirmation numbers, restaurant reservations, and other paper-based clutter. Instead of taking every one of the confirmation printouts, forward the travel arrangements (i.e.: all confirmation emails from air, car, and hotel) to the TripIt account.

And no matter the particular “smart “device — BlackBerry, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, or Android — the TripIt app works on all of the aforementioned products.

Step 8:

Keep your boss informed – there are a number of apps to help travellers find up-to-the-minute flight information but SeatGuru is one of our favourites. This website features aircraft seat maps, seat reviews and a colour coded system to identify superior and not so good airline seats, along with flight information, in-flight amenities and shopping, gate changes and baggage claim locations.

If you bear the above in mind when scheduling travel arrangements for your boss, booking his next trip should prove to be a much easier process.

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