Writing the perfect travel policy and making it work
A travel policy is a fundamental part of working with any travel management company (TMC). It helps to set the standards and expectations of travel for the company. Josh Grocke, National Account Management Team Leader at Flight Centre Business Travel, is an expert on business travel and has helped us to demystify the world of travel policies.
Josh says, “a travel policy can be instrumental in the success of a company’s business travel. At Flight Centre Business Travel, we help all of our customers to build a travel policy and review regularly to determine if there are any opportunities for further cost savings.”
What is a travel policy?
A travel policy is a set of defined rules to help a company to determine what guidelines travellers must follow when booking business trips. This usually takes place in the form of a written document that is distributed to staff and any travel bookers.
What to include in your travel policy
Travel policies can include a range of elements from suppliers to class-level booking requirements and more. It should outline key decisions that a traveller needs to make for their trip. The last thing you want is to send an employee off for a one-night business trip to find out they’ve booked the presidential suite at a hotel.
Each travel policy will be different for each business. We look at the company, the number of travellers, existing supplier relationships, and destinations. Items to include in your travel policy may be:
Benefits of a travel policy
There are many benefits to implementing a travel policy for your business. The three key benefits we find that most businesses enjoy are:
- Duty of care for travellers - it allows businesses to keep their travellers safe, physically and mentally, by outlining key decisions on things like flight-class, accommodation and travel days for long-haul journeys.
- Cost saving for the company - a travel policy allows the company to define spending allowances for bookings, and also any items purchased while on the trip, reducing the likelihood of travellers trying to be reimbursed for non-reimbursable items and saving your accounts team time.
- Time saving for the company - a travel policy saves the company time by providing employees and travel bookers with guidelines for their bookings, so they don’t need to get approval on every decision.
Implementing your travel policy
Implementation of your travel policy is key and there are a number of ways that you can do it.
Companies without a TMC will usually provide this information to travellers in the business via an intranet or provide the information to the travel booker. This works ok until you have travellers who aren’t going through one central booker in the business. This leads to complications and there tends to be less accountability for compliance.
Companies with a TMC have a higher level of accountability with bookings. At Flight Centre Business Travel your dedicated Travel Manager will be across your travel policy to ensure that any travel bookings are compliant.
Making it work
Your dedicated Travel Manager will be able to help you to make your travel policy work. Implementing the travel policy within your business will require a change management approach. You will need to communicate the policy to staff as well as the benefits. Expect a few questions and potentially complaints from staff who may have to change the way they travel moving forward.
Travel policies should be reviewed every six-to-12 months so if any changes need to be made it can be flexible. During that time your dedicated Travel Manager will be monitoring your company travel to identify any corporate rates or supplier agreements that can be worked into your travel policy based on an analysis of traveller destinations, times and bookings.
Let us help you create a travel policy
Our team at Flight Centre Business Travel will help you to create your Travel Policy as part of your onboarding with us, and can help you determine whether a travel management company is right for your company. Contact us today to get started.
Want to dive a little deeper?
Download our guide to writing a simple travel policy whitepaper to help you get your new policy off the ground or existing one updated.