The ins and outs of travel policies
A travel policy sets guidelines for how a company’s staff members travel. Such a policy would usually state who flies in what class; which are the preferred airlines, hotels and service providers to use; meal allowances; costs that the company covers and extra costs that personnel would be responsible for themselves.
At Flight Centre Business Travel, we believe in the importance of having a clear travel policy to help you manage travel arrangements better, and ensure that staff members are well informed about what to expect when travelling for work. By defining procedures for business travel and guidelines for the reimbursement of expenses, it also ensures that employees are treated fairly.
More advantages of having a travel policy:
- You’ll have well-defined booking procedures in place, which will save you time and leave no room for uncertainty
- A clear policy will balance a company's need for cost-effectiveness and the employee's need for quality services and support while on a business trip
- Regularly making use of a certain travel-management company, preferred airlines, car rental companies, hotels or guesthouses, could result in substantial discounts and cost savings
- In addition to the above, the company or employee would usually receive loyalty miles and other benefits
- Employees will know what to do or who to contact in crisis situations
We’ve compiled a list of tips about what to include in a travel policy, and what to keep in mind when drafting one, to help you streamline your travel and save money.
What to include in a travel policy:
- The procedure to follow for getting authorisation for a business trip
- The employee’s responsibilities
- The employee’s manager’s responsibilities
- The company’s preferred travel-management company and service providers
- Conditions when booking air travel, for example, under which circumstances are employees allowed to fly business class
- Costs covered by the employer
- Expenses for the employee’s own account
- Expense-claim guidelines and deadlines for claims
- The number of employees, managers or executives allowed in one vehicle or on one aeroplane at a time
- Whether employees may retain frequent-flyer benefits
- A car-rental policy
- Agreement regarding meals and entertainment
- Non-reimbursable expenses
- A reimbursement agreement for when employees use their own vehicles for business trips
Keep the following in mind when drafting a travel policy:
- You don’t necessarily have to start with a complex travel plan; set a few basic rules and compile guidelines that you can adapt as the company’s travel requirements change
- If possible, offer different options within your travel policy so that employees feel they have a certain degree of choice
- Involve employees in the process – ask them to give you feedback and reviews on, for instance, places they’ve stayed at and airlines they flew with – and adapt your policy and choose your preferred suppliers accordingly
- Include information on what would happen in a crisis situation: who should travellers contact, which costs the company would cover if, for example, a flight is missed, and so on
There are several perks when making use of Flight Centre Business Travel, as part of your travel policy. We’re not only backed by a global company with a team of support specialists that can take care of travellers’ every need around the world, we’ve also forged long-standing and valuable relationships with top airlines and hotels in order to get our clients the best value for money.
As experts in the field, we can assist you with setting up a tailor-made travel policy according to your company’s specific needs. Speak to your dedicated account manager today for more information.