As fun as planning a vacation is, it can also be downright stressful with so many different things to keep track of and manage. The stress can get even worse when you don’t even have the fun promise of a vacation keeping you going, and instead you’re planning business trips not only for yourself, but for other team members in the office.
Planning and managing travel is a common task for many office managers, requiring you to cover everything from company retreats to individual routes to conferences or trainings around the globe. This is a lot to manage, but fortunately there are tools available to help you find the best prices, discover new accommodations, and sync all the travel plans up so no one is calling you about a lost or rescheduled plane ticket two hours before they’re supposed to be at the airport.
Let’s take a look at the three best corporate travel tools to make planning the next round of business trips much easier and when you should consider hiring a service instead.
TripActions is one of the top contenders for corporate travel management content. It’s an all-in-one solution, allowing you to book a rental car, the plane tickets, the train, and the lodging all through one easy-to-use interface. The office manager can handle the planning, or individual employees can schedule their own while following timeline or budget restrictions your company has put into place.
In addition to ease of use, this tool also has the great benefit of cost savings. They boast up to 24% savings on hotel costs, and have rewards programs that incentivize employees to opt for cheaper rates in accommodations.
TripActions also has 24/7, 365-days-a-year live support, so if something goes wrong at the last minute, no one is left scrambling. Employees will be updated about changes in their itinerary and can get instant access to someone who can help resolve issues, even at 2AM when you’re sound asleep. This support is proactive, finding solutions before you even know there’s a problem.
Why to choose this tool: It’s great if you want to solve the logistics of travel in a scalable, budget-friendly way while having instant, proactive support so that travel emergencies don’t solely fall back on the office manager.
Rocketrip is similar to TripActions, but there’s an enormous emphasis here on savings and compliance, making it a little easier and a little less risky to set your team loose on their own if they want to book their own itinerary.
You can set company guidelines on how much your team should spend, and utilize the incentives of rewards to encourage your team to follow those guidelines. Employees get rewards, which amount to half of the money that they save with cheaper accommodations in cash, and businesses are spending less on travel costs in the process, so everyone walks away.
Compliance is a big focus here, so you can set up custom budgets for certain teams and evaluate at the department or employee levels to see what’s happening with travel plans and cost, making sure that each team is staying on target.
Why to choose this tool: Rocketrip is great for larger businesses whose employees are consistently managing their own travel plans but need to stick to a budget, thus giving them a solid financial reason to do so.
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TravelPerk is a tool similar to the other two, and they claim to have the widest database of travel options available online. According to their site, you can book anything that’s available online on any site through their interface with no directs, and it can yield you an average of a 20% cost savings than if you were to book on your own.
This tool is a little like Expedia for corporate travel, making it fast and easy to find the best accommodations for the best prices, and it comes with the added benefit of great support that’s available 24/7. Whether you want your employees or your office manager to create travel itineraries, you can send out travel details to each passenger immediately so that everyone is on the same page.
Why to choose this tool: TravelPerk has incredible flexibility, allowing you to choose how you and your team want to use it, and their enormous database of seemingly endless options is a great resource, too.
Lola is a comprehensive corporate travel management app meant to make booking travel for teams simple. Through their app, you can manage every aspect of booking travel. From finding the right flight, hotel, or car rental to managing expenses and producing reports.
Lola's app has a refreshing and easy-to-use interface that allows you to browse inventory, save team profiles & preferences, and get personalized results allowing you to book travel in minutes. Their app also gives you real-time spend visibility, automated expensing, and access to discounted fares. Overall, Lola removes the headache from corporate travel management while saving you time and money.
Why to choose this tool: Lola is great for people whose job it is to own travel booking for their team. Their UI is simple and easy to navigate, they give you personalized results, and you can manage spending directly in-app.
While the three tools above are fantastic resources that can help streamline the trip planning and management process, they won’t be right for everyone. Some businesses and office managers instead choose to hire a service like a corporate travel agency to take over this role.
Here are the circumstances during which it may be a good idea to consider hiring a professional service for your corporate travel needs:
Corporate travel management is complicated, even if it’s just one single person going on a simple business trip, so using a tool to streamline the process and keep you on budget is an excellent way to go. All three tools on this list allow a single person to manage the travel plans but also gives companies the options to have the employees schedule their own travel within certain guidelines.
When choosing a tool, we can happily recommend all three on this list. If you go off script and choose another, make sure that you select one that’s focused exclusively on corporate travel management instead of just having personal travel planning tools. These have the scalable and collaborative features that you’ll definitely need down the line.
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