Conferences, pitches, business meetings, trainings and more. There are many reasons why you might need to travel with your colleagues. Group business travel can make work more efficient and can transform events into team building opportunities. There’s also the chance for added stress and headaches. Business travel for groups is not the same experience as it is for an individual, but New York City-based agent, BlueOrange Travel, has extensive experience with corporate group travel planning. Read on for a guide for your next group trip and make your experience with your coworkers more organized, effective and the best it can be.
Follow this Group Travel Planning Guide for Your Next Business Trip
Appoint a Leader
Once the group is determined, it’s important to designate a leader to be the point person for your team. This person will be the go-to for your travel agent or vendors that you may rely on during your trip. They will also work to keep planning on track and progressing on schedule.
Meet with your colleagues and discuss the goals of your trip. Is it essential everyone travels together? What do you hope to achieve as a group? Everyone traveling should know why this business trip is important and who you plan to reach your goals while away from your home office.
Major decisions about travel, like how to fly and where to stay, should be determined by your company’s travel policy and guidelines. A strong company-wide travel plan will make many of the decisions simpler. Other, more personal decisions, like where to take clients for meals or how to spend non-work time, can be made as a group or individually. This way, your group can be involved in the planning while maintaining your company’s guidelines and preferences.
When your group leader meets with the company’s travel agent, they should be able to share the trip’s most important details: When will you travel? What is the budget? Who is traveling? What will you do when you get to your destination? Are there any restrictions or specific preference for the people traveling? The answers to these questions, paired with the guidelines in the company travel plan, help your agent shape the trip to fit your company and coworker’s needs.
Flights are typically booked first, especially for a large group. Rely on your travel agent to be able to find the best rates and travel schedules for everyone traveling with you. The right travel agent will also take differing schedules into consideration.
More than juggling schedules and preferences, though, a travel agent is also able to use your group travel to your advantage. Airlines, hotels and other vendors often offer discounts or upgrades for groups traveling together. These perks aren’t available to individual travelers, but a qualified and experienced travel advisor can help groups can take advantage of them.
Make sure everyone traveling with you has your itinerary and trip details. Additionally, ensure the home office has copies of your travel documents and tickets in case of an emergency. Know how the group should handle group expenses to ensure they are reported back to the company for reimbursement. Guidelines and rules for this procedure are likely outlined in the company travel plan.
Something simple, like a Google spreadsheet, that is accessible by all travelers can help keep information and specific details straight and contained. In addition to your travel plans and vendor addresses and websites, include traveler phone numbers and emails. This will ensure that everyone traveling can be reached in case of changes in flights, meeting times or emergencies.
Group travel planning doesn’t have to be complicated, and the results can be overwhelmingly positive. Simple planning and organization can help to make any group trip more efficient and beneficial to your company. Contact BlueOrange Travel now to make the most of your next business trip.