What is a travel policy and why is it worth creating?

What is a travel policy and why is it worth creating? 1
A travel policy is one of the most important tools needed in a company whose employees travel on business.

In order to fulfill its functions, a corporate travel policy must be clear to everyone. Its main purpose is to provide employees with a set of rules to follow when traveling on business; how much money they can spend, what hotels they can book- all in all, what is allowed and what is not. A travel policy helps the traveler plan his trip and prevents unforeseen costs and confusion.

 Content of this article:
  1. How to create a travel policy in the company?
  2. How to implement a travel policy in the company?

1. How to create a travel policy in the company?

Preparing a travel policy from scratch is easy, but it takes some effort. You should analyze the various aspects of the trip and then write down the rules.

List of elements that must be taken into account when developing a travel policy in the company:
  • Employee groups — will the same rules apply to line employees and board members? If not, it may make sense to create groups inside the travel policy.
  • Acceptance paths — is it enough for an employee planning a trip to stick to the rules in the travel policy? Or maybe, despite the knowledge of these rules, the employee should submit his plan to his supervisor for approval?
  • Budget — You can budget for the entire trip in advance. You can also specify amounts for individual expenses.
  • Hotel standard — how many star hotels can employees book?
  • Standard in means of transport (flights and rail) — which travel class(es) are employees entitled to travel with?
  • Additional costs for the hotel (restaurants, mini bars, laundry rooms, parking slots).
  • The issue of insurance.
  • Food costs — up to what amount will the company reimburse the employee for meals, coffee, tea, etc?
  • Relationships in the case of cooperation with a travel agency — information that an employee is responsible for collecting and delivering to the billing department all documents confirming the costs incurred is also worth including.
  • Car trips — what are the rules for using the company, private and rented cars? Additionally, tolls for motorways and a vehicle exploitation are both matters worth discussing.
  • Other means of transport — will it be possible to use e.g. a taxi, ferry or non-standard means of transport and in what situations?
  • Matters related to making payments — cash advances, business credit card, etc.
  • Business trip settlement rules — how is the returning employee supposed to submit a report, and how much time does he have to present invoices and bills?
  • Responsibility for collecting invoices — it is worth including information that the employee is responsible for collecting and delivering to the billing department, all documents confirming the costs incurred. 

An employee or contractor setting off on a business trip has to face many unknowns. With written travel guidelines, organizing a delegation will be much easier a process. We also have good news — you do not need to write down your travel policy in the form of a document. With the Hotailors service, it is enough to define parameters, which will take much less time than creating descriptive rules that no one ever reads and hardly anyone obeys.

2. How to implement a travel policy in the company?

In most large companies, the travel policy is a document lasting several pages, containing numerous paragraphs. It is similar to a complicated contract or an old fashion manual.

Companies cooperating with Hotailors have it the simple way as the process of business travel (planning?) is handled by our SaaS (software as a service) from the beginning to an endUsing this solution is intuitive, very fast, and the company’s travel policy is the heart of our system. Thanks to this, you do not need to know and read a poorly transparent document, because all the rules are written into the program:

  • The employee does not have to remember to collect and settle invoices, which saves time and prevents situations when a receipt is lost. At Hotailors, all travel expenses (flights, hotels, parking fees, meals, etc.) are presented on a single, collective invoice. Instead of dozens of invoices from various entities, the company using our services receives one collective invoice at the end of the month.
  • Cash advances are not an issue, as all payments are cashless and in different currencies.
  • The approval path is simple and transparent. In the Hotailors software, you can set the options that suit your business. Is the itinerary to be approved automatically, as long as it is in line with the travel policy? — you can choose such an option. such a variant is also possible.
  • You can set a travel budget or set cost limits for individual services such as; hotel price per night, transport price, hotel class, airline standard, etc.
  • It is possible to set limits on a minimum number of days before check-in at the hotel or departure. As a result, the company avoids costly, last-minute reservations.
  • By setting groups and classes of users, a particular employee automatically sees the travel policy matching his rank.
  • It is possible to set additional parameters, such as room type; bed-and-breakfast; whether the offer is to be returnable, etc. It greatly facilitates the planning process for the traveler, and for the company- a guarantee that the employee, because of ignorance, will not expose the company to additional costs.
  • Hotailors technology allows immediate access to all data from anywhere in the world via the Internet. This makes it easier to coordinate employees who are to fly to the same destination: it is possible for many employees from a company to travel together (the same hotel, common room, and seats on the plane or train next to each other).
  • The travel manager or the head of the company has access to all information related to business trips. Thanks to this, he gains, among other things, immediate access to reports, full control over the budget, as well as knowledge of where the employee is currently located (traveler tracking technology).
How does the implementation of the travel policy with Hotailors looks like?

If the company has its own written travel policy, it is enough to integrate it with our system. This process is based on defining filters and exceptions (which many companies associate with their CRM systems), and in case of difficulties, you can count on the help of our consultants or Customer Service 24/7.

If the company does not have a travel policy, we help to create one based on data from last year’s travels. In this way, we help speed up the learning process in your company and suggest how to avoid common pitfalls.

We believe that only a travel policy included in the system that supports business trips from the planning stage to the settlement is sufficiently clear and practical.

Feel free to contact us.

Best regards,

Hotailors team