corporate travel policy best practices

What are some corporate travel policy best practices?

From establishing clear guidelines to providing a checklist for employees, here are answers to the question, “What is one best practice for a corporate travel policy?”

  • Clear Guidelines and Procedures
  • Provide a Checklist
  • Flex for the Unexpected
  • Stay Compliant to Travel Regulations and Laws
  • Include a Clause for Tipping
  • Flexible Travel and Upgrade Policies
  • Allow Anonymous Reporting When Fraud is Suspected
  • Set Clear Airfare Booking Terms
  • Frequent Travelers
  • Regularly Review The Policy

Clear Guidelines and Procedures

The best practice for a corporate travel policy is to have clear guidelines and procedures in place for employees to follow when planning and booking business trips. This can include restrictions on the type of travel and accommodations that are approved, such as preferred airlines, hotels, and rental car companies.

The policy should also include procedures for submitting expenses and seeking reimbursement, as well as guidelines for compliance with company policies and standards.

To make sure that the policy is consistently enforced and that employees are aware of their responsibilities when traveling on company business, it is important to communicate the policy clearly and provide regular training and reminders.

Brandon Brown, CEO, GRIN

Provide a Checklist

Ensure that all employees travel safely and responsibly when they are on the road for work. One of the best ways to do this is to provide them with a checklist that includes all the necessary items they need to bring with them on every trip. This checklist should be part of the travel policy that is distributed to employees.

The checklist should include items such as passports, credit cards, and cell phones. It should also include items such as clothing, toiletries, and medications.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

Flex for the Unexpected

Create a travel policy that revolves around making the actual traveling the least taxing part of a business trip. Leave in measures of flexibility that will allow travelers to reach their destinations as painlessly as possible. This may include policies that cover rerouting, flight delays, and other such events that travelers themselves have no control over.

Your policy should try to cover as many worst-case scenarios as it reasonably can. This will keep stress levels to a minimum if and when such a thing occurs, and spare the need for anyone to have to scramble to remedy a travel-related issue for business travelers.

In essence, your travel policy should be designed by following the popular old adage, “It’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” Staff on all levels will be happier knowing their corporate travel policy is rainy-day ready.

Max Schwartzapfel, CMO, Schwartzapfel Lawyers

Stay Compliant to Travel Regulations and Laws

It is crucial for your company to be informed and have a corporate travel policy that stays compliant with travel-related regulations and laws. Different countries may have laws that are vastly different from your country, so you need to ensure that all employees are aware of these laws and don’t inadvertently break any laws while traveling on a business trip.

This can be done by regularly keeping an eye on government websites and consulting with legal experts. Employees should also obtain a travel visa where necessary before traveling and check in with your company’s leadership or legal team to gather all of the necessary documents.

By ensuring compliance with travel regulations and laws, you can protect your company and employees from any legal issues that would have arisen if the proper procedures had not been followed.

Bill Lyons, CEO, Griffin Funding

Include a Clause for Tipping

A tipping clause sets the parameters for all members of the company to know what is the maximum amount they can tip for each specific purchase and service. This can be done by choosing a set percentage as a standard.

For example, some companies set a 18% or 20% standard-not more and not less. Any exceptions need to be discussed prior to any tipping taking place outside of these bounds to ensure the employee will be reimbursed for their travel, or the company has the right to treat such potential violations as a personal expense.

This protocol can also be integrated into a company handbook, which includes employees who aren’t required to travel for their respective roles. These employees may engage in securing purchases/services for others in the company, which includes events management, hospitality services, special deliveries, etc.

If people are being trusted to use company resources to tip, then it makes sense they are mindful of budgeting while justifying these expenses.

Sasha Laghonh, Founder, Sasha Talks

Flexible Travel and Upgrade Policies

One best practice for a corporate travel policy is flexibility; allowing employees to make decisions that are best suited to their individual needs and preferences. An uncommon example of this would be offering employees the choice of upgrades at their own expense.

By providing this option, the employee can take care of premium services which would not normally fit within the budget. This could help reduce stress and frustration when traveling, while still staying within the company’s overall travel budget.

Michael Alexis, CEO, tiny campfire

Allow Anonymous Reporting When Fraud is Suspected

A corporate travel policy should include a clear procedure for employees to follow when they suspect that a fellow employee is engaging in fraudulent or unethical behavior related to travel. This could include things like submitting a confidential tip through an anonymous feedback form or reporting suspected misconduct to a designated person in management.

Including this kind of information in an employee handbook can help ensure that employees are aware of the available channels for reporting bad behavior and feel empowered to take action if they suspect something is amiss. Ensuring that these procedures are clearly communicated and well-publicized will help ensure that all employees are on equal footing when it comes to travel-related conduct, and can help ensure a fair and ethical workplace.

Luciano Colos, Founder and CEO, PitchGrade

Set Clear Airfare Booking Terms

One of the most debated travel policies relates to airfare. Companies should be very specific about what the baseline is (usually Economy class for domestic flights). For longer trips, such as international (more than 10 hours excluding layovers), typically Premium Economy is allowed, but, as always, it depends on the company, frequency of travel, and budget.

Tony Deblauwe, VP Human Resources, Celigo

Frequent Travelers

One best practice for a corporate travel policy is to allow frequent travelers to join airline and hotel membership programs. This will enable the traveler to earn points, receive benefits, and have greater flexibility with their travel needs. Allowing frequent flyers to join these loyalty programs can also save the company money in the long run, as they are often eligible for discounts and other special offers.

Jeremy Reis, Founder, Explore Startups

Regularly Review The Policy

One best practice for a corporate travel policy is to establish clear guidelines for booking and reimbursement of travel expenses, such as requiring employees to use approved travel agents or booking platforms, and specifying the types of expenses that will be covered.

This helps ensure that employees are aware of the company’s expectations and that there is consistency in the way travel expenses are handled. Additionally, regular reviews of the policy, with updates made as deemed necessary, can help ensure that it remains up-to-date and effective.

Jonathan Crowell, Copywriter, Travel on the Fly

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