If you've never organised a business trip before, there are so many things that can go wrong. For a rookie trying to arrange flights, accommodation and a long and complicated itinerary, there are things that can go wrong at every twist and turn.
To make sure your colleagues don't miss their meetings, connecting flights or trains, or even ending up facing hidden costs, make sure to avoid these three common mistakes.
1. Over-Cramming the Itinerary
So, you've got three meetings and an evening event to fit onto a two-day business trip. Sounds easy, right? You look up addresses and find the distance between each location. Good news! You can fit two meetings into the same day as the evening event, meaning your colleagues will get some leisure time on their second day. Wahoo!
But you didn't account for traffic and went with the suggested travel times from the search engine. Your colleagues ended up stuck in a jam behind an overturned car and as a result, missed their second meeting of the day. Disaster!
When planning an itinerary in an unknown location, allow double time for journeys. It's better for your colleagues to sit and wait with a coffee, than arrive late to meet with potential investors.
2. Not Accounting for Downtime
Travelling can be exhausting, especially if it involves different time zones and multiple flights or long car journeys. When planning for business travel, it can be all too easy to forget to include time for rest and relaxation.
If possible, arrange transport where your colleagues will leave and arrive during more sociable hours – though we know this can sometimes be impossible! And always, always avoid scheduling business activities first thing in the morning, as your jet lagged co-workers may need a little extra time in bed.
3. Planning at the Last Minute
Planning too late can mean expensive prices and difficult decisions. Where possible, plan as far in advance as you can using a well-planned to-do list.
Planning ahead means you can provide accurate addresses for the sat nav, can clarify which of the city's three airports or stations your colleagues will arrive or depart from, and printing off needed travel documents and presentations should their tech fail.
Arranging business travel can be a nerve-racking process, especially for a rookie. Make sure to always plan ahead, account for jet lag and sleep deprivation, and try to keep the itinerary simple. If in doubt, turn to a travel management company like Statesman Travel Limited, who will handle the stress for you.
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