Strategies For Streamlining Your Corporate Travel Booking Process

Strategies For Streamlining Your Corporate Travel Booking Process

Corporate travel managers have a lot on their plates, including overseeing the safety of their team members while on the road. Booking trips requires attention to detail, diligent organization, and stellar communication skills.

Most travel planners work for corporations, enterprises, and large organizations. Therefore, managers oversee several trips annually and some simultaneously.

As team members leave and return, tracking becomes essential to the job. However, it starts with booking.

What Is the Corporate Travel Booking Process?

The corporate travel booking process is the steps corporate travel managers take to book flights, hotel rooms, and ground transportation for company business travelers.

Steps in the process usually include:
• Gathering travel dates
• Finding availability
• Comparison shopping
• Making payment arrangements
• Confirming reservations

Setting up a few monthly trips is easy. Operations become challenging when making arrangements for large groups and when some team members stay on the road for extended periods and others come and go frequently.

Here are some strategies for streamlining your corporate travel booking process to consider.

Develop a Corporate Travel Policy

Streamlining the corporate travel booking process starts with developing a corporate travel policy.

The policy acts as a handbook. It answers frequently asked questions by travellers and establishes guidelines for dos and don’ts while on the road.

In addition, the policy outlines expense reimbursements and other financial information.

Managers can use the policies to onboard new traveling team members and remind veterans of processes.

Establish Relationships with Hospitality Partners

Establishing relationships with hospitality partners makes booking travel more effortless in the long run.

When team members travel to the same cities frequently, it’s worth picking properties in each and establishing pre-determined rates with them. Then, fill out pre-authorized payment forms that make the check-in steps seamless for travelers.

Consider a Third-Party Service

Sometimes corporate travel managers must work smarter instead of harder. The responsibility of booking travel falls on the manager’s shoulders. However, it doesn’t mean they must start from ground zero every time.

A third-party service comes in handy for booking several trips. It can garner managers additional discounts, access to exclusive properties, and loyalty perks.

Negotiate Rates in Bulk

Company travel managers juggle several balls simultaneously, and negotiating rates are among them.

However, managers should avoid negotiating rates per trip. Instead, negotiate them in bulk. The hospitality industry caters to business travelers since it generates attractive revenue.

Therefore, make contact with on-site hotel representatives and schedule and discuss upcoming plans.

Plan Ahead

Some business events are so popular that attendees plan to attend them almost a year in advance. Then, hotels, restaurants, and ground transportation reservations start becoming scarce.

Statistics show that the highest number of convention attendees ranges between:
• 200 and 499
• 1,000 and 2,499

The following bracket averages:
• 500 to 999

Some conventions attract 25,000 or more attendees and between 10,000 to 24,999, but they make up 6% and 10% of the total conventions.

Nonetheless, corporate travel managers must remain abreast of demand for accommodations, restaurant bookings, flights, and ground transportation.

The goal is to obtain the best rate and book enough rooms before the rates increase and rooms become unavailable, especially in convention-heavy cities such as Las Vegas, New York, and Los Angeles.

Involve Team Members

Some corporate travel planners shy away from asking for feedback from their traveling team members - it could open up an undesired can of worms.

However, their input is essential since team members are the boots on the ground.

Team members, such as traveling nurses and construction workers, require different accommodations than executives and professionals who travel for trips lasting less than a week.

Integrate Software

After putting together the elements of planning travel, use software to automate the process.

It’s still possible to manage departments on spreadsheets. However, it can become cumbersome. The software makes streamlining the booking process more efficient.

Instead of clicking around on several spreadsheets, the software offers a centralized platform that helps managers accomplish tasks seamlessly. Moreover, managers can compile reports and help others complete audits.


Corporate travel managers must pay attention to detail, enjoy organization, and build relationships with hospitality partners. Experience allows them to streamline the booking process. So does establishing a corporate travel policy, planning, and integrating software into operations.
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