Top tips for PAs booking frequent business trips
Getting things right first time is essential when booking a business trip for your boss.
Thankfully, our handy guide makes the whole process a cinch.
How To Make Booking Your Boss’s Business Trips A Breeze
While booking holidays for ourselves is often an exciting and rewarding experience, booking business trips for the boss can often prove to be the exact opposite. Obviously, the better you know the person you are booking for, the easier the task becomes - but there are a couple of steps that you can take that will make the process a whole lot easier, regardless of who you are booking for.
The first thing to address is whether or not your company has a travel policy in place. Many organisations will place restrictions on what and where you can book. For example, certain companies may have an account with specific hotels or airlines which will narrow down your choices in one sense but can make things easier as it removes much of the decision making process.
The next thing that needs to be at the forefront of your mind is the personal preferences of the individual you are making the booking for. As we have already mentioned, the better you know the person the easier this part becomes.
Breaking things down
As with most tasks, breaking things down into more manageable chunks will make the process easier to handle. When dealing with business trips for someone else, it is best to take things in three stages: before booking, booking, and after booking.
This is your opportunity to find out as much about your boss’s travel preferences as possible, and also the perfect time to do a little research on the city that they will be visiting.
Set out the trip on paper and think about what events will occur and when, then schedule in meetings. You can then work around those to create an itinerary.
If the business trip is to long haul destinations, this is the stage to check on things such as immunisations and visas. Make sure that timescales fit with the planned departure date, as many immunisation programs can require lengthy drug courses to be taken prior to leaving the UK.
This stage is all about knowing exactly what is required while your boss will be away. If it’s likely that their plans will change at the drop of a hat then it is vital that you incorporate a degree of flexibility into the schedule. Ensure that hotel and travel bookings can be changed.
Booking travel insurance is another essential. As the name suggests, Avanti business travel insurance is built specifically for this type of trip, so you can rest assured that your boss will get the best cover available.
If you are frequently booking travel arrangements for people, creating a database that you can refer back to can save you a lot of time in the long run.
Once the booking has been made
Now is the time to brief your boss about their travel plans. Bring them up to speed with all of the necessary parts of the trip and ensure that they have the correct documentation and an up-to-date itinerary to hand.
Airline tickets, hotel booking details, and passports should be easy for them to remember - but don’t leave things to chance. Make sure that they have everything they need and there will be no repercussions on you at a later date. Keep an electronic copy of all documents on your phone, so if your boss encounters a problem you are able to call them and provide them with the information they need.
Ensure a taxi is booked too – often they will need to be picked up from home early in the morning. Most companies will have a trusted firm that they always use. If your boss prefers to drive to the airport, remember to book a parking space in advance to save money. Finally, if it is a really early start, offer to make a wake-up call.
The first business trip you book will probably be a stressful experience, but it is likely that your boss will, in time, make repeat trips to the same destinations, and with a little planning you will soon by planning their full trip in a matter of minutes like a true pro!