Planning business trips can be akin to walking a tightrope, especially when it comes to the budget you’ve been allocated. Executive members of staff may expect certain qualities or accommodations for their trip, which can represent significant chunks of investment. Finding the balance is key: though you wouldn’t expect your CEO to fly economy, regular business trips made by lower-to-middle management are not required to meet that same standard. Understanding exactly where you can draw the line can make budgeting for, and planning, business travel a much smoother process. With business travel making a slow and steady comeback from the challenges of the previous years, these skills will be needed more than ever; here are some of the key metrics by which you can find that happy medium between cost and quality.
Mode of Transport
If the trip is an international or cross-country one, you’re likely looking at plane travel as the primary mode of transport for that trip – in which case, which class is the best investment for the team members embarking on the trip? If you have multiple team members from a department travelling out en masse, economy tickets may make more sense, while one or two business executives may benefit from the quietude of business class. For shorter-range domestic travel, will the travelling party require a chauffeur? Will a taxi suffice? Or is a car-pooling arrangement possible?
Employee rankings make a difference to travel plans in more than one way, though. For example, your company’s CEO will require more security and privacy than other employees, owing to the high-profile nature of their position. In order to protect them and their family on long-haul trips, private travel would be justified; looking into private jet prices as a business travel expense would go some way to ensuring safety. For employees with lower positions in the company, this kind of caution is not necessary, and public travel options would suffice.
Accommodation can be a sticking point for executive staff, but often represents the most significant area in which costs can be cut. Aside from the CEO, luxury accommodation is generally not a requirement for staff of any level. With business the primary purpose of the trip, consideration should instead be given to proximity of accommodation to business headquarters or transport. Even CEO accommodation doesn’t need to be completely top-end, especially when it comes to short stays.
Budgetary concerns have already been mentioned more than once, but they are a major factor when it comes to planning a business trip. Business trips are expensive endeavors, and only so much can be allocated to each one – as well as recouped as an expense. There is also the matter of employee per diems to consider: how much will each employee need to feed and transport themselves each day?