Some people love business travel. It’s a chance to leave the office behind and see new parts of the world.
Some people hate it: the stress of being away from home, living out of a suitcase. What could possibly unite these two groups?
Easy: tools and technology that make travelling easier. New apps and services have appeared that take the friction out of all kinds of work trip. Some of these apps are aimed at the worker who’s always on the move and needs regular support. Others are designed to make ad hoc trips (like, say a gigantic Team Camp for all your workers) less painful.
These tools should be useful for managers too. They’ll help you keep an eye on how the travel budget is being spent and remove the risk of unexpected costs.
App in the Air
Having an airline app on your phone was cute, once. But any semi-regular business traveller is likely to have dozens of airline apps on their phone by now, which is not cute. That’s where App in the Air (embarrassed at how long it took us to *get* the name) comes in.
Not only does it track your flights and get you to your gate quicker, it also helps with time checks for security and customs. Tips from other travellers can also help you find the best airport food and leisure options. Handy at 5.59am if, for some reason, you’ve booked the earliest flight possible. Again.
Positive reviews of the app highlight how useful it is when it comes to notifying users of flight cancellations.
Want to get your employees to book their own trips — without going past company spending limits? TravelPerk shows exactly where a company’s travel budget is being spent. Users book travel through a wide range of different vendors, in order to find the best prices.
The service offers access to agents who can help employees when booking. That support team is also there to support in case of the dreaded delays and missed flights. It means your staff can focus on getting the job done — wherever that might be.
It also mean companies benefit from getting one invoice (from TravelPerk) instead of a stream of different receipts from every stage of an employee’s journey. Three tiers of pricing (Free, Premium and the customisable Enterprise) offer businesses the chance to be flexible in how they manage things.
Airbnb for Work
Airbnb has already revolutionised business travel for many, offering savings and a home-away-from-home atmosphere that many prefer to hotels. There are plenty of benefits for Airbnb hosts from business bookings too. These stays tend to be longer and less … unpredictable than guests on a proper holiday.
Airbnb for Work allows companies to sort accommodation for business trips. The service was recently beefed up, with a work trip toggle now found at the start of the booking process. That helps to make sure that when booking, priority goes to homes that have positive reviews from other business travellers.
Airbnb for Work also takes advantage of experience programmes, to help companies organise team-building activities (… in case you thought business travel wasn’t love-it or hate-it enough).
How do you keep employees within budget when they’re booking work trips? You give them some juicy incentives. TravelBank encourages workers to save money, by offering rewards for personal use when they choose travel options that are cheaper than the average fare.
Travellers can book their entire trip from within the TravelBank app, including flight, hotels, and cars. Additionally, travel policy management ensures that you don’t have to worry about bookings that go outside established guidelines.
Yes, we made the list! OK, we are also making the list but we really think Pleo cards can have a big impact on how you manage business travel expenses. Not only can employees use it to book trips, but they can also keep a clear track of what they spend while away. The card and receipt uploading features make it easy for managers to track what’s costing what, while managers can adjust spend limits if required.
Pleo also gets rid of one huge headache of old school business travelling: having to find room in your suitcase for all those receipts. You know, the ones you’ve been collecting since that first coffee in Departures. Now all you have to do is snap a picture of the receipt, upload it into Pleo, and think about what gifts for the office you can fit in the suitcase space you’ve just created.