Not many people know this, but there is an art to keeping your boss happy when it comes to travel arrangements. From time to time, executive assistants and other employees may need to set up business travel for their bosses. Whether it’s through airline websites, travel agents, or online packages, you will need to know the best practices and ways to keep your boss happy when you make travel arrangements for them.
1. Know Their Preferences
For those that have already made travel plans for their bosses, this may seem pretty basic, but not many know what their bosses’ preferences are for traveling, so it is good to find out. Some good things to know when making these travel arrangements are:
- Do they prefer window or aisle seats?
- Meal preferences/restrictions for long flights?
- Front of the plane or back of the plane?
- Do they prefer to get to their destination early or arrive last minute?
- Do they want to use their credit card airline rewards, or a specific airline?
- What hotels do they enjoy staying at, or do they have credit cards for specific hotels?
- Does the hotel have a gym, mini-bar, wi-fi, good beds, and little niceties that your boss enjoys?
- Is there a specific travel agent/agency that they go through?
Knowing the answer to all of these questions is one of the best ways to make sure that your boss is happy during their travels. Making sure that all of their preferences are at the forefront of your mind and getting these partialities done for them will also hopefully impress your boss, making your life easier or potentially show them that you’re a hard worker.
2. Do Your Research
If there are no particular preferences that your boss has when it comes to flying and the places that they are staying, make sure you do your research when booking flights, hotels, car services, and more. One of the better companies that have been talked about by Forbes, VentureBeat, and Mashable is Hipmunk. Just like other travel companies they show you and compare the top travel sites and the available flights and hotels at discounted rates. But, they instead of putting the cheapest items at the top of the list, they prioritize by the shortest flights to get your boss from point A to B. Of course, there’s always other companies you can look at as well that are a little more known such as Expedia, Kayak, and the actual websites of the airlines and hotels. There are also packages available that you can get that will not only save you money, but will also hold your hotel room and rental car from being given away if you are late. It all depends upon how much time you want to spend finding places for your boss to stay, and where you can find the best deals.
3. Create an Itinerary
A great way that you can help simplify your boss’s travels is to create an itinerary for them. Creating an itinerary shouldn’t be too difficult since you already have all the information collected from making the plans. Some formatting to include on the itinerary to make it easier to read includes:
- Include and bold each date heading – makes it easier to read especially for multiple flight trips.
- Include the names of every airport that they will be flying from/to since many of the larger cities have more than one airport.
- Include driving directions within the itinerary from the airport to their hotel, and vice versa – in case they don’t have access to online maps.
- Make sure that you also have the hotel contact numbers in case they or their spouse/significant other need to reach them at the hotel.
- As a nice little added bit of information, you can include some good restaurants that are close to the hotel that your boss might enjoy.
- Don’t forget to include their major meetings as well as events that the need to or will be attending.
All in all, if you have this information on the itinerary that you create for your boss, they will be one happy traveller!
4. Keep Your Boss Informed/Updated
If it’s at all possible. It might be difficult while they are in flight to keep them updated on any changes or delays, but if you can make sure that you stay on top of it. There are apps like FlightTrack that your boss can download on their phone to keep track of seat availability, baggage claim location, gate changes, and flight delays. It’s also good to keep them updates about their meetings, events, and potential future flight changes while they are on their trip. For example, if there’s a major storm that is about the hit the area they are currently visiting, it’s good to keep them updated if there are any changes or cancellations in flight plans.
For those scheduling and travel arrangements that you need to make for your boss, finding a simple, comfortable, budget savvy trip doesn’t have to be very difficult. It’s just a matter of scheduling out your time to find the best deals, and then create an itinerary that will blow your boss out of the water. Using the tips above, you too can schedule a successful business trip for your boss!