Writing a travel policy – what to consider

While “travel is back” is an exaggeration, it seems like a good time to ponder getting mobile again. A travel policy remains the best way to align your business travel with company goals. A good policy defines what you want to achieve and usually covers issues such as cost savings, traveller satisfaction, wellbeing, sustainability, or a combination of these. Here we cover the basics of optimising your policy for business travel today. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for writing a travel policy but try to keep it concise. We recommend reviewing your travel policy annually at least. Here are some inclusions to consider:

  • Make business travel optional
    Aligning policies with traveller wellbeing is critical. Some employees may second-guess business travel. They may be at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 or living with someone at risk. Making travel optional and encouraging bookings in advance can help you to promote your travellers’ wellbeing while at the same time decreasing business risk.
  • Establish what is business-critical travel
    Define what essential business trips are for your organisation. Start by determining per type of trip the most optimal configuration, e.g. which trips can be replaced by virtual meetings.  
  • Personalise the policy
    Once you’ve chosen the criteria for permissible travel, it might be wise to include more flexibility in your policies and authorisation processes. A traveller may believe they are better looked after on their trip if given a chance to pick an airline limiting passenger volume or barring middle seats. Or they may favour staying in a hotel that requires face masks and social distancing in all public spaces.
  • Approval
    Determine corporate travel policies for all travel types and specify which travel requests require pre- or special approvals. Specifying acceptable travel allows for quicker, more efficient programme management. 
  • Travel guidelines
    Detail expense parameters and rules for air, hotel and transport and encourage lowest cost options.
  • Booking
    Provide agent contact information (phone numbers and chat functionality), online booking tool links and instructions, and the step-by-step process for arranging air, ground and hotel accommodations
  • Bleisure/ Staycations
    Detail how and when travellers can add personal travel days to a business trip and make it clear who will be responsible for covering this expense.
  • Travel and expense reporting (T&E)
     Define what is covered and what is not, e.g., reimbursable vs non-reimbursable costs. Set per diems and minimum receipt amounts. Where applicable, a separate travel expense policy may be linked to the travel policy

Next steps

Your business travel programme probably changed significantly over the past year. Communicate your travel policy to travellers, so they feel confident about their health, safety and wellbeing while on the road.

Contact your Programme Manager or email [email protected] to learn more about our solutions for helping you adjust your travel programme’