The Power of a Professional Travel Policy

People working on table

5min read

Published 14 August 2023


Remember that time you backpacked around Europe? It was all about breaking free from constraints, throwing caution to the air, and getting away with it. Yep, they were the good old days.

Today of course, you’re a responsible business traveller, who takes things a bit more seriously. After all, there’s more at stake here, like, um…. your business.

At Flight Centre Business Travel, we think business travel is exciting and inspiring, and offers so many opportunities for growth, networking, and expanding your market reach. However, it can also lead to unforeseen expenses and potential risks. That’s where the power of a professional travel policy comes into play. Having a well-crafted travel policy can provide numerous benefits, ensuring smoother travel experiences for employees and better financial control for your company.

To understand the true power of a professional travel policy, we asked Jonathon Tas, Business Leader, Flight Centre Business Travel, to walk us through the details.

“In my experience, a pro travel policy is one that provides a framework for business travel and sets rules and recommendations around that. It serves as a roadmap for employees, guiding them in their decisions and actions. I’ve outlined some of the essential features and benefits of a great policy below.”

Jonathan Tas smiling on red background
Jonathan Tas smiling on red background
Jonathan Tas smiling on red background

✔️ Cost Savings and Budget Control: A good policy not only helps prevent overspending but also enables businesses to set realistic budgets for various trips. Make sure to include spend caps on transportation, accommodation, meals, and incidental costs, outline "BFOD" policies and Advance-Purchase guidelines, as well as approval processes when caps are exceeded. This can drive behaviour with other travel related expenses and reduce claims and reimbursements.


✔️ Booking Compliance and Consolidation: By establishing preferred vendors and negotiated rates, a pro policy captures leakage where travellers might book their preferences directly, outside of bigger picture company policy. Enforcing this can mean better negotiating power on hotel rates and airline corporate rebate schemes. It also streamlines and speeds up the process by making acceptable options clearer and more concise.


✔️ Reconciliation Processes: A great travel policy follows finance processes that assist internal reconciliation. Many companies without a clear travel policy struggle with internally reconciling all elements of travel spend. Adherence to a great travel policy will dramatically reduce the time a finance team spends retroactively chasing job codes, cost centres or management approvals. It can also help ensure compliance with tax regulations and tax deductions.


✔️ Research and Communication: Clear guidelines can reduce the time required to make a booking, by decreasing the time spent by staff researching multiple options and staff communicating with each other over several emails.

Need help with your corporate travel arrangements? Our Travel Managers are dedicated, experienced and knowledgeable. When you work with Flight Centre Business Travel, you’re choosing peace of mind. Direct access to the same person, who gets your business – and its travel needs – inside and out.

✔️ Visual Policies: At Flight Centre Business Travel, we have a lot of success with visual policies (example here); customers find these really easy to use and implement. These can visually and simply show requirements like "Cars to be returned with a full tank" and "Hotels to include breakfast / parking where possible”.


✔️ Travel Manager Management: Probably my best pro tip for getting the most out of your travel policy is to have a Travel Manager managing your travel policy with or for you. At Flight Centre Business Travel, we take the hard work out of monitoring and guiding travellers to book within their company's set policy. Our Travel Managers will get required management approval, plus any cost centres and job codes which can often be overlooked in last minute situations. This way, Travel Managers can be an extension of your company, ensuring compliance with approval policy. Travel Managers also can have the ability to push back on things outside policy – which is sometimes hard to do internally.


✔️ Duty of Care and Employee Safety: The safety and well-being of employees during business trips are paramount. A professional travel policy can outline guidelines for travel safety, including recommendations for travel insurance, medical assistance, and emergency protocols. Having access to After Hours assistance is essential.


✔️ Sustainability: many businesses are incorporating sustainability into their policies, encouraging environmentally friendly choices, such as our Trees4Travel carbon offset program. By demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility, SMEs can appeal to eco-conscious customers and stakeholders.

Corporate travel is an indispensable tool for business growth and success, and a great travel policy will make the booking process very efficient, saving valuable time and money. It gives you the power to control costs, streamline processes, enhance employee well-being, and even foster a positive work culture.

And one more final tip - don’t forget to hold regular policy review meetings, to make sure you’re staying on top of changes in this fast-moving industry!

Find out how Flight Centre Business Travel can help streamline your business’ end-to-end travel program and manage all your travel for work needs. Get in touch or call us on 1300 797 826 today.

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