Are you looking forward to things going back to normal after so much disruption stemming from the pandemic? If so, you might be looking forward to business trips once again. There is only so much that can be done over Zoom, and you eventually need to get back to meeting in person, particularly if you want to make a positive impression on your business partners. At the same time, not everything is going back to normal just yet. What do you need to know about managing a strong corporate travel & expense management program for your business? There are a few key tips to remember.
1. Not All Countries Are Open Just Yet
If you are planning on getting back to corporate travel, you might want to pump the brakes just a little bit. It may come as a surprise to hear that not all countries are necessarily open just yet. There are still a few countries that have not opened their borders to anyone outside of its own citizens. So, unless you have employees who are citizens of the country, you might be in trouble. Always take a look at the rules to see if the country has opened its borders fully. Then, you need to take a look at some of the restrictions that the country might still have in place.
2. Visa Regulations Have Changed
Next, you need to understand that there is a chance that visa regulations might have changed. One of the many benefits of coming from the United States is that there are not a lot of places where you need to get a visa to enter the country. At the same time, many countries have suspended visa-free travel, forcing people to apply for visas to go to places that they do not necessarily need to go to. Instead, you need to make sure that you can get in without a visa. Then, if you need a visa, you need to see what type of visa you require. Do you need a visa showing that you have a COVID-19 vaccine? Or, do you need a formal visa where you send off your passport to the embassy? Make sure you clarify what is required of your employees.
3. Travel Right Now Can Be More Expensive
As you take a look at your corporate travel program, you also need to remember that corporate travel can be more expensive right now. As countries have started opening up their borders, airlines have seen a major surge in demand. Furthermore, gas has gotten more expensive, driving up the price of just about everything. If you want to save money on your corporate travel program, you should try to book everything further in advance.
4. Many Employees Are Unfamiliar with the Process of Corporate Travel
You might have hired a lot of new employees recently. If that is the case, they might not be familiar with the process of corporate travel. They might not be familiar with travel at all. At the very least, they might be a bit rusty. You need to be patient with your employees and make sure they are comfortable with the company's policies and what they need to do once they get to the airport. Make sure they do not overlook anything.
5. You Must Book Further in Advance
Finally, remember that you might need to book everything a bit further in advance. This is important not only for saving money but also for making sure that you have options available. If you wait until the last minute, you might be a bit disappointed to see that your options are few and far between. You do not want the deal to fall through because you can't find a flight, so try to book your plane tickets and hotel rooms a bit further in advance than you usually do.
Get Ready for the Resumption of Corporate Travel
In the end, many businesses are ready for things to go back to normal. You might be thinking about getting your corporate travel program running once again. At the same time, you cannot simply pick up where you left off. You might have a bunch of new employees who are unfamiliar with this type of situation, and many countries have disparate regulations that you need to balance. You need to reach out to an expert who can help you, and you must make sure that you have the right program in place to help you keep your expenses under control.