by Tae Lee, CEO and Founder of TRAVO
Planning for others is way harder than planning for yourself, but there are some steps you can take to be ready to plan for their next trip. The TRAVO team has spent the last two years speaking with thousands of administrative professionals around the world to hear all of their biggest pain points and tips for being a prepared travel planner. Each call taught us the importance of building a traveler’s profile. Below are lists to follow, ensuring you have what you need to be ready for anything and start planning right away.
Bonus: Included are some Pro Tips we learned while speaking with admin gurus and hearing their stories.
X Marks the Spot
Keep all of your traveler’s information, preferences, and payment methods in one location that is secure and password protected. This way you can include payment methods and personal information. Having these items ready to go by creating traveler profiles allows you to book for any traveler instantly.
- Name: Make sure this is exactly as it appears on their government issued ID
- Email address
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Passport information (international travelers only)
- Loyalty program numbers
- Preferred payment method
Flights are complicated and can take forever to sort through if you do not know your traveler’s preferences. Travelers are extremely picky when it comes to their preferred airlines, departure times, airports, and seats. Here are some basic preferences to help refine your flight searches.
- Seat preference: Aisle vs window vs closest to front of plane
- Are connections OK? No matter what the difference in price some travelers will pay it to always fly non-stop
- Class of service: Economy, premium economy, business, or first class
- Loyalty preference
- TSA Precheck/known traveler number
- Preferred airport
- Preferred airlines
- Excluded airlines: A list of airlines that they would like to do anything possible to avoid. They most often will include budget airlines.
Pro Tip: Ask for their dominant hand. This way you can pick seats that would provide their dominant hand with the most space so they can work on the plane.
Hotel preferences can vary based on the city and reason for visiting. But every traveler usually has a few basic preferences that always apply.
- Room type: King, queen, double, twin, or accessible
- Minimum star rating
- Preferred chains
- Convenience to meeting importance
- Required amenities: Ex. meeting rooms, Starbucks, gym, etc.
- Loyalty preference
Pro Tip: Some hotels let you check in online or through an app for your room if you are a loyalty member, so your traveler can walk right in and open their room with an app.
Similar to hotels, ground preferences will vary greatly based on location. But knowing what they prefer for ground transit is the most helpful. Even if they prefer Uber in all locations it is important to know their rental and public transit preferences for trips where it is required.
- Car type preference
- Preferred transportation: Rideshare, public transportation, car service, rental car
- Loyalty preference
- Preferred rental companies
- UberX or Uber Black preference
- Preferred public transit: Train, bus, or subway
Pro Tip: Many large city public transit systems have apps to help your traveler navigate and see if transit is running with schedule.
Know the Facts
When your traveler is out of the office, they rely on you to be ready for just about everything. Create an “In case of emergencies” profile for your traveler so you are ready for any situation that arrives. These are some of the main items you should ask them beforehand.
- Food allergies
- Environmental allergies
- Chemical allergies/health conditions
- Travel medication prescriptions (sleeping pills or vitamins)
- Emergency contacts numbers (family and business)
- Lawyer’s information
ProTip: Know where the nearest hospital is to their lodging and meetings and put it in their travel information. This can help them get to a doctor quickly in case of a medical emergency.
Admins often find themselves playing email tag with their travelers. Knowing their preferred communication methods can save a lot of time and frustration! Add a communication section to your traveler’s profile and go over how the prefer to communicate when planning trips and when on a trip.
- Planning a trip: Email, printed itinerary, or online tool
- In a trip: Emails, text, or phone calls
Pro Tip: Showing them full itineraries can help them see the trip better and how whichever flight they choose will affect their schedule. Including traffic between the office and the airport.
Now you have all the information you need to be ready to go and plan faster for their next trip. So get out there and start putting their profiles together!
TRAVO As A Solution
TRAVO was inspired based off the feedback we received from thousands of admins from around the world. We prioritized safety and security so you can store all of your traveler’s preferences, information, and payment methods in a single password protected location. TRAVO is PCI DSS compliant and backed by Comodo Security to keep your travelers information safe and sound. We put admins in the driver’s seat when planning travel and provide you with all the information you need to plan travel in an instant. Best of all, TRAVO is complete free: No booking fees, no subscription fees, no commitments.
We hope you found this helpful! Next we will chat about making the travel plans and solving main pain points.