Trip Communication

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You’re sitting down for dinner when you check your phone for the tenth time since you got home. Every time you look at the time, you do a quick conversion in your head, “if it’s 7pm here, then what time is it there?” Every buzz, ding, and notification you get sends you scrambling for your phone or laptop. Having your traveler out of the office and on the road can give even the most seasoned admins mini heart-attacks. The best cure for these heart attacks? CPR.

Create a Messaging Protocol

Save yourself the anxiety and create a messaging protocol with your traveler. When creating a messaging protocol, you should always include the following items.

  • Hours of Operation- Establish basic “hours of operation” with your traveler when they expect you to be on call and available. Always keep in mind time zone differences. You can use your phone to add additional time zones to your world clock to save yourself some conversion headache.
  • Use Instant Messaging Apps- Choose an app that you and your traveler like and use it to communicate any time either one of you is out of the office. Using messaging apps have a couple benefits. First, it’s faster and easier than sending back and forth email to each other. Second, if your traveler is abroad they will be able to text you whenever they have wifi. Lastly, it will be easier for you to prioritize messages from these apps over regular texts or emails since you’ll instantly know they are coming for your traveler.
  • Emergency Contacts- Make sure you have a list of people to contact in case of an emergency.
  • Create Group Chats- When applicable, create group chats with you, your traveler, and any other admin they are working with. This makes communication seamless and ensures everyone will be on the same page.

Prepare for Curveballs

The best way to avoid an emergency situation, is with anticipation and preparation. The following items will help make sure you are prepared for some of the most common travel heart attack moments.

  • Create an Itinerary– Create an itinerary for your traveler with all of their travel information. This way they have everything they need for check in and events at their fingertips and don’t need to send you any panicked messages asking for confirmation numbers, phone numbers, or addresses.
  • Keep an Itinerary- While your traveler is out of the office, make sure you always have the same exact itinerary that you provided to them at all times. That way, if there is an emergency situation (ie. dead phone battery), you will be able to pass along the information needed.
  • Send Trip Notifications to Yourself- Many airlines allow you set up flight notifications so you can receive delay, cancellations, and check in notifications. In the case of schedule changes, it helps to receive live updates so you can start researching alternatives without your traveler ever having to message you.
  • Confirm Meetings Prior to Departure- Traveler meetings and events are constantly changing and even a small schedule change can ruin an entire itinerary. Right before your traveler leaves, confirm meetings with all parties involved. Having even a couple of extra hours can save you and your traveler stress and money.

Review Trip Feedback

At the end of every trip, find a way to get your traveler’s feedback. This can be done in a number of ways, but you should always ask the same questions. Use this feedback to tweak your traveler’s preferences and make sure those same problems don’t come up again. You can also use these answers to go above and beyond to sign your traveler up for loyalty programs.

  • Would you fly on the same airline?
  • Would you stay in the same hotel?
  • Would you use the same ground transportation?
  • What (if anything) was the most stressful part of your trip?

TRAVO As a Solution – TRAVO is an itinerary creation tool built by admins, for admins. Our goal is to make end-to-end travel planning easy and stress-free. Creating an itinerary through TRAVO allows you to include all relevant information for your traveler including: confirmation numbers, expected traffic, times, contact information, and so much more. You and your traveler will share the same itinerary. You can view a printable version here, and a mobile friendly version here. Updating your traveler’s profile after their trip can be done with a click of a button. Best of all, TRAVO is complete free: No booking fees, no subscription fees, no commitments.

Next up in the series? Using TRAVO for all of your travel planning needs.

About the Author:
Tae Lee is the CEO and Founder of TRAVO, the trip planner for administrative professionals. Prior to founding TRAVO, Tae served as executive vice president of Operations and Technology at the leading video advertising technology firm, ZEFR.

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