Below are some of our top tips for saving money when booking travel and keeping safe while overseas
Our Top 5 Traveler Safety Tips
Traveling to any destination can be a risk, regardless of how safe it is perceived to be. While we cannot prevent incidents from happening, by managing risk and taking a few precautionary measures, we can change the associated impact and outcome.
Below are some of our top tips to help travelers remain safe:
- Share itineraries - Ensure that copies of traveler itineraries are circulated to all relevant colleagues so everyone is aware of where the traveler should be and when, in case they need to be contacted while away. The Key Travel Mobile App, available to download from iTunes, Google play and Windows Store, allows you to share your itineraries with friends, family and colleagues via facebook, email and SMS.
- Have a plan - Predetermine a plan to follow should anything go wrong and ensure everyone in your organization is familiar with it. If an incident does occur, by already having a plan in place your emergency response process will be far more efficient, less stressful and more effective for all concerned.
- Don't rely solely on technology - Technology is great, when it works, but what happens when it fails? Travelers should carry important contact details with them in paper format, just in case their cell phone or laptop breaks, or gets lost or stolen. Insurance, travel and relevant medical documents should also be easily accessible.
- Make a note of useful numbers - We recommend that all travelers carry useful numbers with them; including Key Travel’s contact details, local emergency services, hotels, airlines, embassies, cab companies, and colleagues’ mobiles.
- Familiarize yourself with your destination - Invest a little time, either in-flight or at the airport, preparing for your destination, including learning or writing down a few basic phrases in the local language. It’s a good idea to look at maps, understand key locations and check the most practical and safest ways of traveling locally. We recommend travelers prearrange airport transfers when arriving in unfamiliar cities, especially if arriving late at night.
Our Top 5 Travel Savings Tips
Travel often accounts for a large proportion of an organization's travel budget. Here are some of our top tips on how to save money and make your travel budget go further:
- Initiate and communicate a travel policy - An essential first step for any organization with regular travel requirements. Clearly set out guidelines around which airlines, cabin classes, ticket types and hotels your staff are allowed to book. Put steps in place so exceptions can be tracked and justified. Once a policy is determined, make the policy easily accessible to staff and communicate the benefits of following it.
- Book earlier - It is proven that the smaller the gap between your booking date and travel date, the higher the price you pay. It is impossible to book all travel in advance as there will always be the need for last minute trips, but work to extend the 'average' booking window across your organization and you will save money. Also, make sure you avoid peak travel periods where possible.
- Find the best fares for your trip - Travel requirements usually differ from trip to trip. Sometimes a traveler is best served by the very cheapest, most restricted ticket, but on occasions, a more flexible ticket might be required if it's likely plans will change. If the most restrictive ticket is booked and plans do change, then the cost of your ticket will likely increase in the long term. Special flexible tickets exist for the Humanitarian, Faith and Education sectors, which often provide the best of both worlds - low price and flexibility.
- Measure your travel expense - Use Management Information reports to measure your travel expense. These reports will provide a window into travel patterns and booking behaviors, allowing you to identify where savings can be made. Use these reports to target savings and monitor success.
- Educate your travelers - Work with traveling employees to understand what drives their choices, and provide them with some simple tips on how to achieve the best value options for your organization. Making different choices doesn't mean losing perks - there are some easy steps that will satisfy everyone and ultimately drive savings.
Our Top 5 Travel Document Tips
Below are some of our top tips relating to passports and visas:
- Check your passport – The passport should be valid for at least six months after the end of the trip and have at least two blank pages marked “Visas.” The passport should be in good condition, with no loose, torn, or damaged pages.
- Check if a visa is required – US citizens can check if a visa is required for their destination on the State Department’s website or on the website of our recommended visa service provider, G3 Global Services .
- Apply for visas as early as possible - Applying early will help avoid rush fees.
- Use a professional service – Work with a professional service for visas and passports to ensure the process is quick, smooth and error-free. We recommend G3 Global Services.
- Keep copies – Make a scan or photocopy the passport’s information page and any visas needed for the trip. Keep a set of copies with you and leave one at home with someone you trust. If your passport is lost or stolen while traveling, the copies will help with the process of obtaining a new passport.
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