9 Business Travel Services to Drastically Simplify Your Travel Programs
Planning the travel arrangements for traveling employees takes an enormous amount of mental bandwidth as you strive to adhere to your duty of care.
You’re expected to be an all-in-one travel expert, and provide real-time travel support — on top of all your other work duties.
So when technology advances to bear more of the burden, it’s met with a sigh of relief.
If you’re looking for ways to simplify your trip management, you’re in the right place.
Here are 9 of the best travel services you didn’t know you needed, spanning every aspect of business travel — from booking, to flying, to checking in.
At its essence, your company’s travel policy is likely designed to get your team where they need to go as efficiently as possible. So let’s begin by looking at easy and intuitive ways of doing that.
Implementing some of these new business travel services can simplify any travel program.
1. Score cheaper flights
Many people choose to book flights through travel companies such as Expedia or Booking.com — forgetting one of the biggest search engines of them all — Google.
Google Flights is a quick, straightforward online booking tool with next-level capabilities. The site is uncluttered and easy to use; snagging the best flight deals is a cinch.
Just type in your dates and destination, and peruse the best rates by airline. For those concerned about the environmental impact, the estimated emission of each flight is listed along with other pertinent flight details.
If there’s another airport nearby that’s cheaper to fly into, Google Flights includes that airfare info as well — and you can adjust your dates to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
2. Book better hotels, faster
For those interested in saving time and money, saving on corporate lodging is effortless when you use Hotel Engine.
Hotel Engine is revolutionizing corporate travel.
When you book on this private lodging platform, you can take your pick from over 2,700 brands and 700,000 properties, with no contracts and no-minimum requirements.
Instead, our free-to-use platform gives you access to up to 60% savings on hotels, with 24/7 live support and a dedicated project services team waiting to take on your toughest group trips or long term stays.
And with Direct Billing and our easy-to-navigate travel management software — accessed through your company’s business profile — Hotel Engine simplifies the search, the booking, and the accounting process, all without any expensive contracts. Hotel Engine even provide check-in confirmation; they personally call the hotel the day before your travelers are due to arrive, and confirm the reservation on your behalf the day before your team is due to arrive. And, with their new Personal Accounts, you can get the same exclusive rates on hotels for personal travel, too.
Simplify your hotel bookings today. Sign up for a free account with Hotel Engine.
3. Pack smarter
Packing is painless when you use a packing app like Packr.
Packr generates suggestions on what to pack depending on the nature of your trip and the weather you can expect at your destination.,
IIt can be shared with others — a great asset if your team needs to bring specific things along on the business trip. Anyone can add those items to their list to lessen the chances of anything important getting left behind.
It even features a handy to-do list that helps users prepare prior to taking off for their travels.
Pack smart with these business travel gadgets: 15 Gift Ideas for Business Travelers
An ideal travel day means never having to break a sweat.
Having ample time to wait in line at the airport Starbucks is also nice.
But with weather constantly shifting and factors beyond anyone’s control, travel plans are prone to change. Flights get delayed or canceled, and connections are missed. It happens.
Thankfully, there are a few flight-related apps to ease the ups, downs and unknowns that accompany travel.
4. Track Flight Changes
FlightAware flight tracker prompted one user to call it “more accurate than the airlines.” Loved by aviation enthusiasts, pilots and travelers alike, the app lets you check the status of your flight and use the radar to view the weather.
The app issues an alert if there are any delays or other changes.
Another app, FLIO, issues users instant flight information on delays, gate changes, and boarding times. In addition, it helps travelers navigate an unfamiliar airport; particularly helpful for locating the baggage claim area and appropriate carousel — so you know exactly where to retrieve your suitcases.
5. Get Compensated for Cancellations or Delays
Dealing with canceled or delayed flights is a hassle, especially when it leads to a missed connection. Contacting airlines and dealing with hold times as you try to get compensated can be a waking nightmare. AirHelp is designed to support you in rectifying and solving flight problems. If someone on one of your business trips experiences a major disruption to their travel — through no fault of their own — AirHelp is there to assist in pursuing compensation from the airline or providers, if applicable.
6. Escape the Airport Frenzy
LoungeBuddy grants users access to airport lounges worldwide. Travelers who take advantage of this paid app can slip into any lounge within the LoungeBuddy network.
They can relax, shower, enjoy a cocktail and boost their well-being, far away from the airport hubbub.
Those who travel frequently know: touching down on the tarmac at their destination does not mean travel is over. Now the adventure lies in figuring out how to navigate an unfamiliar city, how to locate the hotel and maybe, figuring out what to do and see in their down time.
7. Getting around
Citymapper is a great way to navigate the sometimes-complicated subways and public transportation systems of densely populated cities like New York.
If your travelers need a vehicle, consider Turo. If Lyft is rideshare, this is carshare — with Turo inviting users to “explore the world’s largest car sharing marketplace.” Users are able to choose the make and model of whatever car suits their need depending on cost and proximity.
In addition, Uber and Lyft are always reliable; these quick and easy options are easy and convenient to use to get from one place to another.
8. Tracking expenses
Expensify is a quick and uncomplicated way of keeping track of expenses your travelers might incur on the road, such as receipts from meals and other credit card charges. Users simply snap a pic of their receipts, and the information automatically captures the details in an expense report, making accounting and reconciliation much simpler.
Where lodging is concerned, Hotel Engine is a leader in expense reconciliation. A bonus of using Hotel Engine to source and book the perfect accommodation is that they also consolidate hotel expenses for business travelers.
Their incidental coverage means there’s no need for a personal credit card at check-in.
All verified incidentals are conveniently added to their Direct Bill feature. And, getting ahold of hotel folios is a cinch; they’re easily accessed online for reconciliation.
In addition, your free account with Hotel Engine gives you access to instantly accessible spending trends and best-in-class data analytics. Oh, and it integrates with Expensify.
9. Making Time for Bleisure
Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? Travel is such an incredibly important part of life. Even when traveling for business, there’s still an opportunity to take in a little local flavor.
Encourage employees to take advantage of unforgettable sights and local attractions on their downtime.
Get Your Guide provides a list of all the tour and sightseeing opportunities happening in or around the locale of most popular travel destinations.
Another way to ensure your team gets to enjoy the sights is to extend their stay through Hotel Engine.
By adding a Personal Account to your existing business account, you can easily book personal travel stays with the same exclusive Hotel Engine rates — the perfect way to make time for a little more fun. Users can view both their business and vacation itineraries from their Private Accounts, but trust that their personal travel is hidden from their business associates — even though all of it lives on Hotel Engine’s platform.
Read more about bleisure: Bleisure Recommendations for the Top Business Travel Destinations
Travel is tough — but every day it gets a little easier.
We hope all these services help take some of the pressure off your shoulders, knowing you can book travel and hotel accommodations with the best deals.
Sara Kern is a Copywriter at Hotel Engine. She worked as a writer in the tech and apparel industries for almost a decade before joining the HE family, but also has experience coordinating business travel for fast-moving nonprofits, so she knows firsthand how hard it can be. She joined Hotel Engine in 2022 and is excited to be a part of the movement to radically simplify trip management for everyone.