Best Travel Management Software By Service

Attractive african young confident businesswoman sitting at the office table with group of colleagues in the background, working on laptop computer

When planning trips is more than an occasional thing, you can save a lot of time and expense by using the right software.

Travel managers often use specific platforms to streamline their processes and keep records of each trip. It makes it easier to have everything in one central place, especially when dealing with taxes and budget issues.

However, what works best for handling one aspect of travel isn’t always ideal for another. The best strategy is to create a customized travel management software plan for your company’s needs.

What goes into this travel program, and how do you know which software is the best for each service?

This guide walks you through everything you need to know to put together a unique travel management system.

Table of Contents

1. Expense Management
2. Flight Booking
3. Car Rental
4. Hotels
5. Entertainment
6. Meeting Services/Event Management


 

1. Expense Management

What tools do you currently use to track your expenses?

If you’re not sure or aren’t happy with your answer, your system could be costing you money.

Expense management software is an integral part of your business decision-making process. Your financial team uses financial reports generated from this tool to determine future steps and ensure the company is meeting its goals.

Expense Management Software Should Save You Money

Expense management software should pay for itself repeatedly. Functionality should weigh as heavily as price in the decision process.

Look for a solution that monitors business expense reports and watches for policy compliance. The software should catch missing and incorrect information before you do, saving you time and reducing your company’s wasted resources.

The manual work necessary decreases as the software integrates with your banks and other financial institutions. At the same time, your finance team can work more efficiently because they aren’t constantly going back to fix human errors.

Our Pick: Emburse 

Employees can easily enter the information requested and get back to work. You have less time spent answering questions and addressing complaints. Your software automation has increased productivity and efficiency and saved your company substantially.

Emburse is a software system designed to optimize employee, team, and centralized spending. The separation of these categories allows you to see where your company’s funds are going at the cellular level.

When you integrate Emburse with QuickBooks (or your other accounting software), you’ll be able to see your money’s movement in real-time.

Emburse has a team of independent auditors who review your expenses and verify compliance. This step ensures no fraud exists and all your receipts are compliant with company and government policies.

With seven programs available to meet the needs of micro- through macro-companies, you’ll find one that works for your business’s size and budget. Each program includes a portfolio of solutions that automate your manual processes and reduce company risk.

The results show you spending patterns within categories to drive your future decisions — meaning your expense management solution is in line with company goals.

It’s a win for everyone, that’s why Emburse is our top pick for spend management software.

Check out these resources for everything related to per diems and reimbursements:

Per Diem and Taxes: Top 7 Frequently Asked Questions (With Answers)What Is M&IE in Per Diem? What Employers Should Know About Per Diem and Employee Rights


 

2. Flight Booking

There are many flight booking tools available today, but it’s important to choose one that is appropriate for your business needs.

Many apps help users find cheap airfare by monitoring for last-minute travel deals or finding cost-cutting hacks, like by adjusting dates or adding legs to the journey. While these can be great for vacationers with flexibility and a sense of adventure, they won’t make sense for business travelers who need reliable and convenient options.

For most businesses, dependability and ease of use take priority over just finding the best deals. After all, if a canceled flight or missed connection leads to important meetings being called off, it’ll likely cost the company more than just shelling out a little extra up front for reliable travel arrangements.

Don’t Let Booking Flights Get You Up in the Air

Rather than using an aggregator app that compares flight options from a range of airlines, we recommend choosing one airline and sticking with it.

This means you’ll have a good sense of what to expect from working with the airline. You’ll also maximize the points your travelers are earning with every flight, saving you money over time.

Some airlines also offer impressive perks for corporate travelers. Southwest Airlines is a great example.

Our Pick: SWABIZ

SWABIZ is a free-to-use, self-service booking platform for Southwest flights that was created for business travelers.

Using SWABIZ gets you access to exclusive promotions and travel incentives that Southwest provides for corporate clientele.

The platform also offers useful tools for managing business travel, like tracking and reporting functionality. And of course, every booking earns Rapid Rewards, which can be redeemed for free flights (and we love that there are no blackout dates for reward redemption).

It’s impossible to always ensure that travel will go according to plan, but by always booking directly with a reputable airline like Southwest, you’ll be able to find the support you need to get plans back on track. Using third-party platforms can make it difficult to change reservations or deal with modified or cancelled flights.

Related: Corporate Flight Booking Hacks for Better Deals


 

3. Car Rental

Man in front seat of car turned around toward cameraman in the back seat of the car, smiling

A typical expense for corporate travel includes renting a vehicle for employee use.

There are so many factors to take into account when you handle this booking:

  • Location of the rental car pickup and return
  • Length of rental (this factor affects rates and availability)
  • Pickup and return policies
  • Reviews of the rental car company and the vehicles they offer
  • Hidden fees, such as waivers, insurance, mileage limits, additional drivers, and other features

The last thing your employee wants is to get to the rental company and have to put down their personal credit card for the deposit or pay extra fees. The company should take care of all of this before the driver gets to the desk, letting them grab the keys and head out within minutes.

Our Picks: Avis and Enterprise

Going straight to the source is the fastest option for vehicle corporate travel booking. With so many companies vying for your business, narrowing them down to reputable ones is time-consuming.

When your goal is to reduce employee expenses and simplify the process, we suggest using Avis or Enterprise. Both companies have a user-friendly online booking process, mobile apps, or you can contact customer support to speak to a travel agent.

Once your company’s information is in their system, booking future reservations with these providers is a breeze.

Why Avis and Enterprise Beat the Rest

Avis gives companies an edge with:

  • Discounts for small businesses
  • Best price guarantees with an extra 10% discount for matching rates
  • E-tolls for Northeast car rentals

Business trips booked through Enterprise Rent-A-Car reduce employee travel expenses, too. Enterprise has a vast range of office locations with policies designed to avoid extra fees. The daily rates are higher because you’ll see all those “hidden expenses” upfront. The company offers pickup services, ideal for guests coming from an airline.

Both companies will give you corporate discounts if you ask. They’ll also handle all your travel requests to prevent problems at pickup. Your employees can fast-track the line and be on the road sans obstacles with this travel management tool.

See also: 11+ of the Best Car Rental Rewards Programs for Small Businesses


 

4. Hotels

You could go online and compare rates for thousands of hotels that don’t meet your filtered needs. Or, you could use a dedicated platform that streamlines your searches to exactly what you’re looking for.

With a travel management company specializing in business hotel bookings, you only see the choices that matter. This keeps you from analyzing rooms with poor reviews or that don’t allow corporate or long-term solutions.

Our Pick: Hotel Engine

Some platforms cover your home country, but when you need it all, Hotel Engine has you covered. Top of the industry for national and international bookings, this platform is a free tool that makes the booking process of lodging easy.

With Hotel Engine, juggling multiple travel itineraries isn’t a problem. Their dashboard lets you input your company information and corporate card accounts. You set your preferred filters, then each guest or the travel manager can book rooms accordingly.

The company partners with over 700,000 hotels worldwide and is a dream come true for businesses and workforce travelers. You’ll enjoy a streamlined lodging process and reduced costs. As members, those in your company can schedule reservations and make changes from their login, and you only get the notifications you want.

Anytime you need to analyze travel data, head to your dashboard. All the reports you need, from scheduled bookings and arrival times to expense tracking, are at your fingertips.

Hotel Engine is the only lodging company that allows layering discounts, so you know you’re getting the best deal on your business trips.

Learn more: Hotel Engine Members Can Now Double Dip With Expanded Hotel Loyalty Program


 

5. Entertainment

Woman pumping fist in excitement as she looks at her smartphone

You’re sending your staff on a business trip, it’s not your “job” to guarantee them entertainment. Yet, you’ll have satisfied and loyal employees if you can make their time on the road more enjoyable.

However, your role is hectic enough. Trying to juggle entertainment for dozens of different personalities is futile.

Instead, why not offer company-wide discounts and let each person control their free time?

Our Pick: Tickets at Work

Your company can use Tickets at Work to drive employee motivation and create incentives. Members get access to products, services, and experiences at discounted rates. The best part is the program is free!

Employees will love the reduced prices to get into theme parks like Disney World and Universal, discounts at online and in-person shopping retailers, cheap movie tickets, and much more.

You don’t have to do a thing but sign your staff up for this service. Tickets at Work’s customer service team is available 24/7 to help each individual as they need it. It’s a free employee benefit that requires almost nothing on your end. Why not join today?

Discover: 10 Tips to Reduce Employee Travel Costs


 

6. Meeting Services/Event Management

Whether you use travel agencies or specific platforms for your booking, you’ll be planning the event at some point.

How do you handle your meeting services and event management details?

This can be tricky, especially if you’re doing it all from a distance. That’s why the software you use to do the job is crucial.

Our Pick: Cvent

Cvent is a platform that makes planning events at small and large venues as headache-free as possible. The company caters to virtual, in-person and hybrid meetings, as well as webinars.

Utilizing this software tool ensures you maximize your revenue while minimizing team effort. Even if you’ve never put on an event before, Cvent walks you through every stage and simplifies the process.

The platform helps you find the right venue by filtering your searches. When you’ve decided where the event will occur, Cvent’s team connects you to them. Collaboration, marketing, and management are all part of the software details.

If it involves hosting an event or a meeting, Cvent includes it in their package. The cost varies depending on the type and size of your event. Ultimately, the increased efficiency from the software process means a greater ROI for you.

You may also like: 5 of the Best Hotel Chains for Business Stays and Events


 

Conclusion

We often hear the benefits of “all-in-one” solutions in today’s society. It may work for your printing needs or home appliances, but it’s not necessarily the way to go for travel planning.

When it comes to travel management, having a diverse range of software solutions can save you a lot of stress.

Plus, a sound corporate travel policy will certify that every trip is cost-efficient. Using the best travel management software, like Hotel Engine, makes it easy for you to plan events and then hand over the reins to professionals.

Sign up for your free Hotel Engine account now!