Planning A Business Trip On A Budget During Covid

Businesses of all sorts and kinds have to come up with projections of certain figures for a relevant period of time which are cumulatively referred to as a budget. Firms need to come up with different budgets for their different operating activities. It helps managers have better control. However, one of the most trickiest budgets to plan for any employee would surely have to include the travelling budget for corporate trips.

We have seen that over the past few months the domestic border re-openings continue to be debated and international re-openings are still quite limited. During these times the first argument is whether or not to put all the effort into planning a business trip at all. The need for a physical trip needs to be justified to send a clear message among employees as to why a zoom conference wouldn’t have sufficed.

Although many businesses have benefited from a significant drop in travel expenses by replacing visits with video calls, most are keen to resume face-to-face meetings with prospects and existing customers. People prefer to do their work in their own traditional ways. While most of us have been forced to adapt ourselves with inconveniences resulting from the pandemic, the way we do things now may be the new normal but it might not always come naturally to us. Given the option most people do want to go back to their original travelling days where business trips weren’t joining a random link on your laptop.

It is good practice to check how much of your business' previous travel budget is allocated to sales, conventions and meetings, or the management of crisis to help you make a more knowledgeable decision, while next year you are not guaranteed to return to a normal year for your employees to travel. This kind of customized analysis and reporting functionality is provided by reputable travel management companies.

Setting up proper policies should be a priority if you do not have a travel policy. Dust it off to review if you do. A good travel policy should not be designed to put employees in rigid rules, but should help prepare them for what is unpredictable by providing important guidelines for behavior to prevent confusion and disproportion. The travel policy guide for corporate travelers is an excellent starting point. Work with your company to verify that airlines, hotel providers and ground transportation are the best deal possible.

Are you sending people to conferences, trade shows, training sessions or other major events each year? Please ensure that every department asks about the probability of these events in 2021. You can budget for them and factor in the cancelation process if they are canceled.

In 2021 it is a smart step to build the contingency budget if borders open faster than expected, because traveling is in uncertainties. It should however be remembered that employees should avoid overspending while travelling, so that contingency shouldn’t have to be applied.

When it comes to budgeting, you need to be proactive, but also reactive. Plan as much as you can and lean on your travel management company for advice for when the travel landscape starts to shift.