Making travel arrangements for your boss can be tricky. You will need to know exactly what kind of trip he or she is planning and you will need to gather as much information about his or her travel preferences as possible. The best approach is to provide your boss with a variety of options and to make reservations only when you’re sure your boss will be happy with the plans.
Get all important details about the trip from your boss. You will need to know how long the trip will last for, where he or she will need to travel to, with whom he or she will be meeting and when.
Be aware of special requirements and bear in mind the focus of the trip. The trip might benefit from a leisure itinerary, to help with negotiations, or it might be more important to schedule back-to-back meetings each day.
Confirm all personal details and travel preferences. Get your boss’ passport number, full name, full address, contact telephone number, email address, flight preferences (including flight meals and flight class) and be sure to find out whether he or she has a frequent flyer number.
Organise various options
Deal directly with travel agents. Find a number of reliable travel agents who will be able to hold on to at least three travel options for you for at least 24 hours. Your boss can then choose his or her preferred travel schedule from the three on offer.
Focus on accommodation ideas. Make a number of enquiries when it comes to accommodation and select the three best options from what you find. This strategy again allows your boss to choose his or her preferred option.
Cover both business requirements and leisure ideas. When devising itineraries for the trip, present your boss with one idea that focuses entirely on business and another that combines business with pleasure.
Confirm and reserve
Check with your boss that all aspects of the trip have been accounted for. Verify all personal details for booking purposes. Ask your boss to sign off the itineraries selected.
Make the appropriate reservations. Retain all receipts and confirmation correspondence. Start putting a folder together of all documentation your boss will need when she makes the trip.
Get direct numbers you can use in the event of an emergency. These contacts should be numbers you can use in case your boss needs to make last minute changes, or if she reports to you with a problem she is experiencing, or if entire bookings must be cancelled. File these numbers in one secure folder that you can access while your boss is away.
Prepare a travel folder
Place all flight details, hotel information and dinner reservations in one folder. Make a copy. Keep one copy for yourself and give one copy to your boss.
Include a detailed itinerary of the entire trip on one side of A4 at the beginning of the folder too. This itinerary can include important information about the focus of each meeting scheduled during the trip as well as meeting times and locations.
Provide your boss with an emergency contact number so that she can either reach you or a designated party at any time during the trip. It is essential that your boss feels supported whilst travelling and that she can rely on you to deal with any problem which may arise, day or night.
Make sure your boss has access to money. It’s a good idea to give your boss both cash and credit cards to use whilst away. In the case of a real emergency, have a back-up plan in place. Make sure you know how to wire transfer to your boss’ hotel or send money via a service such as Western Union before your boss departs. All possible issues with money and currency should be accounted for well in advance.
Pay close attention to the type of trip your boss plans to make. It might be necessary to include leisure activities on the itinerary if your boss is hoping to make negotiations with clients. On other trips, it might be more important for your boss to be able to travel and return as quickly as possible.
Never book anything without first getting complete authorisation from your boss.