A top notch itinerary is essential for a successful business trip. Follow these steps to plan one for your boss.
- Skill level:
Create a Microsoft Word document or any other word processing document for your trip itinerary. A typed version is far superior because no communication will be lost between you or your boss due to sloppy handwriting.
Start the trip itinerary with a short title centered at the top of the page. Pick a title that indicates exactly who is traveling, their specific destination, and the purpose for the trip. For example, if your boss's name is John and he is going to Atlanta for a two-day conference, title the itinerary "John To Atlanta Conference," or even drop the name, leaving you with "Atlanta Conference". Underneath this title, place the dates of the trip.
Divide the sections of the itinerary by day. List the details of each day underneath bold, underlined section titles that state the day of the week and the official date. For example, "Tuesday, May 3rd, 2007".
Organize each day by start times. If your boss has breakfast at 8 a.m., a meeting at 10 a.m., and lunch at noon, each event should be listed by the time at which it starts. For example, if the above events were all occurring on May 3rd, you would horizontally place each start time under the "Tuesday, May 3rd" section of the itinerary. If your boss does not have any activities during a certain time of day, it is a good idea to add "No scheduled evening activities" to the trip itinerary so they know when they have free time.
Align all of your events and space them out equally for an easy-to-view travel itinerary. If you are using a word processor, it is a good idea to "left align" all of your section titles and event start times. After you enter a start time, hit the "Tab" button and type in a brief description of the event. Include important details.
Proofread. Make sure you have included every important detail and check each for accuracy. If your boss is flying and has a layover, make sure you include the amount of time in between flights. Similarly, if they are staying in a hotel, make sure you have included the address, phone number, email, cost, and parking information. If they are meeting a client or a third party, include as much info as you can. Details are key when creating a successful travel itinerary!
Confirm travel plans. The day before your boss leaves, call or email the airlines, hotels, tour guides, clients and car rental companies to ensure that everything is in place. If your boss gets to the airport and discovers his flight has changed from Delta to another carrier, you both are going to look foolish!
Print out the itinerary and all reservation confirmations. Create a trip folder. Mark the paperwork clearly so it is easy to understand, easy to find, and easy to reference.
Tips and warnings
- Include a weather forecast for your boss. Not only is this beneficial when they pack, but it will prepare them for inclement weather in the middle of a trip.
- Expect you boss to call you for further details. If she has dinner with a client and you have listed the information about the restaurant on the travel itinerary, that's wonderful. Unfortunately, if you did not include a map to the restaurant, you will likely receive a phone call. Keep a back-up copy of the itinerary close by while your boss is traveling.