As we move closer to 2019, Brexit looms on the horizon with its implications for many areas of business still unknown. Travel managers face the daunting task of adopting a comprehensive travel management solution that can reassure business travelers in the wake of this ongoing, ambiguous situation.

Britain’s decision to leave the EU in June 2016 caused alarm for many business travelers across Europe worried about their future, a worry that still persists two years on. A recent survey of 501 UK-based business travelers, carried out by business consortium the DCC, found that more than a third are apprehensive about Brexit’s impact on routine business travel. Before any tangible changes have taken place, there’s no doubt Brexit has had a massive effect on business in the UK and across Europe.

But what will this mean for corporate travel in 2019? The last few years have seen an evolution in the industry with the need to offer more flexible solutions that work for travelers and businesses alike. Brexit should bolster this need even more – inventive methods, original concepts and inspired leadership are sure to play a part in keeping business travelers happy.

With a clear-cut and flexible approach, travel managers should be able to more easily navigate through a potentially difficult time. We’ve picked out the five key elements travel managers should consider when planning for post-Brexit, corporate travel to ensure the transition process is as smooth as possible for all involved.

1. Listen to the concerns of your travelers

With the actual consequences of Brexit still up in the air, it’s not surprising that the majority of business travelers are anxious to know where they stand. Issues such as passport regulations, the open skies agreement, mobile free-roaming and medical insurance are at the forefront of their minds. It’s vital that travel managers first listen to their teams and take their concerns on board when shaping their long term strategy. Host a planning session to hear out road warriors’ concerns and try to tackle them one by one. You’ll then be able to find solutions and/or implement flexibility around these raised concerns within your company travel policy.

2. Plan for contingencies

Dear or no deal? Nobody seems to know and clarity seems further away than ever. While politicians are getting bogged down in maneuvering and creating technicalities, travel management strategies remain in limbo. It’s essential that travel managers understand the variables and keep their finger on the pulse. Contingency plans will be invaluable should things such as freedom of movement and flight costs be dramatically affected.

Dear or no deal? Nobody seems to know and clarity seems further away than ever. While politicians are getting bogged down in maneuvering and creating technicalities, travel management strategies remain in limbo. It’s essential that travel managers understand the variables and keep their finger on the pulse. Contingency plans will be invaluable should things such as freedom of movement and flight costs be dramatically affected.

This means strategies will need to be streamlined and simplified, enabling priorities to be set and focus shifted where needed. Brexit may well be a mess but your corporate travel policy doesn’t have to be.

3. Give your traveling employees what they need to be worry-free

Business travelers want comfort and convenience on the road. Comfy quarters in a perfectly-placed hotel used to be the ideal. However, hotels throughout Europe have seen a dramatic price rise since the Brexit vote, with some shooting up as much as 51%. Increased demand and an unstable pound have led to soaring costs – a definite concern for travel managers and CFOs. Creative thinking is needed.

This is where alternative accommodation for business travel comes in. The emerging benefits of accommodation platforms such as Airbnb are clearly evident and, in the near future, are likely to come into their own in the corporate travel industry. Up to 40% cheaper than hotels, with diversity of locations, flexible check-in times and an increasing focus on providing added value for business travelers, Airbnb and other platforms could be the perfect post-Brexit solution for business travel accommodation.

4. Plan for sky-high flight prices

Aside from changes to exchange rates and market shifts, the cost of air travel hinges on whether the UK-Europe ‘open skies’ agreement remains. Since 1997, EU airlines have enjoyed the freedom to fly between any two points in Europe. This has given budget airlines the chance to offer reduced rates and more flights. If this agreement is revoked, air prices will soar.

Should this happen, a stable travel management solution with a large inventory that provides access to numerous flight and train options, as well as support on the go, will be crucial. Flexibility is also key, given the unpredictable nature of Brexit and its potential impact on the financial world for the foreseeable future.

5. Embrace the change

Is Brexit all doom and gloom? Despite justified concerns, there’s potential for positive change. The reframing of the business landscape could create an opportunity to ditch older, less flexible travel management solutions, like travel agents, and approach company travel policy from a fresh perspective.

With the complexity of Brexit being such a potential headache for travel managers, simplicity is more important than ever. Leveraging new technologies and innovative platforms will change the way companies do business. For travel managers, engaging with ultra-modern corporate travel solutions and services that provide added value opens up possibilities to improve existing systems and revamp inflexible travel policies.

For all its potential pitfalls, Brexit could end up pushing companies to embrace change. In doing so, the result may well reduce many of the fears faced by business travelers, and make the job of travel managers that much easier, leaving an opportunity for everyone involved in the corporate travel process to capitalize on a new found freedom.