Google 'business travel agency near me' and you will be presented with thousands of options. However, those featured high up in the search engine rankings as 'corporate travel agencies near me' doesn't mean that they offer the right travel services for your business travel management needs. The question is, how do you choose the right one?
Booking corporate travel with a business travel agency near me is the best option, right?
You might be tempted to choose a local, brick-and-mortar business travel agency because of their proximity to your location and access to travel consultants. However, booking and managing business trips has evolved beyond relying on physical travel agencies and travel agents.
Online platforms, like TravelPerk, have revolutionized business travel management, with corporate travel companies all over the world now accessible right where you sit at the click of a button. Booking and managing corporate travel is easier than ever before. The internet and the development of business travel apps have given the corporate travel industry an upgrade.
Travel managers and travelers alike now have access to a greater choice of business travel agencies, that offer more travel options at a lower cost and with round-the-clock support. Modern business travel agencies work beyond the traditional 9 - 5 hours associated with brick-and-mortar travel providers to give corporate travelers a solution while they are on the go.
With this in mind, let's take a closer look at the attributes that modern business travel agencies bring:
#1 - Ease of booking and route choices
Compared to traditional travel management companies (TMCs), modern agencies improve the business travel booking experience. Brick-and-mortar travel agencies tend to book flights or trains, arrange accommodation, sort out car hire, and other aspects of business travel on your behalf. However, this has limitations - usually fewer travel options, limited route choices, and time-consuming booking processes.
The time spent arranging business travel with a brick-and-mortar agency can be extensive because every stage of travel, accommodation, and other aspects of a business trip have to be booked separately.
Then there's all the paperwork that you have to deal with that comes in via email, whether it's booking confirmations, invoices from multiple providers, or itineraries, which then have to be organized and ready for a trip. These tasks are greater if you are booking group travel.
With TravelPerk, the booking process for all aspects of your business travel is quicker, more efficient, and can be done all in one place with easy online booking tools. Plus, you will have access to a wider range of flights and trains. If you need to book long-haul travel, you can plan the shortest route if you need to catch connecting flights or trains.
#2 - Cost-effectiveness
Traditional TMCs tend to work with preferred providers. As such, they will often recommend these providers because it guarantees them a higher commission. However, this is not necessarily the most cost-effective solution for your company or those traveling to represent your organization, especially when you want to keep travel costs down.
With fewer options, brick-and-mortar business travel agencies near you don't always give you the best rates or enable you to take advantage of exclusive travel offers. A modern platform gives you access to a wider range of flights and accommodation options to choose from. Plus, you can find better deals or exclusive offers on airfares or rail travel, hotels or Airbnbs, and car rental.
TravelPerk equips you to gather real-time travel data to monitor spend and manage business travel expenses to ensure that everything stays within budget and adheres to your corporate travel policy. Such oversight enables you to create reports on business travel, and monitor the return on investment from trips made.
#3 - Travel policy compliance
Correspondence with traditional business travel management companies is often an email or a phone call. This means that there is no guarantee that travel arrangements 100% comply with your corporate travel program. If employees are making their own arrangements, can you be sure that they are keeping within the budgets outlined in your policy?
If your business travel policy states that all business travel bookings require approval, are your employees seeking the necessary permissions before confirming their trip? As a travel manager, arrangements made by email or phone that you are unaware of can result in a breach of policy, and perhaps a risk management oversight.
#4 - Fast, 24-7 human support
Brick-and-mortar business travel management companies near you will likely have restricted working hours. This means that outside of office hours, waiting times for a response can be longer. In a travel emergency, this is far from ideal. Even those who redirect calls to an out-of-hours call center are a bit hit-and-miss because the person on the other end of the phone is probably just a third-party call handler.
A modern corporate travel management company can offer round-the-clock support on multiple fronts, whether it's through an in-app chat feature, email, or over the phone. This ensures that business travelers are never left stranded when they need support the most.
Additionally, travelers can receive alerts with updates on issues affecting their travel plans and talk to travel experts about making alternative arrangements, fast.
#5 - Complete transparency
Booking business trips with a brick-and-mortar corporate travel agency can be subject to a range of additional costs and even hidden fees. There's very little flexibility if you need to cancel or alter your travel arrangements because the chances are you will be charged for every change you want to make. If you sign a contract with a traditional TMC, there's very little you can do about these extra charges.
A modern business travel management company gives you greater freedom, flexibility, and control over travel arrangements and clarity over travel spend. The terms and conditions of service tend to be a lot less rigid and you don't have to worry about paying fees for making changes to your travel plans or refunds being withheld if you have to cancel a business trip.
Why choose TravelPerk?
TravelPerk is designed specifically to support corporate travel management and business travelers, which means that we are better equipped to serve your company's travel needs than physical TMCs. Some of the features of TravelPerk include:
- FlexiPerk, which gives you the most flexible business travel solution ever. You can book any flight, hotel, car, or train at any rate, and cancel at any time. No questions asked. Any part of a business trip can quickly be refunded, whether it's a flight, hotel, train, or car rental to give you the best travel management experience possible.
- VAT recovery, helping you to avoid long and complicated VAT recovery processes and saving you up to 20% of your annual travel budget.
- GreenPerk, which equips you to drive down emissions with data, set travel emissions targets and work with carbon compensation solutions.
See how TravelPerk makes business travel stress free
Make business travel simpler. Forever.
See our platform in action. Trusted by thousands of companies worldwide, TravelPerk makes business travel simpler to manage with more flexibility, full control of spending with easy reporting, and options to offset your carbon footprint.
Find hundreds of resources on all things business travel, from tips on traveling more sustainably, to advice on setting up a business travel policy, and managing your expenses. Our latest e-books and blog posts have you covered.
Never miss another update. Stay in touch with us on social for the latest product releases, upcoming events, and articles fresh off the press.