425 and counting
GetYourGuide is a platform where you can book one-of-a-kind guides and excursions anywhere in the world. Whether travelers are seeking a small, intimate tour of the best street food in Rome or a bus ride through celebrity neighborhoods in Los Angeles, GetYourGuide has it all.
The company has recently doubled their transaction volume, their excursion offerings, and their employee size. As they’ve grown, this travel-happy team has committed to doing business travel the modern way.
TravelPerk saved me a lot of time booking trips compared to working with a travel agent. I would always do a lot of searching on the internet before talking to the agency because I knew how to find the best price. To be required to call them to book was a waste of time.
When current office team lead Jolien Osborn joined GetYourGuide, the team was already using TravelPerk as their corporate travel booking and management solution, but they hadn’t yet utilized all of the features on offer, namely the ability for travelers to self-book.
The administrative team was booking all of the trips for sales, HR and other departments. In addition to office management, facilities management, vendor management, operations support, and event management, the task of booking business travel for the team was becoming overwhelming.
“We’re the glue that keeps everything together. Because we’re office managers and we have a million other things to do, by the time we finally got around to satisfying a travel request, the hotel was often booked,” says Osborn. “Or people wouldn’t provide enough detail with their booking request email. Then there would be a lot of back and forth and pretty soon we’ve wasted three days.”
Now with 425 employees in 12 offices, GetYourGuide had just half the amount of employees when Osborn joined as office team lead. She was relieved that the TravelPerk platform was already in effect. “TravelPerk saved me a lot of time booking trips compared to what I had done at previous companies, which was working with a travel agent,” she says. “I would always do a lot of searching on the internet before talking to the agency because I knew how to find the best price. To always be required to call them to book was a waste of time.”
Even with the TravelPerk booking and management platform in place, Osborn knew they had to do something differently. The team was growing so quickly. Having the administrators book travel was wasting time for everyone.
“Travelers were always asking for us their flight details and it put a lot of pressure on us to be there for them 24/7 and we couldn’t do that,” says Osborn. “There was a general whisper around the company that people were wanting to take control of their travel and didn’t understand why that wasn’t happening.”
If it’s within policy, people book their own travel, and it gives them a sense of freedom. If it’s out of policy, the approval request goes to their line manager.
After learning the full capabilities of the TravelPerk platform, Osborn and others on the operations team decided that the self-booking feature was what their team deserved. Osborn first tested this process with the sales team, who travels often and was ready for the autonomy to quickly book their own trips.
She began by creating guidelines inside the platform. One of these is that if a flight is over 1000 euros, then they need to have it approved by their manager.
Travelers can initiate the booking process themselves on their mobile device or on their desktop. “If it’s within policy, people book their own travel, and it gives them a sense of freedom,” says Osborn. “If it’s out of policy, the approval request goes to their line manager, and this gives the line manager a detailed sense of why they need to spend more on that trip.”
In addition to saving administrative time, setting up these automatic guidelines has helped synthesize the entire travel program. “My admin team was booking things without guidelines and now we as a team can use the guidelines that I made for the sales team, so it’s a win-win,” says Osborn. “Whenever needed, my team can still create travel bookings along these same guidelines.”
Piloting self-booking with 50 teammates was successful, and Osborn is now rolling this out to the rest of the company. “Everyone at GetYourGuide is very self-sufficient. They try to be proactive and sort things out themselves,” says Osborn.
Osborn is now creating a series of guidelines that reflects the entire company’s needs. “We’re a global company, so we can’t have one policy,” she says. “We’ll have different policies for different countries.”
The travelers are enjoying their new found freedom and the ability to book whatever they want whenever they want, as long as it’s an approved trip within guidelines. “Our travelers are happy to have control over their own booking. They love that they’re not going to waste their own time or the office team’s time anymore,” Osborn says.
Our travelers are happy to have control over their own booking. They love that they’re not going to waste their own time or the office team’s time anymore.
Best of all, Osborn gets to behave like an architect and not a police officer, meaning she can strategize with finance and operations about what works for the entire company, and make changes as needed. Compare that with the need to micromanage travel day to day, and you’ll see why strategic proactivity wins.
One of the most immediate benefits her team has experienced is that they don’t have to be the middleman anymore. If a traveler misses a Sunday flight or can’t find their itinerary, they can reach out to TravelPerk support, instead of always going to the admin team.
We’re a travel company and we knew our people could handle their own travel,” says Osborn. “Having people book for themselves is important because it raises awareness on costs and gives them accountability on what they’re spending. It gives an idea of how complicated travel can be.
Allowing self-booking within policy and gaining access to 24/7 support are the best ways to cut down on the complexity for everyone involved.