Are you traveling for work soon? This guide will help you make sure you know your company's travel requirements before you go on your business trip. Always make sure to read your company’s travel policy. The HR travel policy for employees will state all the rules your company applies, and what is expected from you.
Are you in charge of organizing work-related travel within your company? This guide will help you make sure you provide your employees with enough information regarding their most common questions. Keep reading to find out which they are.
1. Which expenses are covered and which are not?
Being a business trip, your company should cover all the necessary travel expenses. However, it can be hard to figure out what is really a necessity and what not in each case. This is why it’s so important that you are aware of what is included exactly and what not before your trip begins.
To give you an idea, expenses which are normally covered include airfare, car rental, parking, hotel room reservations, Wi-Fi, and meals. Upgrades, baggage fees, and other extras are normally not covered.
2. Can I make my own reservations?
Companies have different procedures for business travel bookings. Some companies give absolute freedom (and responsibility) to their employees. Others rely entirely on a business travel agency or a travel manager within the company. Today, it’s more and more common to use a corporate travel booking platform, such as TravelPerk.
If you would like to make your own bookings, always check your company’s corporate travel policy first. If you can’t find the answer, or if you’d like to request an exception, always ask the person in charge.
3. What documents and receipts should I keep?
This is one of the things you definitely need to know like the back of your hand when you travel for business. Why? First of all, because it will determine if you get a refund for what you spend or not. It also means you will have to pay extra attention every time you pay for something. These are some key questions to ask:
- What type of receipts will you need to request?
- Do receipts need to include your company’s details?
- What other requirements do receipts need to comply with? For example, meal-related receipts may need to specify the meal was for one person only.
Make sure you’re well informed and prepared before starting your trip. Ask any questions you may have beforehand. Sounds too complicated? Then it can be a good idea to take a checklist with you.
4. What is the procedure to request a reimbursement of travel expenses?
Once you’re back and have all the right receipts and documents with you, it’s time to request a refund. How? Again, this will depend on your company’s travel policy. Every corporate travel policy has a section that explains the reimbursement procedure.
In some cases, you will have to send all your documents to the person in charge. In other cases, it all goes through a specific platform. Make sure you understand where, how, and when to send your documents.
5. I have a question about the travel policy. Who can I contact?
It’s very normal that, at some point, you have questions about the travel policy. The policy itself should explain who you can contact in case of any questions. Is it not clear who you can ask? Then ask HR for the contact person in charge of business travel. You may want to ask your questions to your supervisor, but remember: the policy can be complex, and no one knows it better than the person who is directly responsible for it.
6. What should I do in case of an emergency?
Sometimes travel plans change. You may have to report a serious incident, a delay, a last-minute cancellation, or ask an important question regarding your reservation. In these cases, there should always be a person or company that you can contact 24/7. This is usually explained in your business travel policy. Make sure to keep this emergency contact at hand during your entire trip.
When you book your business trips with TravelPerk, you can contact our helpful Customer Care team for assistance whenever you need it—24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We offer a 15 second response time, and you’ll always get to speak with real humans, not bots.
7. How much can I spend on food?
You will need to pay for different meals during your business trip, so this is something you should check carefully beforehand. Your company will cover meal costs, but there’s usually a meal allowance amount (make sure you have a quick look at your company's meal reimbursement policy for employees). Check your company’s travel policy to confirm how much you can spend on food.
8. Can I extend my trip?
One of the perks of traveling for work is that you get to visit new places. Imagine you travel to New York. Once the job’s done, you would like to stay a few extra days to explore the city. Is this possible? Companies can have different approaches to this.
Most companies will allow you to stay longer. Typically, they will ask you to take care of any extra expenses deriving from this. In any case, always ask for approval from your supervisor and/or the person in charge of travel beforehand.
9. Can I book first class or a room upgrade?
If you would like to fly first class, get a room upgrade, or even a car upgrade, the first thing to do is check your business travel policy. Most companies don’t cover these costs. In case yours doesn’t but you would like to cover the difference, you can always ask.
10. Can my spouse travel with me?
Business travelers sometimes ask if they are allowed to travel with their spouses. This can be the case especially if it’s a long business trip, or if they would like to extend their trip for leisure. Some companies specify this in their travel policy. Usually, companies don’t cover the costs of spouses traveling with their employees on a business trip. If you checked the policy but can’t find the answer to this, then ask the person in charge.
Business travel involves a wide range of situations and travel experiences. It also involves a part of the company’s budget, which is why it needs to be correctly reported.
Business travel policies are available to all employees to read. It’s the employees’ responsibility to read them carefully before traveling. If you have doubts, find out who the travel manager in your company is and contact them to clarify your doubts.
Are you in charge of your company’s travel policy? Take a look at our travel policy template. Download it, customize it, and make business travel easier for your employees (and for you!).
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