Top 10 business travel challenges (and how to overcome them)

26 Apr 2024 · 11
Organizing business travel can be challenging. From booking flights to keeping budgets on track, a travel manager's to-do list is never done.
But optimizing your travel program is possible. Let's take a look at some of the key issues travelers, travel managers, and travel management companies (TMCs) are dealing with right now - and the solutions that TravelPerk can offer to help.

1. Cost Control and Budget Management

As a , trying to balance the cost-efficiency and quality of business trips can be one of the biggest challenges you face.
Searching through seemingly endless combinations of accommodation offerings, transport options, and other relevant business travel services can be tedious and overwhelming. Then, there's the added time spent calling or emailing travel suppliers and agents to negotiate deals and manage travel expenses to stay on budget. 
While ensuring cost optimization is necessary, it's equally important not to compromise on the travel experience. Corporate travelers must feel comfortable and refreshed to be on top of their game for pitches and client meetings. Booking a hotel room on a noisy street or an Airbnb in a poorly connected part of town is unlikely to be worth the savings.

The TravelPerk Solution

is a comprehensive business travel solution that  allows users to book flights, transportation, and accommodation on one user-friendly platform. 
In a few clicks, you can compare costs and features across an industry-leading inventory of providers to find the most cost-effective solution. Plus, you can be sure you get the best value for money as TravelPerk negotiates special rates and discounts with various travel suppliers.

2. Corporate Travel Policy Compliance

Ensuring that all staff trips adhere to your can be difficult, especially if your teams are booking across several websites. The policy may be long forgotten, lost in an email, or hidden away on the intranet.
Complying with policies can be even more complicated when you try to factor in the preferences of individual travelers. Some people might like to stay in hotels with on-site gyms or be based in a particular part of a city. Others may prefer to fly at a certain time of day or take public transport rather than hire a car. 
These requests may be reasonable, but trying to work them into itineraries can be time-consuming and cause the cost to fluctuate. On the flip side, some requests are over budget or not in line with your corporate travel policy
It can also be difficult for travelers to remember details like your company's preferred hotel chains and airlines, especially if you have recently updated these.
A travel policy controls all your travel arrangements and it affects employees in many different departments. Therefore you need to make sure that the guidelines are clear. Feel free to use our .

The TravelPerk Solution

The TravelPerk platform and automatically approves booking requests that comply. From hotel rate caps to airfare restrictions, the system uses your parameters to only offer corporate travelers options that fit.  
Automating your approvals is an effective tool against rogue requests, for example, if an employee tries to book business class flights. 
TravelPerk flags itineraries that exceed budgets for further inspection, increasing compliance rates to over 90% and offering a more streamlined booking process for everyone.

3. Travel assistance for when things don't go according to the plan

Travel disruptions are bound to happen at some point on business trips. Whether it's a train strike or a canceled flight, some things are just out of your control. TravelPerk's survey found that in 2023, 79% of corporate travelers across the UK, US, Germany, and Spain experienced some form of travel disruption. 
Recent global aviation data showed that over a 6 month period the US had the highest number of flight cancellations worldwide (124,883), followed by China (108,465), Indonesia (30,192), Canada (15,598), and the UK (113,89). 
These unseen events can create a lot of hassle, especially if the alternative options are inconvenient or lead to mounting costs from last-minute travel arrangements. 
So, what can you do when things go wrong?

The TravelPerk Solution

Things won't always go as planned, but a corporate travel management solution like TravelPerk lets you stay ahead of the curve. The user-friendly platform flags disruptions to you and your travelers so you can organize any amendments ASAP. 
Plus, there is no more hanging around on hold. Business travelers can change their own travel bookings in the app or access from dedicated travel experts.
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4. Duty of Care to travelers

Ensuring traveler safety is no small feat. 
Travel managers must complete many tasks, from setting company expectations and analyzing hazards to tracking employees and monitoring changes to security on the ground.  
A comprehensive travel policy can help set guidelines for safety concerns like alcohol consumption while employees are on the road. But these advisories and risk assessments must be clear. Feel free to use our for guidance.

The TravelPerk Solution

Offered in partnership with International SOS, TravelPerk users are supported by a . Employers and travel managers can use TravelCare to weigh each trip's specific hazards and receive alerts if the situation changes.
The solution also removes any doubts, providing details of the restrictions and regulations travelers will face during their trip. Travel Managers can enjoy elevated peace of mind with in-depth trip reporting, real-time employee tracking, and resources in times of emergency.

5. VAT hurdles

Claiming back VAT on business trips has always been a tricky process for business travelers and travel managers, with many hurdles to overcome.
First, you have to file your expense report in the country where you are based, and the claim is then passed on to the country where the travel expenses were incurred; this process can take several weeks and is subject to the different conditions and VAT rates in each country. 
There are also several  additional requirements to bear in mind (for example the refund period must be between three months and a year). Finally, there arepotential pitfalls: for example, if you lose the original copy of an invoice, it may invalidate your entire claim.
Without the right expertise and so much already on your plate, supporting finance teams with this task can be hard. But there are tools that can help.

The TravelPerk Solution

TravelPerk's VAT Reclaim Service can help streamline the process. VAT Reclaim obtains invoices from travel providers on your behalf and ensures they are VAT-compliant, creating a VAT-friendly inventory of services for your itinerary. 
The solution also for instant insights. Estimate how much you will save, and keep this in mind when analyzing your organization's travel spend. Users can also access a team of expert accountants for further advice. Problem solved!

6. Curbing carbon emissions

As the world pushes to reach the environmental goals laid down in the Paris Agreement, business travel has a key role to play.Traveling with work has always carried a large carbon footprint. 
Employees  often have to travel long distances and use carbon-inefficient forms of transport, notably planes. Corporate travelers are also usually on the move at rush hour, using routes prone to gridlock.
But, organizations  have the opportunity to make a major difference to the world by creating greener corporate travel policies. A shift to a more eco-friendly approach can tap into the spirit of the modern  workforce. 
According to studies carried out in the UK in 2020, over three-quarters of employees now consider a company’s green credentials when considering a new role. By upgrading their sustainability efforts, companies can help the planet and attract top talent. 
For , however, this presents  a significant challenge. When trying to , it can be difficult to know where to start, especially if you don't have access to accurate data.

The TravelPerk Solution

provides access to real-time tracking, enabling users to see exactly how much carbon their business trips are producing.
The easy-to-use system utilizes this carbon tracking data in the booking process so that travelers can easily opt for greener options. A comprehensive sustainability solution, GreenPerk users can offset 100% of their emissions by supporting VERRA-certified carbon-busting projects.

7. Technological Integration

There is an ever-growing list of tech solutions for corporate travel bookings, expense reporting and reimbursements, HR, and managing traveler safety. Trying to stay up-to-date with the latest offerings and implement multiple systems can be confusing and time-consuming.
Juggling multiple tools can be difficult enough for travel managers to stay across. But the bigger problem is that this approach makes it even more likely that staff will not have time or will forget to input information into different platforms. 
The result: You can end up feeling like your tech solutions are taking up more time than they save, and you're not fully utilizing their functionality.

The TravelPerk Solution

TravelPerk lets you easily integrate your existing tech stack into to offer users a seamless and simplified experience. For example, you can say goodbye to approval emails going AWOL. 
Integrated API automatically sends business trip summaries to , letting users instantly approve or decline them and snap up the best price. Thanks to integrated partners, the platform covers the full range of business travel management tasks, including security, sustainability, and finance, to offer a comprehensive solution for corporate travelers.

8. Travel Data and Analytics

As a travel manager, you always look for ways to improve the efficiency of your travel program. By collecting, analyzing, and leveraging travel data, you can make informed decisions to optimize your strategy, increase cost-effectiveness, and support sustainable travel goals. 
But this can be easier said than done. Without the right processes and tools, you can end up with piles of separate invoices, complicated reimbursement requests, and tracking travel expenses, which will take a while to gather and compare meaningfully. 
Thankfully, there are ways to overcome these challenges and turn your travel data into opportunities for your company.

The TravelPerk Solution

Convenient for budgeting on the go without the worry of lost receipts. Users can platform. The solution integrates with leading expense platforms like , , and and sends notifications if an employee is going over budget.
These live insights can help travel managers and finance teams nip issues in the bud. Another bonus. After a trip, TravelPerk collates all the travel costs into one easy-to-read invoice.

9. Allowing employees some autonomy

When employees travel for work, they sacrifice time away from loved ones and the hobbies and interests that they enjoy. The last thing workers want is to feel micromanaged or babysat when it comes to their business trips.
As an organization, one way to ensure business travelers remain engaged is to offer them more autonomy over their travel arrangements. Whether it's flying after dropping their kids at school or choosing a hotel with a gym, these factors can improve their travel experience and overall happiness with their role. 
But how can travel managers ensure freedom doesn't equal a free-for-all? 

The TravelPerk Solution

As we have seen, TravelPerk enables travel managers to integrate company travel policies into the booking process. With these parameters in place, the platform automatically offers business travelers flights, hotels, and transportation that comply with your travel program. 
Any compliant trips are automatically green-lit, saving employees time chasing management to secure their first choices and the best price for their business trip. Meanwhile, any elements outside your travel policy are flagged to avoid nasty travel spending surprises. 

10. Traveler Satisfaction and Experience

As a travel manager, your employees' satisfaction on business trips is a goal that shouldn't be underestimated. A found that 79% of North American business travelers shared that their business trip experiences significantly influence their overall job contentment.
So, with employee engagement and retention at stake, how can you boost traveler satisfaction? Ensuring a great travel experience starts from the booking process until post-trip reporting. Crafting seamless processes for every stage gives corporate travelers the peace of mind to focus on important business meetings.

The TravelPerk Solution

Encountered issues on the road? TravelPerk travelers can receive round-the-clock assistance and enjoy peace of mind thanks to real-time security notifications. Need to make a change? enables you to cancel and get a refund with a few clicks. No questions asked.
From gifting travelers the autonomy to book their trips to automating time-draining manual tasks, TravelPerk offers end-to-end corporate travel solutions, whether you're a large enterprise or SMB. 
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