Higher education travel programs deliver the most value when they address the unique needs of the institution. In other words, a “one size fits all” approach to travel management leaves value on the table. So, what’s the best way to “fine-tune” a travel program and meet everyone’s travel needs? Consult with your institution’s travel arrangers.
When you think about it, it’s the travel arrangers who book more travel than anyone else and are most familiar with the inner workings of the program. In addition, booking reservations is usually only one of their duties and they come from various departments across campus, representing hundreds of travelers. So, they really are the “eyes and ears” that can give you insights into your travel program that may otherwise go unnoticed.
It’s recommended to set up “round tables” with a group of travel arrangers that will openly provide feedback regarding what’s working and where they feel things can be improved. These can be sit-down, in-person meetings, quarterly or bi-annual conference calls, or simply having open lines of communication with your travel management company’s account manager overseeing the program.
These are just a few of the areas for which you should expect to receive valuable feedback:
- Online booking tool configuration/ease of use
- Payment methods
- Credit card reconciliation
- Traveler pain points
- Hotel credit card authorization forms
- Supplier issues
If you’ve experienced trouble with increasing program adoption, streamlining processes, or choosing the right supplier base, engaging your travel arrangers is a great way to begin to better understand your program’s challenges and find proper solutions.
If you’re ready to take your higher education travel program to the next level, contact Travel Leaders / Destinations Unlimited to get started.