After the pandemic hit in 2020, business travel expenses shrunk by 52% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Now that business travel is back on the upswing heading into 2023, corporate travelers expect more out of their travel experiences — more convenience, fewer headaches, and more efficient ways to stay organized in transit.
Fortunately, business travel technology continues to improve business travel safety, convenience, and costs. Specifically, mobile apps such as Google Maps, CityMapper, and Expensify help business travelers plan and navigate their business trips.
Business Travel Technology
Other apps, such as TripIt or Apple Wallet, ease the burden of carrying luggage and help travelers consolidate travel documents. Plus, contactless hotel check-ins reduce the number of surfaces touched by other people, which is especially important in light of recent events.
By taking advantage of today’s tech tools, travelers and companies alike can enhance the business travel experience in many ways.
The Ultimate Travel Experience
As the travel industry continues to recover from the pandemic, a perfect travel day seems somewhat elusive. However, we can probably all agree that first-class seating, high-speed internet, safety, and dietary accommodations make for a positive travel experience.
It’s important to understand that business travel is a perk that not everyone is jazzed about; these experiences can make or break your retention rate. For example, as much as 62% of UK-based business travelers were unhappy with their business travel expectations, and 28% admitted they would quit if the pace continued. In this context, relying on online travel technology is essential to keep your traveling employers as happy as possible.
Strategies to Simplify Business Travel
Business leaders are changing how their companies plan business travel by implementing new protocols involving online travel tools. Using these tools will enable company executives to travel without unnecessary stress.
While there may be no such thing as the perfect business travel experience, there are tech tools that can make work travel easier and better. Here are a few ways business leaders can improve the travel experience:
1. Employ online travel technology for batch bookings.
Gone are the days of forcing staff to find their own flights and book accommodations with their own credit cards (with the company providing reimbursements upon return). Your HR executive or hired travel agent can easily make plans with technology that streamlines booking, travel accommodations, and itineraries.
Apps like Airbnb for Work can be linked to your company profile and will make it easier for your finance team to get all the information they need. If you decide to hire a travel agent, many have 24/7 help centers available for urgent travel requests, and some even partner with currency exchange services to help you navigate that as well. Whether it’s your internal HR team or an outsourced agent, travel planning technology is worth the investment.
2. Consider tech that saves time and money.
One of the biggest headaches of business travel involves having destination-specific currency for international travel. However, you can use tools to deliver destination-specific currency to the office before travel so that your employees don’t have to stand in line at airport kiosks or pay fees at ATMs — which will ultimately save your company money as well.
Some companies even offer a complimentary return of cash afterward, complete with reusable envelopes and no unnecessary bank trips. Help your employees save business time to maximize their trips (and maybe even have time for leisure!).
3. Utilize tech that prioritizes safety.
Safe travel should always be a priority, especially when it comes to booking transfers and car services in large cities with busy airports and long wait times. To save money on executive car services and find secure vehicles, utilize ride-hailing services instead of private town cars. Uber, for example, has a “black car” option that ensures executives have access to professional drivers with newer luxury vehicles.
Your team can also use various safety apps, such as Sitata Travel Safe, to track safety hazards across the globe. In addition, the app can alert your team to natural disasters, disease outbreaks, violence, and more.
Make It Easy
Personally, taking care of safety on the front end has given me an overwhelming sense of peace — especially traveling to countries for the first time when language and customs already create a barrier.
With business travel making a comeback, now is the time to innovate. With the right business travel technology, the business travel experience can be safer and easier for you and your team members. Make the most of business travel with the right tools so your team members can feel happy and safe knowing they are being taken care of.