The ultimate business travel checklist for executive assistants
Planning your boss’s business travel can be overwhelming, especially when you're the one behind the scenes making it all happen. As an executive assistant, the success of each trip falls partly on your shoulders.
But don’t worry, we've got your back. Here’s everything that should be on your checklist when planning travel for your boss (or other travelers on your team):
1. Know what your boss prefers
Before you get to booking, get a feel for your executive's travel style. Are they a window seat lover? Do they collect hotel loyalty points? Are they comfortable in economy class or do they usually sit right up front? Knowing their preferences from the start streamlines the booking process and ensures a happy traveler.
If you're keeping track of this information manually, working with a travel management company can help you create profiles to save this information once and automatically apply any time you’re booking travel for your team members. You can easily keep track of preferences, loyalty program numbers, and travel details, which will save you time and headaches.
2. Create an easy-to-read itinerary
Nobody likes a messy itinerary. Use a template that covers flights, hotel reservations, meeting schedules, and any after-hours escapades. A clean, organized itinerary is the ticket to a stress-free journey, and ensures the traveler can find the information they need quickly.
There are loads of apps out there that help you pull all of the trip components into one place. And if you’ve already got a TMC you work with, you’ll be able to access a detailed itinerary that covers all of the travel elements you book with them. On top of that, some even offer a mobile app so your boss can easily access their itinerary, and other features like Live Chat.
3. Know who to call in an emergency
When your boss is traveling, they may run into a situation where they need assistance with cancelations, delays, or other bumps in the road. It can help to give them a card with the phone numbers and contact info of your dedicated travel consultant, emergency after-hours support, or instructions on how to access Live Chat. This will save them from worrying about time-zones or waking you up in the middle of the night.
4. Don't forget travel insurance
Unexpected hiccups happen. Whether it's a missed flight or a sudden illness, travel insurance is your safety net. Make sure you know the details of your company travel insurance policy and have the info readily available for your boss to find. It might seem like an extra step, but when the unexpected occurs, you'll be glad you took it.
5. The document dance: Visa, passport, repeat
Gather those crucial travel document details like a seasoned pro. Make sure traveler passports are up-to-date, visas are squared away and have digital and physical copies on file. A pro travel booker is always prepared.
And if there are rules or travel advisories that you’re unsure of, your dedicated travel consultant can help you identify the destinations that require additional documentation to simplify your life.
6. Nail down the perfect car rental
If wheels are needed in destination, sort out the car rental puzzle in advance. Confirm their preferences and make sure that they're signed up for any programs that allow them to glide smoothly from the airport to the driver’s seat.
Did you know that with a digital travel platform like Melon, you can book everything you need in one place? Book a demo to see how it works!
7. Know your ground transportation options
There are times a car rental will be out of the question. Coordinating local ground transportation might feel like it requires military precision. Whether you’re booking airport pickups or black car in-city travel, you’ll want to make sure your executive's journey is smooth and stress-free.
Not sure where to start? Consider looking into Uber for Business, or reach out to your dedicated travel consultant for help booking other private cars and charters.
8. Don't forget business cards
Business cards may seem old-fashioned, but they're still an important tool when networking or attending events. Ensure your executive has a stack packed with them for their trip.
9. Roll with the changes
Even the best-laid plans can go awry if there are disruptions once a traveler hits the road. And while those late-night calls can be a pain, keeping all the information you need easily accessible makes all the difference. Make sure your boss has important contact information on hand and that you also have it should they need to reach you when you’re away from your desk.
BONUS: Here’s a simple checklist to make sure you’ve got everything ready:
- Flights booked
- Accommodation/hotel booked
- Car rental or local transportation booked
- Travel itinerary
- Travel documentation up to date: VISAs, passports, additional documents
- Google maps printed or app on phone
- Travel management app (Melon Mobile App)
- Loyalty or reward memberships added to bookings
- Contacts communicated for any last-minute changes or emergencies
Event or meeting details:
- Locations outlined for planned meetings or events
- Packing list with notes on dress code for events or destination specific requirements
- Business cards
- Recommendations for any great restaurants in the area