A travel itinerary is one of the most important aspect of a journey, particularly in a business trip. It includes everything needed to make the trip complete, and includes things such as reservations, destinations, flight, train and taxi bookings, seat bookings to meeting schedules.
Creating a travel itinerary may sound like a lot of drudgery, which is not just a statement. While planning for a business trip, managing itineraries becomes too cumbersome and has to be done with laser focus. Travel managers who have to check and recheck schedules to accommodate sudden changes will vouch for this statement. Short trips for work may be free of major headaches, but longer trips are often viewed with a sense of bewilderment.
A detailed itinerary view is also very important, as missing out on one link in the chain may mean that the whole chain is disrupted. An itinerary is a map or blueprint of the entire trip. In a survey held recently by Catalyca, 73% of business travelers said that an integrated view of their itinerary is quite important for a successful trip. After all, a business trip is more about “getting the work done” than the journey alone.
The process of planning itineraries is taxing. But for the business traveler, it is more important to have an integrated view of the planned routes and meeting schedules in real time so that nothing important is missed out or delayed. New generation corporate Travel management systems can map out business trips as per routes and stops indicated. The outcome is then viewed by the user as needed. A smart travel management system/ tool with a smart itinerary builder and options to share plans with team members would be a probable answer.
Travel Itinerary & Updates
An easy view of the itinerary helps users to be on the alert and be proactive during the trip. Any changes/ additions such as revisions to flights or hotel reservations can be made to reflect in real-time on the itinerary view. When the user self-books, the changes can be reflected on the back-end systems as well, empowering all stakeholders. Travel managers will have a comprehensive view of the plan and changes, to be in control of the budgets.
Adding Trips/ Events
A simple add trip option can make it possible for the user to initiate a change in the itinerary. Since the trip schedule consists of different areas including reservations, destinations and events, it might be prudent for the user to have them viewed not only in connection with each other but also independently for better insight into the entire trip. Any change in one header of the itinerary can modify the entire trip, as time allotment can differ.
Itinerary management – apps vs travel management systems
A way in which travel itineraries can be included in the user view is to use independent apps, but this becomes difficult with several apps to be opened for different services. A solution might be to integrate such apps to the travel management system for quick access. A more practical method will be to have an itinerary management feature within the system (accessed by mobile) that allows for the changes to reflect in the end-to-end trip plan, making it possible for quick views and report generation.
A user-friendly travel management system with options to include itinerary changes can have the below features.
- Build itineraries in real-time as per updates (view in real-time)
- Option to build itineraries directly
- Share with team
- Edit existing itineraries or add new ones
- View itineraries under segments headers such as reservations/ events
- Create trip conditions in compliance with travel policy
- Download itineraries as reports
- Mobile-friendly view
Corporate travel is being fast-forwarded the world over by new technologies and trends, this behaviour is fueled by the millennials. A new generation travel booking system facilitates the growth of organizations by allowing companies to focus on their core business and their staff to focus on accomplishing their tasks.