DIY Business Travel | The Planner

South African companies are rapidly abandoning the DIY approach to corporate travel, realising that sending employees off into the “wild” without proper guidance is akin to sending them down Johannesburg’s notorious pothole-infested roads in a vintage Beetle. Recent reports indicate that over 50% of new clients previously booked travel themselves in a haphazard, “hope for the best” manner.

Navigating the pitfalls of unmanaged travel

Business travellers are often so focused on their work that they don’t have the time or expertise to vet travel suppliers properly and navigate the complexities of business travel. When companies manage travel independently, they often encounter numerous challenges and pitfalls.

Here are some of the biggest issues faced in DIY corporate travel and how partnering with a professional travel management company (TMC) helps avoid them.

The lost-in-translation hotel

Without proper vetting, what seems like a perfect accommodation online can turn out to be a major disappointment. The so-called “luxury boutique” could be a rundown establishment, or the “city centre” location might be far from ideal. This is where a TMC with global connections proves invaluable, as they have on-the-ground insights and ensure accommodations meet company standards for security, cleanliness, and amenities.

The missed connection mayhem

Unmanaged travel often results in booking tight connection times to save costs. However, flight delays can quickly turn these tight schedules into missed connections, leading to re-booking headaches, unplanned overnight stays, and unexpected expenses. Experienced travel managers book sensible routing, allowing for potential delays without leaving travellers stranded.

The rental car roulette

Arriving at the rental facility only to find no cars available or having your reservation given away is a common issue with DIY travel. TMCs ensure a confirmed car is waiting or can pivot to alternative transportation if needed, thanks to negotiated rates and reliable insights.

Addressing hidden costs and logistical challenges

The surprise fee squeeze

Bargain airfares often come with hidden fees for checked bags, carry-ons, seat assignments, and more. These additional costs can quickly add up, turning a great deal into an expensive one. A TMC leverages negotiated corporate rates and fare bundles that cover these components, avoiding surprise charges and providing streamlined, all-inclusive pricing.

The amazing vanishing baggage act

Lost luggage is a common issue in unmanaged travel, leading to stress and inconvenience. TMCs advise on luggage logistics to reduce delays and loss, such as sticking to non-stop flights and allowing adequate connection windows. They also provide luggage tracking assistance to quickly locate misplaced bags.

The time zone tangle

Coordinating travel across different time zones can be complex and prone to errors. DIY travellers often mix up time zones, leading to missed meetings and scheduling conflicts. Seasoned travel professionals ensure efficient itineraries by carefully factoring in time zones, daylight savings, and scheduling realities.

The benefits of managed travel

Managed travel is more than just sourcing rates – it is a vital insurance policy against corporate travel catastrophes. By bringing in professionals, companies can avoid the stress and pitfalls of DIY travel. The expertise of a TMC ensures smooth, efficient, and cost-effective travel arrangements, allowing business travellers to focus on their work without worrying about the logistics.

Ditch the DIY stress and rely on managed travel for a seamless and productive business travel experience.