Now that you have your traveler’s REMOTE, it’s time to create your GUIDE.
Creating your travel guide will help you make sure that you have everything you need to plan and book your traveler’s upcoming trip. Creating travel itineraries can feel like flipping through thousands of channels hoping to find the one you’re looking for.
VAs are tasked with finding flight, hotel, and ground options that fit their travelers preferences and schedule and are often doing so without having all of the information they need.
The best way to get around this? Create a GUIDE that will help you find that perfect itinerary in a flash.
Gather Event Information
Events and meetings will be the backbone of your travel planning guide. Having all the details of your traveler’s events will allow you to filter out flights that don’t fit their schedule, find the most convenient hotels, and determine the best ground transportation option. When gathering event information, make sure you get the following details:
- Name of Event
- Start and End Times
- Contact Information
- Additional Notes (Ex: Entrance Details, Agenda, etc.)
Understand Ground Transportation
Getting around on the ground is one of the most stressful parts of a trip for travelers. Trying to navigate unfamiliar streets while sticking to a strict schedule can be intimidating and frustrating. You can help your traveler by doing some research into local traffic and suggesting a couple options to them. You can use a mix of Google Maps, Uber/Lyft Price Estimation Tools, and rental companies to compare the following ground options:
- Rental Car
- Public Transit
- Ride Share/Taxi
Now that you have your traveler’s event information and a rough idea of what local transportation and ground transit looks like, it’s time to start searching for flights. Take all of the information you have gathered so far, and grab your traveler REMOTE to start filter through the thousands of different itinerary options. There may not always be a clear number one option, so you can take notes and suggest additional options to your traveler. In all cases, your goal is to maximize comfort and preferences within your traveler’s budget. To help rank available options, take these things into consideration:
- Duration of flight
- Cost of preferred flight vs cost of not-preferred flight
- Availability of non-middle seats
- Distance from airport to meeting. (Only applicable when there are multiple airport options).
- Refundable vs non-refundable
- Star Ratings
- Cost of preferred hotel vs not-preferred hotel
- Available amenities
- Distance from hotel to meeting
- Prepaid vs not-prepaid
- Cost of rental car vs Uber/Lyft vs Public transportation vs Car Service
The last part of your GUIDE is gathering all of your traveler’s relevant documents to prepare it for their final itinerary. Remember that the end goal of your itinerary is to make your traveler’s life as easy possible. Collecting all of these documents will also make sure you have everything checked and ready to go. Be sure to ask your traveler for:
- Applicable Tickets for Events
- Industry Specific Tax Exemption Forms
- Company Approval Documents
- Visa Documentation (For International Trips)
- Meeting Notes and Presentations
Easy Itinerary Creation
Itinerary creation was the inspiration for TRAVO. I watched as my admin spent painstaking hours creating itineraries for myself and the other executives. I saw her flip back and forth between our calendars, traveler profiles, and countless booking sites to try to find the best options that worked for us. I was inspired to create a tool that would make this process easier. On TRAVO, VAs are able to manage all of this on one easy-to-use platform. VAs can easily share trip request forms for the travelers to include all of their trip information. Any time a trip request is submitted, the VA will automatically be notified and can create the trip with a click of a button. The traveler’s profile is automatically imported and applied to the search. You can even upload your traveler’s documents right into the itinerary! TRAVO could not be where it is today without the support from organizations like VIP VA and we want to thank the community in any way possible. Sign up for your free TRAVO account to start creating profiles and planning your next trip!
About the Author
Tae Lee is the CEO and founder of TRAVO, the trip planning and booking tool for administrative professionals. Prior to founding TRAVO, Tae served as executive vice president of Operations and Technology at the leading video advertising technology firm, ZEFR.