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Business Travel Made Easy: A Manager's Guide to Seamless Team Trips

Frank Blecha
Frank Blecha
3 min read
Business Travel Made Easy: A Manager's Guide to Seamless Team Trips

Table of Contents

You'll likely travel for business. It’s easy if you’re flying solo. If you're traveling with your team, there are a few items to manage for each trip. You or someone can assist you with the travel prep. Other prep will depend on the experience levels of the folks traveling. Managers can take care of themselves and should take care of the prep for their teams. If you're a manager flying with your team, ensure everyone knows the time and how to get to the hotel (rental cars or rideshare). Please keep track of the most junior members of the team, as they're the ones most likely to get lost. If possible, pair a junior with a more experienced travel buddy.

Make sure you have a way to communicate

Everyone defaults back to calling or texting when traveling. If you're at a firm that uses chat apps, ensure you have the phone numbers of the key people you need to sync up with during the trip.

Make sure they know how to get to the hotel

Make sure that you have a restaurant picked out for a team dinner. Have the reservation in a calendar invite, and ensure everyone has your contact info. Let the team know the name associated with the reservation. You don't have to make the reservation yourself (although OpenTable makes it super easy); if you have an admin, you can ask them to make it. Make sure you check for the food preferences for the group (it's better if you have this on file for the future, this is a great thing to ask during onboarding).

Ensure they know how to get back to the hotel from the restaurant. If this is "use Uber or Lyft,” that's fine. If it's a short walk, make sure they have a travel buddy. I've seen a few instances where folks wander off in a new city late at night, and the neighborhood on the way back to the hotel gets sketchy very fast. It makes for an exciting travel story when you're back home, but I prefer if there are no travel stories when you get back home.

If you're walking a female colleague back to the hotel, split up once you get to the lobby. It makes it super clear that it's a straight business walk, nothing more. Let them take the car up alone if you go to the same elevator. This boundary removes an opportunity for miscommunication or misinterpretation. If you end up sharing a car, stand in front and as far away as possible; give them as much room and the vantage point as possible. Announce your floor as you enter the elevator, so there's no room for miscommunication. The behavior expectations and bar are higher for managers than when you were an IC. Again, at this point, you're setting the tone for your behavior and your entire team around what's expected during business travel.

Make sure your folks know the expense policy before booking

Every firm has an expense policy for travel. It could be "only use the corporate-approved hotels” or "use whatever is allowed, but you'll need a receipt." Regardless, ensure you know the policy and that your folks also know it. Having to deal with expense reporting isn't fun, but tracking down a receipt after you return home is a nightmare. If you're using an expense reporting app, check your receipts when you're done for the night or first thing in the morning. I recommend taking a picture using your phone and storing it in your photos, then using the expense app to upload the image. If the upload fails, you still have the image on your phone, which can be backed up to the cloud.

Many firms will set it up so that the senior person at the event pays the bill. If there are several people of the same level, work it out beforehand, and don't look like a goofball trying to figure it out in front of the team.

If you're stuck staying overnight because you can't catch a late flight, book a dinner for your team and try to choose something new, nice, or novel -- preferably all three. That way, they're focused on the dinner and the event, not on being stuck away from home after the meeting.