A corporate travel policy is the set of rules and procedures that govern how employees should search, book, and gain approval while traveling on behalf of the company. Corporate travel policies are typically set with a collaboration between the companies travel manager, finance officer and often a procurement professional – more commonly HR managers are gaining a stake in defining what is included in a travel policy.
The policy seeks to ensure that the company does not pay more than it needs to after balancing traveler well-being, a duty-of-care, and using preferred suppliers.
Some of the rules cover what cabin class employees fly, how far in advance they should book, and what the approval process is in the employees reporting line – it will often include items such as how much employees can spend on food and other necessary expenses while they are away from home.
Whilst policies vary between companies, the most common provisions would include these:
- How to book the travel and what channels are acceptable
- What approval process is required for business travel, and what to do if costs exceed ‘normal’ parameters
- How to indicate whether travel is inwardly billable to a client
- Exceptions for destinations or routes that are typically much higher in cost (e.g. New York, London)
- Preferred hotel, air, and car suppliers
- How to claim back associated costs of being away from home
- What types of things can be expensed and what you cannot
- Details about travel insurance
- What to do and who to contact in the event of a disruption
- Whether extended ‘bleisure’ trips are permitted and what wellness activities may be expensed