Booking business travel explained: who’s in charge?

Booking business travel could fall on many people’s plates, who’s in charge of business travel and what are the tasks involved. Get the full scoop.

Booking business travel could fall on many people’s plates, who’s in charge of business travel and what are the tasks involved. Get the full scoop.

By Julie Suhard

Business traveler making travel arrangements

Business trips are an essential part of many companies. But who is actually responsible for organizing them? The answer is not always clear and depends heavily on the company’s structure and individual needs. Let’s take a look at the roles within the organization that could take responsibility for booking business trips.

HR and Office Managers

HR and office managers play a key role in organizing business trips. In larger companies, they may set budgets for business travel, create policies, and ensure that all trips comply with company standards. In smaller companies, they may also directly handle booking trips by searching for cost-effective options and coordinating travel plans.

For example, in a medium-sized company, HR managers might have primary responsibility for business travel. They would create policies for expense reporting, monitor spending, and ensure that trips comply with company guidelines. They work closely with finance departments to monitor expenses and stay within budget.

Administrative assistant

 Administrative assistants are often the right hand of executives and may therefore be responsible for booking business trips as part of office management. In addition to finding suitable flights and accommodations, their tasks could include organizing travel itineraries, handling payments, coordinating travel plans, and managing travel documents. They also communicate with travel providers and assist travelers during their trips.

For instance, an administrative assistant in a consulting firm might be responsible for booking business trips for the entire team. They research and book flights and accommodations according to employees’ preferences and schedules. Additionally, they manage travel documents and keep employees informed of any changes or delays.

booking business travel


 In some companies, employees or the very travelers are responsible for booking their own business trips. For example, a salesperson who regularly visits clients might book their own flights and accommodations. This self-responsibility can be efficient as employees know their own preferences and requirements. However, it’s important to establish clear policies and approval processes to manage expenses and security aspects.

For instance, a marketing professional in a startup might be in charge of organizing their business trips. They could handle flight and accommodation bookings themselves to ensure they align with the desired schedule and preferences. However, they might seek approval from their supervisor or the finance department before booking to ensure the trip fits within the budget.

Finance managers

Procurement officer

Procurement officers could negotiate contracts with travel providers and ensure favorable prices and terms for business trips. They play a crucial role in selecting the right providers and maximizing value for the company. For example, a procurement officer might negotiate contracts with airlines to secure favorable rates for regular business trips.

For instance, a procurement officer in a logistics company might negotiate contracts with hotels and car rental companies to secure special rates and discounts for employees who travel for business regularly. They would regularly review the contracts to ensure terms are being met and renegotiate as necessary to secure the best deals for the company.

Travel manager

In companies where business travel is significant, hiring a dedicated travel manager can be beneficial. This person would be responsible for the entire organization and management of business trips, including booking flights and accommodations, planning travel itineraries, ensuring compliance with policies, and supporting travelers during their trips. For example, a travel manager might ensure all trips comply with the company travel policy and keep travelers informed of any changes.

For instance, a travel manager in a technology company might be responsible for organizing business trips for teams that regularly attend conferences and client meetings. They would collaborate closely with team leaders to understand travel needs and book suitable accommodations, transportation, and venues. Additionally, they might plan travel itineraries to maximize efficiency and productivity and ensure all travel documents and visa requirements are met.

Some companies may not be able to afford a dedicated travel manager. To still book efficient and optimized business trips while controlling the travel budget, you can find tips on travel management without a travel manager.

With clear responsibilities and an efficient booking process, companies can ensure that their business trips run smoothly while effectively managing costs and resources. This clear structure enables early identification and proactive resolution of potential bottlenecks, leading to improved planning and execution of business trips with the right travel itinerary.

Additionally, a well-organized booking process ensures optimal use of time and money. Transparent communication and close collaboration between different departments, such as HR, finance, and travel management, are essential. Regular meetings and clear communication channels can avoid misunderstandings and increase efficiency.

Ultimately, effective collaboration contributes to smooth business trips and achieving company goals. Need help booking business trips? We have the perfect tool for you! Schedule a demo to learn more.

Looking for more articles on booking business trips? Find more tips and tricks for booking business trips.

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