It’s time to start booking your business trip, but you’re not sure where to begin. You’ve got to arrange flights, transportation to and from the airport (whether that be a rental car or a taxi), and on top of it, you also have to book your hotel room. So where should you start?
For starters, it’s always a good idea to know what are the resources out there that can help. There are hotel apps like Booking.com and Hotels.com where you can book hotels and apartments, or Online Tour Operators like Kayak, and Travelocity (now a part of Expedia);Travel aggregators like Google Hotels and their other travel services; and there is GetGoing, a travel management software that allows you to take care of all your business travel needs in one place.
No matter what you choose, the important thing when it comes to business travel is staying organized and simplifying as much as possible, because you already have enough to manage with your 9-5 job. So, let’s take a look at these travel apps in more detail.
Difference between a hotel app and a travel management platform
One of the key distinctions you will need to decide when it comes to choosing the best hotel app for your company is to understand what is the difference between an exclusive hotel app and a travel management platform. Hotel apps come in all shapes and sizes, and nowadays many platforms like Booking.com even have their own exclusive business travel portals.
The main difference between a hotel app and a travel management app, is that the majority of hotel apps only allow you to book hotels whereas a business travel management platform is designed to manage the different aspects of your trip – from planning, to booking, managing and ensuring you can follow travel insights to optimize budgets. It’s a more holistic approach to managing something as complex as business travel.
How do you manage corporate travel?
The best way to manage corporate travel is to make it as simplified as possible. That is to say, one tool for all your management needs. It can help ease the challenges of toggling between different tools, and different providers, especially if you’re dealing with a team that has diverse travel needs.
Top corporate travel hotel apps
Below we’ve outlined what for us are the top hotel travel apps, including what we think is the most complete solution. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Travelocity belongs to the Expedia group. It is one of the oldest players on the OTA (online travel agency) panorama. It can be used to book flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and even package deals. With years of experience and having been acquired by the Expedia Group, business travelers can rely on this OTA for different booking needs. If we have to think of one con, it would be the fact that they don’t have a dedicated platform for business travel. If you had to choose between Travelocity and Expedia, we might recommend you go with Expedia though because the travel app is a bit more advanced. Nonetheless, you will find great deals on any of these platforms.
Booking.com is perhaps one of the most well-known and most-used hotel apps. They average around 600 million hotel room bookings per year. They also launched Booking.com for business travel, which has a lot of features and possibilities that are especially helpful for business travelers and those who manage corporate travel. They offer exclusive business rates, loyalty points, and the ability to manage bookings for multiple people, as well as traveler mapping, and reporting.
Google Hotels is a travel aggregator offered by the Google search engine to help you find the best hotel deals. As it is aimed at a more general target market, you might not find business travel specific hotels. You are able to discover, compare and book accommodations for your trip and find hotels that suit your travel needs, but it is more aimed at the individual traveler rather than a company.
Kayak, like Booking.com, has an exclusive business travel platform where you can manage business travel bookings, in addition to hotels. You have three different tiers of pricing, from free, to per-trip pricing, to custom pricing, depending on your business’ needs. You also get access to the Kayak business travel app. You can manage bookings for a colleague, loyalty programs, discounted rates, and hotel bookings all from one platform. Features will of course depend on what plan you choose.
Hotels.com is a popular American website for booking hotel rooms online. It is great for businesses to take advantage of rewards on this site, as members will get a stamp for every eligible night that is booked on the site. Once you’ve reached 10 stamps, you can redeem a free night. While it tends to focus on a B2C target audience, it is also an easy and user-friendly site if your business happens to have to manage a lot of hotel bookings, and not have too complex travel needs beyond booking the occasional hotel.
GetGoing is a great app for booking accommodations. It’s simple, straightforward and has a lot of filtering options, like helping you to choose a hotel close to your office or meeting location. You can filter by recommended hotels, what are the closest to your desired location and by star rating and price. GetGoing directly partners with some of the other top brands, suppliers and travel sites listed in this article, like Booking.com and Travelocity (Expedia group); making GetGoing your go-to place to book.
Not only that, but as a travel manager you can put special parameters into your travel policy so that people can easily tell if the hotel is within policy or not. This also helps keep spending on track.
GetGoing hotel app also has an extensive travel inventory with travel deals that include some of the best negotiated rates. The best part about GetGoing is that you can not only manage hotel bookings, but you can also manage the rest of your business travel in one place. An all-on-one platform is exactly what you need to make the most of your travel budget and simplify.