Why Is Travel Insurance important?
Travel insurance or 'holiday insurance' and now 'Staycation Insurance' is a precaution and gives you peace of mind. When going on holiday you invest money in your trip in so many ways: from transport, parking, accommodation and luggage. Not to mention your health too.
Whether it is for a single trip or annual travel insurance policy, or you are setting sail and need cruise insurance. When you talk to our team we have a full selection of comparable cover level options for you to choose from.
Alongside our trusted, reliable and comprehensive cover, we can also provide specialist medical cover though our specialist team. If you have a serious medical condition (or multiple conditions), our compassionate and understanding team will work with you to find you a policy that meets your requirements.
With over 99% of common conditions covered, we are proud to say that our specialist medical cover meets the requirements for inclusion on the Money Advice Service (MAS) travel insurance directory.
Travel Insurance and the FCDO
Our travel insurance coverage continues to be based on the latest FCDO advice, and is not impacted by the new traffic light system. Please always refer to the latest FCDO advice to ensure there are no advisories against travel which may affect your travel insurance policy.
Get Intouch for peace of mind so we can get you covered
email@example.com, call us on 0131 467 7000
or get an online quote here
Smart Travel Makes Better Use of Funds
We don’t need to remind you that controlling spend is as important as ever especially in the not-for-profit sector. As doing more with less becomes ever more urgent, travel is one area of a charity's cost base that cannot be overlooked. For charities working overseas, travel is an integral part of their work. Many would struggle to provide their core services if they were not able to send volunteers, staff and supporters to manage essential operations abroad. Charities face a dilemma as their travel costs rise and their incomes fall. We've worked with charities working overseas which spend up to 20% of their income on travel. Keeping travel costs under control can therefore be the difference between survival and extinction. Charities large or small operating internationally need to be able to move fast and respond to natural disasters, conflicts and humanitarian crises as well as negotiate hazards such as delays, ash clouds and industrial strikes. To manage scenarios such as this, it is vital that charities make travel arrangements that are flexible and adaptable.
1 Initiate a travel policy. A logical first step for any charity working abroad. Set out clearly which airlines and classes employees can book so that all travel spending can be monitored and evaluated. It also helps to be flexible. A travel policy is also a good place to start when managing the safety and wellbeing of travelling staff, an essential duty for employers. We help to put a travel policy in place that is robust and fit for purpose.
2 Make your staff aware of your travel policy. Make the policy easily accessible and send out periodic reminders and share stories of best practice. If staff don't know about it, they can't abide by it.
3 Don't DIY. It is needlessly expensive to have employees, especially in large organisations, sorting out their own travel. Although individuals may think they are getting the best deal, online fares often have restrictive conditions and no agent support should things go wrong – and they often do. When travel purchasing is centralised, it is far easier to keep an eye on costs and trends and identify where savings can be made.
4 Book early. We've found that a client ends up spending an extra £4 per ticket for each day that they wait before booking a flight. If you consistently book at the earliest possible moment you will, on average, save 30% compared to someone who always books last minute.
5 Know what you're getting. We all hear about airlines charging separate fees for things such as checked baggage, food, drink and even things like pillows – a process known as unbundling. Be conscious of this when looking for flights online as what seems on the surface like a great fare may increase considerably as non-inclusive items are added.
Want to know more? Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 467 7000 and we can arrange a free consultation to get a better understanding of your requirements.
The role of procurement departments has certainly changed over the years, with value, levels of service and duty of care all becoming significant considerations when taking on a new supplier. However, there is one aspect of the procurement process that has stood the test of time and underpins everything that procurement department’s work towards and that’s cost.
I’m often asked to benchmark against existing practices but what is the best way to do this?
Understanding transaction fees and how they relate to your overall spend is a crucial element in selecting a TMC.
Equipping yourself with as much industry knowledge as possible is the best way to get the procurement process off to a good start. If you’re keen to drive online bookings then, by doing research, you should be able to find a realistic online adoption rate expectation. The volume of online bookings your organisation makes will have a direct impact on the fees you pay, as online bookings are usually charged at a lower rate than offline bookings.
Don’t focus exclusively on offline fees.
In recent years there has been a real drive within the business travel industry to increase the amount of bookings made online. With transaction fees for online bookings being typically lower, this has been a great result for travel buyers. However, the same kind of fees should not apply to offline bookings. When it comes to offline assistance, it really is a case of you get what you pay for. It is imperative you work with your TMC to work out how realistic your online adoption rate really is, if you have a lot of multi-sector long haul travel I’d suggest you will be doing more offline than online but if it is simple point to point low cost travel a higher online adoption is probably realistic.
TMCs do not all have access to the same fares and so will not deliver the same online/offline booking ratios. If you really want to know what it would cost to work with each TMC you need to tailor your analysis based on your research and their figures.
Once you’ve done your calculations, based on a tailored online adoption per TMC, you can then work out what percentage of your total travel spend the transaction fees would equate to. The industry average sits at around 5%, so if you’re preferred TMC comes in less than this, with excellent customer service and a great all-encompassing solution as well, then from a cost perspective they are very much worth considering.
Get in in touch and we can show you how much we can help you and make life easier for you.
Give us a call on 0131 467 7000 or email us on email@example.com
The Travel Company Edinburgh
Many people believe that because they are regular travellers this makes them best equipped to make their own travel arrangements and whilst they may have best intentions, by acting in this way it may in actual fact not only be false economy but it could be leaving the company wide open in terms of risk management. Organisations have legal and moral obligations to provide safety and security to their people, as much as possible, as they travel on business; that comes in the form of duty of care and a travel management company (TMC) should offer you access to tools and services that support you in looking after your travellers and help you in holding up your end of the duty of care bargain.
So next time you are booking your business trip and you think you can save a couple of pounds by booking your hotel room through some 3rd party website or going on a price comparison site for your flight just think about the following:
If you don't book through your TMC, they won't know where you are, which means they can't help you in a crisis.
Let's say you book a hotel on your own, and when you arrive, you are not happy with the condition of your room or worse still, the hotel doesn't have a record of your reservation. Who do you call for help? No one. That's who.
You are probably NOT even saving your company money by finding the deal of the century even if you think you are. Want to know why? Your company negotiates deals with specific suppliers on an annual basis. These deals frequently include behind-the-scenes incentives based on quantity of bookings. The TMC may well be offering your company a rebate on commissions earned and you also have to factor in time, your time to make the booking and your finance department who then have to spend time cross referencing your expense claim.
So you may be an experienced traveller and you may feel that a TMC restricts what you can or can’t book. This is very rarely the case, we work with all of our clients to give the end user a pleasurable experience, give them choices and a high level of personal service all whilst controlling the companies spend, making sure the staff are as safe as possible and streamlining the back office processing.
Get in touch so we can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0)131 467 7000
How to write a company travel policy?
It is surprisingly common to come across organisations that despite having significant expense in terms of travel, they do not have a travel policy to adhere to and whilst it is possible for a company to get by without ever formally documenting rules on employee travel and expenses it is inadvisable.
Each company has to find a program that matches its size, travel pattern, and culture. Yet for all these unique considerations, the importance of getting it right is universal, as are the basic principles that go into designing the right policy.
So why do you need a travel policy?
Cost Control - Smart policies don’t just protect against overspending, they actively encourage saving.
Employee Satisfaction - Business travellers want the right amount of guidance from their company policy. Not having defined rules can leave employees confused, but having too many rules can be counterproductive. By creating more work for an employee during booking, and giving them too few comfortable and convenient options on the road, overly-strict policies encourage travellers to go rogue.
Reporting - T&E is one of the largest expense categories at a typical organization, often ranking behind only salary and rent. Because a company’s travel policy determines how employees book and submit expenses, it has a huge effect on whether spending remains visible.
By identifying specific priorities, you’ll know where to focus your attention. Here are some possible objectives:
Reduce average trip cost
Replace some travel with virtual meetings
Promote use of approved suppliers
Secure negotiated hotel rates
Increase advance booking
Improve employee satisfaction with flight and hotel options
Speed up expense reimbursement process
Once you have established the objectives, we work with clients and potential clients in order to write a travel policy that is comprehensive, covering every stage of trip from booking through to reimbursement, and at the same time comprehensible.
Below are a list of examples that could be included in a travel policy:
Where should employees book their travel?
How should they pay?
How are trips approved or rejected?
What class of flight?
Flight selection criteria
Hotel star class
Allowable expenses whilst in a hotel
Rail v plane
Economy v Business Class
Are you struggling with your travel policy? Why not get in touch today and see how we can help.
Get in touch email@example.com +44 (0)131 467 7000
Travellers now have more of a say in how they travel for business than ever before and an increasing number of travel managers are balancing the needs of their employees with the needs of the organisation as a whole, as a way of boosting employee satisfaction and engagement.
Although increasing the comfort, convenience and simplicity of business travel as way of thanking your travellers for their time ‘on the road’ might seem like a nice idea in theory, realising and implementing these changes in a way that doesn’t undermine efforts to reduce travel spend or compromise your organisation’s duty of care is a much greater challenge.
So how do you go about improving your travellers experience?
Make it easier to book travel
There are still many business travellers hopping from travel website to travel website, booking flights then rail and then their hotel stay.
This wasted time can lead to travellers feeling frustrated at the mere thought of having to book even the simplest of trips and so as a travel or procurement manager it’s worth looking into single solution booking options.
If you’re currently using a travel management company (TMC) and are finding that travellers aren’t content with the process of booking their business travel then have an honest discussion with both your TMC and your travellers. For example, travellers may be avoiding using your TMC’s booking system because they don’t feel confident that they know how to use it properly - something that is easily fixed with a little extra training. They may also prefer an offline solution simply sending their requests to a dedicated travel consultant who can do all the work for them.
Introduce a dynamic travel policy
Strict and limited travel options are a very common source of frustration for travellers and can often lead to travellers going rogue and booking out of policy - something that then becomes a source of frustration for travel managers.
However, introducing a dynamic travel policy enables organisations to increase the amount of choice that travellers have when booking, whilst also remaining in control of their travel spend. Unlike a traditional business travel policy that is a static set of business travel guidelines, a dynamic business travel policy’s controls will adapt depending on the options available at the time of booking.
To discuss your travel with us get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)131 467 7000
What does duty of care really mean for organisations that send it’s employees away on business?
It is a phrase that is often talked about especially by travel companies but what does it really mean and what are the implications?
Passenger safety has become an obvious concern especially recently with the Coronovirus pandemic and various other incidents we have witnessed around the world. This is a real and genuine concern as the health and wellbeing of travelling employees is paramount to all business'.
Travel can be stressful and take a toll on the body and mind that could affect an employee’s performance in a key meeting, as well as having a cumulative impact due to issues such as poor diet and disrupted sleeping patterns.
In the UK, employers have a legal duty-of-care for their employees wherever they are based or travelling, while the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations mean that companies also have the responsibility of undertaking risk assessments. This means that all of their time spent away from home is the responsibility of the employer. Organisations should have clear policies regarding their responsibility for employee health and wellbeing while abroad as there is a clear duty-of-care and legal responsibility. Companies should undertake risk assessments for every traveller to “identify any potential risks and seek to reduce the risks to an acceptable level”.
The standard of accommodation also has an effect on risk, particularly when considering things such as food poisoning and location within a city, which can be significant depending on the country being visited.
If a foreseeable risk exists and the employer fails to advise travellers or misrepresents the severity of that risk, then they can be liable for a health-related issue in the same way as a safety and security issue.
Examples could be failing to provide adequate immunisation advice for travellers going to a high-risk area of diseases like malaria, cholera or hepatitis.
Working with a TMC like us at The Travel Company Edinburgh will help to eliminate these risks because as well as giving your travellers and travel bookers adequate advice and information we can also work with your HR department to ensure we are meeting your requirements when developing a travel policy for you.
It’s not just about booking the cheapest airline ticket, if that’s going to be bad for the traveller and cause them lots of stress due to the timings or the routing. You might save money on the airline ticket, but then the employee could be off sick because you have made them take unnecessarily long or inconvenient flights, which will cost you more in the long-run.
I believe these are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself as an organisation if you haven’t already:
What business class policy should you implement to ensure travellers arrive rested?
What should the company position be on employees self-driving after long-haul flights, especially when crossing time zones when jetlag is a factor that could increase the risk of an accident?
Where do travellers go for a single source of facts on the current Covid-19 restrictions or the other health risks and advice?
Should extra layers of approval be built into the travel approval policy for destinations with high health risks?
If you need help with your travel policy and want to see if we can help reduce your travel expenditure please contact us.
email@example.com or call on +44 (0)131 467 7000
The Travel Company Edinburgh
One thing that is so important when considering your travel policy is the security and safety of your travellers.
Companies often overlook this element, not on purpose of course as they have a company-wide travel insurance policy in place and then assume that this will cover everything they need. A normal company travel policy or insurance does not usually provide the cover that is required to all destinations especially if your travellers are travelling to a destination that is advised against travel by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or there is a change in the advise while they are abroad.
The help and advise that we, as a travel management company (TMC), can give is invaluable.
We can arrange and assist with numerous things, the below is just the tip of the iceberg:
Get intouch to discuss options for your company, we are here to help and make life easier for you and your company!
Call us on +44 (0) 131 467 7000 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Travel Company Edinburgh
'Why should I use a TMC when I can just book everything myself?' is something that we have heard alot in the past.
I love it when someone asks us this as there are so many answers depending on the company or situation of the person. A big one right now is that we are watching the developments on the Covid-19 travel restrictions globally so that we can inform all our clients of the situation in the destination they want to travel to and the situation with quarantine upon returning. Therefore if the traffic light system in the UK changes then we will let you know and help you get home or to the destination you need to go.
With regards to and other thing that people also say; "I can just book everything online": You can still book everything online if you want to, using our booking system, or you can just ask us to do it for you and save a lot of time with all the searching especially when it is a busy destination! PLUS you have the backup of a 24 hour team of experienced professionals to help should you need it.
Why wouldn't you use a TMC?!
Just image this situation:
SOLUTION: Just give us a call:
When using us as your TMC there is no need to panic we can help you. We have all the information in one place and can tell you exactly what flights and hotels are booked and for who and help sort all the flights, re-book alternative flights, book trains if flights are grounded, book hotels where required or anything that you need.
So the answer to the question is:
Why would you not use a TMC when you have the support of our team of experienced professionals to help you and we have all the up to date information about the travel restrictions with regards to Covid-19.
Get in touch and we can tell you how we can help you with your situation email us
The Travel Company Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 467 7000
Business travel has come to a complete halt in the first few months of 2020, as the world grappled with the COVID-19 crisis. With stay-at-home orders in place throughout the country, a large percentage of the workforce were forced to work from home and cancel all travel plans indefinitely.
It’s no secret that pandemic has not been easy for the air travel industry. But as restrictions and travel bans are easing across the country and the world, things are looking up again for the future of flying.
COVID-19, however, may have changed air travel as we know it forever.
Let us take a closer look at how the pandemic has changed the way people travel for business.
Demand for Private Aviation Surges
While the idea of flying private for business isn’t new, the demand for private jet flights has surged over the past few months as more and more companies turn to private aviation as a safe and efficient means of transportation.
Private jets inherently tick all the right boxes for those who need to fly right now, whether for business or leisure. Aside from providing a personalized business travel experience, chartered flights eliminate most health and safety concerns that people have with traveling during a pandemic, particularly the need to traverse through crowded airports and fly with strangers.
With so many flights getting rerouted or cancelled, flying private has become a viable and convenient option for travellers.
More Time Spent at The Airport
Gone were the days when it’s okay to show up at the airport an hour or two before your flight. To ensure everyone’s safety, airports and airlines are now implementing strict disinfection processes prior to boarding. Commercial flight passengers are advised to be at the airport three or four hours earlier to complete all the necessary health, sanitation, and safety protocols.
A lengthier immigration process is also to be expected when traveling to another country during the pandemic.
More Travel Requirements
A passport used to be the only thing you need when traveling out of the country, but not anymore. Aside from a clean bill of health, a negative COVID test result, and travel insurance, those who are traveling for business may need to produce proof that their travel is essential, especially when the destination is a known COVID hotspot.
You’ll also likely need to present a recent negative COVID test result before being allowed to board a flight back to the country.
Business Trips Becoming Longer
Up until COVID-19 happened, it was normal for businessmen and corporate employees to take short business trips outside the country. These days, however, this has become impossible.
Many countries require incoming passengers to isolate until they get their negative COVID test result, while others implement a mandatory two-week isolation period even after testing negative.
That being said, organizations have to take a case-by-case approach when assessing the viability of employee travel nowadays. They have to be more flexible with the travel plans and budget to accommodate last-minute changes and ensure the safest routes of travel for their representatives.
Air Travel is More Flexible Than Ever
If there’s one silver lining for traveling in the time of COVID-19, it’s that air travel has become more flexible and accommodating towards passengers. Airlines used to charge passengers for changing or cancelling their flights, but that’s no longer the case.
Some airline companies have waived change fees for this year amid the ever-changing travel bans, while others have cancelled them indefinitely. Also, most flight vouchers issued during the pandemic are valid for up to two years.
These days, it does seem like passengers have the upper hand. The balance of power has shifted to consumers, and it’s likely to stay that way for a while.
Business Travel Rebounds Slowly Amid the Pandemic
Although virtual conferencing platforms have made it possible for businesses to hold meetings and discussions from different parts of the world, it is not always enough. Some deals are best negotiated face-to-face.
The good news is that despite the huge blow that it has sustained for most of 2020, air travel, whether for business or leisure, is bound to pick up in the next few months as COVID vaccines become widely available.
The airline industry is expected to slowly rebuild itself as domestic travel restrictions are lifted and the country opens itself up for flights from all over the world.
If you would like more information about Private Jets please get intouch:
email@example.com +44 (0)131 467 7000
About the Author
Melissa Hull is the Content Marketing Strategist for Aviation Charters, a West Trenton, New Jersey-based private aviation company that provides on-demand aircraft charter, aircraft management, and aircraft acquisition services. Aside from her passion for writing, she loves to travel and read espionage books
Click here for: Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice.
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