As businesses continue to expand globally, the need for international travel becomes essential. Traveling internationally for business purposes may seem very exciting for employees. However, companies have a lot to take care of. They must ensure employees are productive, safe, and have a good travel experience.
Moreover, international travel poses various risks and challenges for employees. These risks include delayed flights, loss of baggage, medical issues, civil unrest, and many more. Additionally, travel managers must arrange their visas, medical and travel insurance, and provide round-the-clock business travel support, among many others.
That is why creating a robust international travel policy is crucial. An international travel policy outlines the various aspects of business travel, such as employee safety, travel experience, risks, business travel budget, and goals to be achieved.
Here is a comprehensive guide for travel managers on creating an international travel policy for employees:
Before creating an international travel policy for employees, travel managers must assess international business travel risks. This involves identifying potential risks and threats employees may encounter while traveling abroad. Some risks and threats to consider include the following:
Considering all these risks, you must thoroughly research the destination and provide employees with a risk assessment checklist before embarking on business trips.
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Determining the scope of the international travel policy is essential in creating an effective policy. This involves identifying the employees covered by the policy and the types of travel the policy applies to. Here are some key considerations when determining the scope of the policy:
By defining the scope of the international travel policy for employees, travel managers can ensure that it covers all relevant employees and applies to all necessary types of international travel. This helps ensure consistency and fairness in policy implementation and ensures that all employees know the expectations and guidelines for international travel.
One of the most important yet ignored aspects while setting up an international travel policy for employees is establishing proper business travel guidelines. Business travel guidelines are a set of rules and regulations that employees of an organization must follow while planning and going on business trips. These guidelines are intended to facilitate efficient planning of business travel, support traveler comfort and safety, and ensure responsible use of the business travel budget.
Some of the business travel guidelines you should include in your international travel policy are:
International business travel involves various kinds of expenses. And if these expenses do not have any limits, they can spiral out of control and finally impact your company’s bottom line. Therefore, travel managers, in collaboration with finance managers, should categorize various business travel expenses and set limits on them.
The various business travel expenses include:
As a travel manager, you must clearly mention the limits on these expense categories so that employees are aware of the permissible international expenses.
If your company doesn’t have standard operating procedures, reporting and filing international travel expenses can strain your finance immensely. Collecting and filing all expense receipts during international travel is not a cakewalk. Hence, it is crucial that organizations have a strong international travel policy for employees for reporting expense claims.
The policy must report the clear process of reporting expense process and the necessary documents to claim these expenses. You must clearly define how employees can report international travel expenses, they can file expenses while on the go, what is the time frame to report these expenses, and what should be the proof of expenses (invoice, receipts, etc.).
Since international business travel involves employees spending in foreign currencies, y must also mention the preferred mode of payment like a credit card, corporate card, cash, etc., and the various ways to report them. This also helps improve your business travel management process.
There is no denying the fact that providing security to business travelers while traveling internationally is of utmost importance. Security is crucial for employees during international travel because it helps to protect them from a range of potential risks and threats. International travel often involves exposure to new environments and unfamiliar situations, which can increase the risk of physical harm, theft, or other security incidents.
Hence, it is imperative that you prepare an international travel policy for employees that outlines everything about employees’ security. The policy should include the following:
Additionally, you can also prepare a separate corporate travel security policy that defines all the guidelines for business travelers and travelers in ensuring travelers’ safety during international travel.
Once an international travel policy has been established, it is essential that you communicate it clearly and effectively to all employees who will be traveling internationally. This involves training employees on the policy, providing clear instructions and guidance, and ensuring that employees understand the expectations and requirements of the policy.
Here are some key elements of effective communication and training for an international travel policy:
After effectively communicating the international travel policy to employees, it is important to review and update it regularly to ensure it remains current and effective. This includes reviewing the policy in response to changing travel conditions, new security risks, or other factors that may affect the safety and security of employees while traveling.
Some ways you can review and update your policy are:
By regularly reviewing and updating the policy, companies can ensure that their international travel policy remains current and effective. This helps reduce the risk of incidents or non-compliance and ensures employees can travel confidently and stress-free.
Creating an international travel policy is essential for ensuring the safety and well-being of employees while traveling for business purposes. By following the steps mentioned above, you can create an international travel policy to help your employees travel safely and efficiently while representing your company’s interests.
You can also take the help of a travel management company such as ITILITE to craft an international travel policy for employees. At ITILITE, we help you create a robust travel policy for employees who often travel internationally as per your company’s requirements. We consider employee preferences, ensure safety and security, are up-to-date with all travel guidelines, and ensure travel policy compliance.
Get in touch with our expert now to get started with international travel policy.
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