Administrative professionals are the superheroes of travel planning. Admins use their telepathy to know what brands their travelers prefer, time travel to get days of work done in mere hours, and teleportation to support their travelers, even when they are halfway around the world.
Their only kryptonite? Themselves. Admins spend their days prioritizing other’s needs and often forget to think of themselves. Then, when it’s finally time to take a day off and relax, or travel for business, they’re starting from scratch and the planning process suddenly feels more stressful than ever! The checklist below is split up into different sections of the trip: booking, planning, packing, and flying! Use the checklist to help organize your travel planning superpowers so you can feel the joy of a stress free trip.
Calling all admins: celebrate admin day and treat yourself!
Booking Your Trip
Booking your trip is probably the most stressful part of the planning process. By taking these steps, you will be able to find the best options within your budget so you can travel in style.
- Create Your Traveler Profile: In your traveler profile, add your preferred airlines, hotel chains, and rental car companies. If you haven’t had a chance to do a lot of traveling, use your travelers as a reference point. Recall the countless horror stories of delayed flights or sub-par service to your advantage and craft your own “no-fly” list.
- Know Your Budget: Before you start creating your itinerary, check to see what your budget is. There is nothing more frustrating, as you know, than going through the entire itinerary creation process only to find out that there was a pricing limitation and having to restart.
- Search for Loyalty Programs: Most admins know their traveler’s date of birth, phone number, address, and loyalty programs by heart but couldn’t even guess a digit in their own loyalty programs. Search for your loyalty program before you book. If you haven’t signed up for a program yet, sign up for one now! They’re totally free and as you start to travel more often, you’ll be able to collect more points and get perks, including free nights at a hotel!
- Book Hotels Direct: Most hotels don’t allow you to collect points through online travel agencies and websites. These sites can be a little tricky because they say you can earn points. However, these points can only be applied to their website and you miss out on collecting points through your hotel’s loyalty program. Also, you are more likely to get a better room and have more leeway for upgrades.
Create an Itinerary
It’s easy to fill an itinerary with meetings and events, but don’t forget to schedule some fun for yourself! Even if you are going to be traveling for a conference, look for an open window where you’ll be able to get out of the hotel and do a little sightseeing.
- Add Meetings and Events: If you’re traveling for business, start your itinerary by adding your meetings and events. This helps you visualize your free time.
- Use Social Media: Reach out to the incredible network of admins just waiting to help you! Post on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to see if people have tips for sights and restaurants in your destination. And as a bonus you can see if anyone will be in town at the same time for you to schedule an in-person meet up!
- Reserve on Open Table: Start making reservations through Open Table if you don’t already. Every time you make a reservation for a traveler, you get to collect Open Table points from the comfort of your office. Then, check to see if there are restaurants in your destination where you can redeem your points and treat yourself to an extravagant meal!
Packing Your Bags
Before you leave, there are a couple things that you should always throw in your bag.
- Cardigan: This is number one thing to pack when going on a trip, especially if it is going to be for a conference. If you’re deciding between your favorite pair of shoes or an extra cardigan, always go for the cardigan. Hotels are notorious for keeping their meeting rooms cold and you’ll regret not coming prepared with an extra sweater.
- Battery Pack: You’ll most likely be out of your room all day and traveling in a new place can be very tough on your phone’s battery. Using your phone’s GPS, searching for things to do, and taking countless selfies can drain your phone faster than you thought possible. Invest in a small battery pack that will keep you going all day. You can find plenty of options that will fit in your bag and are so light you won’t even notice it.
- Dryer Sheets: This might seem like an odd item to bring on its own, but they can be a total life saver. Pack a couple dryer sheets in with your clothes. These can prevent wrinkles from forming in your suitcase, and your clothes come out smelling laundry fresh rather than like a stale airplane!
- Tylenol: Always bring a Tylenol or your painkiller of choice. It is very easy to become dehydrated when traveling and that leads to painful and pounding headaches. Before you get on the plane, take a Tylenol and drink plenty of water so you can hit the ground running rather than searching for a convenience store.
- Basics: And of course, don’t forget the basic. Shirts, pants, business clothes (when appropriate), socks, underwear, pajamas, sunglasses, shoes, and swimsuit.
In the Air and On the Road
Traveling can be unpredictable. No matter how much you prepare and plan, there are always going to be snags along the way. Use these tips to help maneuver around these twists and even get a couple extra perks along the way.
- Befriend the Concierge and Front Desk People: They are like the hotel admins. Not only will they be able to give you some amazing recommendations for restaurants and activities, they will also be able to make sure you are better taken care of than any of the other guests.
- Schedule Changes or Delays: Dealing with a delayed or canceled flight is something every admin has done for another traveler. But being in the chaos of the airport while it is happening can be a totally different beast. As soon as you know your flight is going to be canceled or delayed, hop in line. Then while you’re waiting in line, call the airline directly so you can see which line will move faster.
- Don’t Be Afraid To Complain: Remember! This trip is all about you. Admins rarely get to have a selfish moment. Make the most out of your trip away from the office. If something doesn’t feel 100% right, chances are it is an easy fix and if it isn’t most companies are more than happy to give you a credit for a future flight or hotel stay.
- Create a Contact System: Even when you’re out of the office, a little part of you is always wondering what is going on at home. If you’re not able to unplug entirely, change your ringtone on your phone to be different for calls coming from your boss. This way your heart won’t skip a beat every time your phone rings. You’ll be able to focus on having fun and you’ll only need to respond when you hear that specific ring tone!
Long story short, make sure that you take as much care of yourself on personal trips as you do when planning for others. Even superheroes need the day off and our goal is to help you make the most of it. TRAVO is a trip planning and booking tool created specifically for administrative professionals. We have spent the past 2 years talking to thousands of admins and collaborating with the most prestigious organizations, like Office Dynamics, to address some of the most common pain points in travel planning. TRAVO corporate rates allow admins to easily sort through flight options across all major carriers. Admins can instantly create end-to-end itineraries including flights, hotels, ground transportation, meetings, forecasted traffic, and estimated Uber pricing. After creating an itinerary, send the trip for approval and book in an instant. Best of all, TRAVO is completely free: no booking fees or subscription fees.
Happy Administrative Professionals Week and Day to all you office super heroes! Go out and treat yourself, you deserve it!
About the Author:
Tae Lee is the CEO and Founder of TRAVO, the trip planner for administrative professionals. Prior to founding TRAVO, Tae served as executive vice president of Operations and Technology at the leading video advertising technology firm, ZEFR