7 Things Every Corporate Travel Manager Should Know



Corporate travel managers earn salaries between $70k to $80k on average. The salary complements the duties carried out by the manager, such as:

  • Reconciling budgets
  • Making corporate travel plans
  • Reviewing travel expense reports
  • Finding safe travel options for team members

More importantly, corporate travel planners provide travelers with environments that keep them productive like this.

Companies hire professionals with travel planning experience, a passion for the industry, and a higher education degree. It also helps to have managerial experience.

After obtaining the position, professionals should find ways to put their stamp on the department. It’s not necessary to reinvent the wheel. However, managers should incorporate methods and tools that keep the department running efficiently.

For example, the software is your friend. It allows managers to keep track of dates, team members on the road, and expenses. In addition, it’s essential to keep the lines of communication open between the department and travelers.

Corporate travel managers should pick up the tricks of the trade quickly. Then, managers can integrate their tricks to improve processes.

We outline seven things every corporate travel manager should know.

1. It’s OK to Negotiate

The rates that hotels advertise are the amount that they prefer to receive. However, sometimes the demand needs to justify the asking price.

Even though corporations own most hotels, properties have some leeway to optimize the location’s occupancy rates and revenue.

Properties run forecasts, and they can negotiate with corporate travel planners when occupancy rates might fall below their targets.

Before making calls to properties, improve your position by finding what you can bring to the negotiation, such as booking a block of rooms.

2. Form Beneficial Vendor Relationships

Successful business partnerships benefit both parties. Therefore, corporate travel managers should form beneficial vendor relationships.

Travel manager responsibilities include booking flights, hotels, ground transportation, and restaurant reservations. By establishing contacts with two vendors in every city, managers ensure that their teams have access to the arrangements they need at the destination.

Plus, savvy managers can negotiate favorable rates for their companies while guaranteeing business for the vendors.

3. Explore Travel Consolidation Opportunities

Corporate travel managers should explore trip consolidation opportunities.

Sometimes team members head to different parts of the country to close deals, obtain training, and participate in meetings. However, whenever possible, consolidate travel.

For example, team members can travel together to industry conferences. Plus, travelers can stay at the same hotel.

4. Software Is Your Friend

Entering 2023, most professionals and industries understand that software does not threaten their jobs or field.

Instead, the software increases productivity and reduces errors. Moreover, it allows managers to focus on higher-level tasks.

Managing the department with software is similar to managing it on spreadsheets. However, the software provides additional benefits, including search features, booking capabilities, and expense report verification.

5. Review the Corporate Travel Policy Annually

Putting together employee handbooks and corporate travel policies requires several administrative hours. However, companies break even and save more.

The corporate travel policy answers frequently asked questions for travelers, especially those who don’t travel often. It guides them on procedures, expectations, and how to obtain travel expense reimbursements.

Corporate travel policies should also establish appropriate attire and behavior guidelines and list essential phone numbers.

6. Keep Communication Lines Open

Managers listen to arrays of feedback from subordinates, peers, and executives. Travel managers might hear travelers express dissatisfaction with takeoff times, accommodations, and ground transportation.

However, keep communication lines open.

Then, develop methods that make team members feel heard while turning feedback into a productive tool, especially if they have questions about the corporate travel policy.

7. Implement Processes to Increase Efficiency

Additionally, implement processes to increase efficiency. Corporate travel managers review expense reports before sending them to the finance department for reimbursement.

Therefore, managers can automate the process through software.

The software can spot inconsistencies or items that go over the approved limits. Otherwise, the software will approve the reports and send them to the finance department.


Corporate travel managers can run their departments as they see fit. The finance department and company executives will establish budgets and relevant parameters. After that, it’s up to travel managers to fulfill them and their duties. Therefore, learn the trade tricks and learn the things you should know.