This article was updated on May 5, 2015.
I love travel planning. I love doing the research. I love assembling all of the details. I love being a vicarious participant of the business trips (or travel adventures in some cases) for those I provide travel arrangements for. Now that I’ve had the opportunity to do a fair bit of travelling myself, I’ve come to realize how vitally important our roles as travel planners are to the executives and teams we support.
It’s vital to get the details right, to secure the right reservations on the correct dates and times, and keep our travelers organized and efficient throughout their trips. We must know the options that exist if their plans go awry. They depend on us to provide tips and resources to help them have as successful a trip as they possibly can. Travel planning responsibilities are not to be taken lightly. As an administrative professional, you must do everything you can to stay up-to-date and in the know when it comes to coordinating travel arrangements for your executives and teams.
I’d like to share 10 online resources I’ve come to rely on for information, tips, resources, and expanding my knowledge in travel planning. Make a point to visit each site. Explore what they have to offer. Sign up for their free newsletters. Visit them regularly to become familiar with the ins and outs of travel planning. You’ll become more knowledgeable and gain confidence in your abilities. Your executives will appreciate the value added support. And travel and travel planning will become more enjoyable for both of you.
- Frommers: www.frommers.com
Frommers has it all: destinations info, hotels, trip ideas, deals and news, tips and tools, blogs and member forums, guides for purchase, and more! Sign up for their free newsletter and have the latest in travel news and deals delivered to your inbox. This is a nice, clean site that is easy to navigate and packed with helpful information no matter how much prior travel planning experience you may have.
- TripIt: www.tripit.com
Talk about slick. With the simple forward of an email, you can turn your flight, hotel, and rental car information into a mobile travel itinerary that organized everything in one convenient location. It automatically includes maps, directions, and weather details. You can find restaurants, theatre tickets, and activities to include from inside Tripit. All of the trip details are accessible from mobile devices or can be printed for your traveler to have in hand. It doesn’t get much more streamlined than Tripit.
- Landlopers: www.landlopers.com
I could spend all day on this site. It’s a beautiful site with lots of amazing graphics and images from around the world. Explore destinations worldwide, find great restaurants, and research the best means of transportation (planes, trains, ships). Be sure to look at their “top travel tips” page – specifically the “top travel apps”. They have an awesome list of the top apps for every type of travel need imaginable.
- Independent Traveler: www.independenttraveler.com
This is another great site for travel tips, travel deals, destination information and traveler reviews. Subscribe to their free newsletter “Latest Travel Tips & Resources” while you’re there.
- Smart Women Travelers
If you support female travelers, there are a lot of very good tips and ideas for staying safe, efficient, and productive while on the road. This site has tips on health and fitness for travelers, packing ideas, key technology tools, and even managing relationships more effectively while in transit. And you guessed it, they also offer a free newsletter…AND a free ebook when you subscribe. Check it out!
- Christopher Elliott, Consumer Advocate: www.elliott.org
I’m a big fan of Christopher Elliott! Christopher Elliott is a consumer advocate, multimedia journalist and professional speaker known for his practical advice and creative solutions to customer-service problems primarily in the travel industry. You won’t believe some of the things you read on his site and in his newsletter (also free!)…or maybe you will. But Christopher’s customer advocacy approach to researching, reporting, and resolving challenges your executives are likely facing in some of their own travels will provide relief and support at the same time.
- SeatGuru: www.seatguru.com
Ever had one of your travelers complain about their airline seat size, location, or legroom? SeatGuru to the rescue! SeatGuru includes more than 700 airplane seatmaps from nearly 100 different airlines. It includes in depth comments about seats with limited recline, reduced legroom and misaligned windows. It identifies in-seat power port locations, and galley, lavatory, exit rows, and closet locations. I can’t guarantee you won’t get complaints ever again, but you can avoid a lot of potential mishaps with the database of knowledge SeatGuru arms you with!
- FlightStats: www.flightstats.com
Ever wondered where your travelers while inflight? Now you will know with FlightStats. You can track flights, view airport delay information, find out what the weather is like in the destination city, setup alerts, and much more. This site can help you troubleshoot potential delays before they ever occur with a few simple clicks of your mouse.
- U.S. Department of State Travel Site: http://travel.state.gov/travel
If you have international travelers, this site is a good one to visit as you make plans so you avoid as many potential problems as possible. This site details what to do in emergencies such as a stolen passport or sending money. You’ll also find information on travel warnings, scam advisories, and health information. Know before they go. This site will help.
- Bed Bug Registry: www.bedbugregistry.com
I saved the best for last…well, sort of. I don’t mean to creep you out, but you’ve heard the news stories. Bed bugs are real. And they aren’t just in the economy hotels. Many upscale hotels in some surprising cities around the world have become victims to bed bugs, too. A quick search of this registry may just keep your executive from bringing home a few uninvited travelers when they return.
Be sure to check out the corresponding Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages for many of these various websites. And check your smart phone app store. There just might be an “app for that” as well.
© 2015 Julie Perrine International, LLC
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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at www.AllThingsAdmin.com.