Contributed by Jessica Lee, Travel Coordinator, HTS, Inc., JLee@consulthts.com

Business Travel Planning

With the crazy schedules of the Transition Planning Team at HTS, I have learned lots of tips and tricks to making sure that our employees get on the correct flight, reserve the best rental car and arrive with hotel reservations at the location of their choice.  However, no matter how well reservations are made and though I have been a part of this team for a little over 3 years now, I am learning everyday about each team member’s preferences as each is a little different in how they like to travel.

 One very big tip that I have learned early on when planning trips is the benefits of reward programs.  No matter how small the reward or point balance at the end of the year, these programs provide opportunities for me as well as the rest of the company to partake in special rates and free rooms as a reward for their dedication to the company.  Reward programs are a great perk for all the employees that travel as it allows them to use preferred airlines, hotels, and rental car companies as they are able to use them for their own private use.  Because of this, I make sure that each employee is signed up so they are able to garner benefits both professionally and personally!

Over the course of my experiences trip planning for HTS, I have learned is that where ever we have a project there is usually a Hospital Rate at the local hotels. This is very useful, especially with our small company, as I may not be able to get a company rate that a larger firm might enjoy.  The Hospital Rate provides our team the opportunity to get the lowest rate possible and also allows us to stay within our budget. Another tip that I have learned is developing a relationship with the manager or designated contact person of the hotel. With that relationship established, I have been able to get last-minute rooms when there are “none available”, a perk especially treasured by HTS as we are becoming more frequent guests at our larger clients across the nation. Lastly, I have also discovered the benefits of developing connections with the rental car companies to get the best available rates possible for the employees and our clients.

It is a chaotic and sometimes challenging job as our client’s schedules can change frequently, but in the end, it is rewarding to hear the stories when our clients appreciate our numerous on site meeting visits, Day in the Life and Move support so they can successfully transition into their new facility.  Because of these tips and tricks I have learned through my experience with trip planning, many HTS employees have exclaimed, “If we didn’t have you then we would be lost!” and makes my job enjoyable as I know that I am helping a co-worker get to their destination safely and have a reserved room for them to sleep at the end of their long journey. Overall, despite some of the hectic moments and last-minute scrambling for rooms when schedules change, I feel proud to support HTS as it is a wonderful company to work for and the support and flexibility of the team makes my job enjoyable at the end of the day.