Travel management software isn’t just for large enterprises anymore. Small to medium-sized businesses experience massive benefits when they book and manage travel with software designed for businesses, instead of booking on consumer sites and then scrambling to track down the invoices.
Whether you’re a long-time user of travel management software, or you’re researching this software category for the first time, we’re covering everything you need to know about the top features, vendor options, and the market as a whole.
Keep reading to find out what the market’s top tools are when it comes to booking corporate travel as well as tracking and reporting travel expenses. We also included a section with useful add-ons and extra tools that can improve the business travel booking process and travel experience, as well as help with data analysis.
What is travel management software?
Travel management software is used to book trips, manage upcoming trips, and track and report on previous trips. Other important features and uses include the automation of corporate travel policies and the ability to consolidate travel invoices and vendors.
The old way for small businesses: Employees read the company travel policy on a PDF handout or internal wiki, use any website to book their trip, then have to get reimbursed.
The old way for large businesses: Use business travel companies or travel software with big markups, commissions, and support call fees.
The NEW way (for businesses of any size): Employees book for themselves using corporate travel booking tools that includes the company travel policy inside (to block or require approval for trips out of policy). The software also includes company payment details so no reimbursements are necessary!
Top travel management software
Most travel software will help you track and report on spending to help you make budget decisions, but doesn't include everything you need for taxes and accounting purposes.
While travel booking management software should integrate with your expense system, these are separate tools. That's why we've broken down our software recommendations into those that help you manage travel versus those that help you report on expenses, as well as extra tools and add-ons.
Business travel booking tools
TravelPerk offers the world’s largest travel inventory alongside powerful travel management features. It helps travelers and managers easily book travel for themselves and others within policy.
TravelPerk also provides travel budget owners and finance teams with all of the features they need: travel spend tracking, expense reporting and integrations, and compliance insights. The tool is top-rated by travelers and administrators. Plus, TravelPerk offers a free business travel software option which is ideal for those businesses looking to access a top-quality tool without the extra costs.
See how to save money on business travel
Salestrip can be a good business travel software option for sales teams and consultants who use Salesforce. It allows you to track and manage travel at the CRM level, so you can assign trips to different customer accounts.
If you like the experience of having a travel agency, but you also want modern software to go along with it, then you might enjoy Flightfox, which is a travel agency management software that provides an online tool where you can review upcoming trips, download expense reports, etc.
Airbnb for Work
While it won’t work as a complete stand-alone trip management solution, Airbnb for Work offers the features that businesses need to safely and easily let their travelers stay with Airbnb for business trips, including streamlined payment and duty of care integrations. Keep in mind that some travel management platforms (like TravelPerk) allow you to book with Airbnb for Work.
Tools for managing travel expenses
Expensify is the leading solution in the expense management category. It offers a mobile app for easy expensing (just take a picture of your receipt and it will enter the data for you). Plus, it now has a new credit card offer, so that employees don’t even have to bother with receipt uploads for many transactions.
Brex is a corporate credit card that is great for startups and established businesses alike. It offers higher limits than most cards, better rewards, and it makes it easy to track and manage spend across all categories, including travel.
With spend management software and a credit card offering, Spendesk helps companies track and control spend. Companies can get real-time insight into all spend, which can be easily sorted and categorized to help with budgetary decision-making.
Zoho Expense is a popular expense management platform primarily used by small businesses. You can upload receipts and record expenses so that accounting teams have all of the information they need.
In addition to corporate cards and mobile expensing, Fyle has robust expense management features, including approval workflows, spend analytics, and travel spend advances.
Yokoy’s expense tracking software makes it easy for medium and large enterprises to track, submit, and reimburse expenses. The platform uses artificial intelligence to automatically extract information and fill out expense forms, including VAT validation and reclaim as well as finding outliers and identifying possible fraud.
This spend management solution is designed for businesses of all sizes, and includes smart corporate cards that make business purchases easy to track, categorize, and report. Divvy’s free tool allows businesses to create budgets, track expenses, and generate virtual credit cards to manage subscriptions.
Expensya’s software makes it easy for businesses to manage their daily expenses, from office costs to business travel. The solution helps streamline expense reporting processes thanks to accounting automation, self-managed expenses, dedicated options for daily allowances, intelligent validation and control, smart recognition technology, and integration with a wide range of software solutions.
This intelligent app for employee expenses offers an easy way to track travel expenses, allowances, and any other additional expenses. By reducing manual input and checking, Circula helps businesses save time and comply with policies and regulations. A mobile app is also available to allow employees to easily report their expenses and submit invoices, so that everything can be processed digitally.
Remember: for whatever travel management software and expense management software you choose, make sure they can integrate.
Other interesting tools and add-ons
Rocketrip’s platform allows companies to control their travel costs by encouraging employees to make smarter choices. The tool can forecast the cost of each trip, recommend money-saving travel options, and reward employees who spend less. Rocketrip is not a replacement for any corporate travel booking platform, but it's meant to be used alongside to increase savings.
This add-on provides insights and alerts for trips, which help enhance savings and improve the overall travel experience. From health and safety alerts to COVID-19 information, as well as an option that presents less-expensive alternatives, Tripkicks can definitely improve your business traveler experience.
Traxo offers data aggregation and intelligence solutions, which facilitate auditing, avoiding data leaks, identifying saving opportunities, and optimizing a company’s corporate travel program. The tool allows travel managers to really stay on top of all of their company’s corporate travel activities.
Traveling employees can stay safe and informed thanks to TravelCare’s risk management solution, which is included in TravelPerk’s platform. It’s a safe way to get back to business travel, featuring up-to-date travel alerts and information on restrictions before, during, and after the trip.
This solution allows companies to manage all their travel spend, regardless of where their employees booked. Thanks to CapTrav’s cloud-based solution, companies can track and report 100% of their travel spend from different channels.
This app will make packing for your next business trip a lot easier. Based on the weather forecast for your destination, as well as the activities planned and the length of the trip, PackPoint will generate a customized packing list for you. Stop stressing about packing — let technology do it for you!
App in the Air
Say hello to your new personal travel assistant, an app that will plan, book, track and manage your travels. Their service helps you organize and keep track of your travel schedule, check-in, and receive notifications and updates on terminals, gates, and baggage belts. Other interesting features include travel statistics and a carbon-neutral traveler program. Travel greener, travel smarter!
Features to look for in travel management software
End-to-end travel management platforms that cover all functionality from traveler data management to booking to policy creation to automatic expensing and more are definitely the best solution on the market. But they vary greatly in their functionality and in the cost savings they can provide to businesses, the main driver being access to low-cost inventory.
Here’s a checklist of the critical things to look out for when vetting travel management solutions:
- Ease of booking for administrators
- Self booking for travelers
- Free 24/7 support
- Massive travel inventory
- Automatic travel policy compliance with customizable policies and approval workflows
- Future-ready tool that will scale and adapt
- Around-the-clock travel support including direct line, chat, and email
- No additional charge for travel support
- Consolidated invoicing
- Travel spend reporting
It’s definitely an exciting time to watch the business travel industry. A few years ago, it was an old, clunky, boring market, and now it is popping off with new solutions and new technology everyday.
Geeky insights into the travel management software market
Corporate travel management is one of the largest global markets that has yet to be fully disrupted in this digital world.
Just a couple of years ago, only medium-sized businesses and enterprises would have used travel management software. But with new disruptors in the market, small businesses are ditching consumer booking sites in favor of more advanced solutions built for business use. Meanwhile, corporations that traditionally booked travel with agencies are moving towards in-house travel management, supported by robust but user-friendly software.
There’s a familiar story with many markets over the last couple of decades: new technology enters the space, new user expectations arise, and businesses either adapt or die.
This is exactly what’s happening in the business travel market. Only this time, the stakes are incredibly high. The expense management market size is estimated at somewhere around 2.5 billion USD.
Compare that with the corporate business travel market, which hit 1.3 trillion in 2016 and, while it was one of the most negatively affected sectors during the pandemic, it is expected to recover and reach US$829.5 billion by the year 2027. It makes sense when you think about it. With expense management, you’re buying a tool to help you track money, but with travel management, you’re actually choosing where your money will go. Who will get a piece of this massive pie?
Why the travel management software category is still growing
This massive market is ready for disruption. New technology developed in the last few years is making it possible to revolutionize business travel by offering companies a consumer-grade online booking experience and accessible pricing. Why call your corporate travel agent when you can book for yourself in a tool designed for businesses? Soon, everyone will be asking this question.
In the next two to three years, the question won’t be “Should I use business travel management software?” it will be “Which one should I use?”
Here are the problems that travel management software can solve:
- Difficulty enforcing a company's business travel program
- Lack of visibility into travel spend
- Time-consuming travel booking process
- Lack of hotel and flight options when making travel plans
SMBs: new adopters of travel management software
You might assume that the US$829.5 billion all of these players are going after is mainly spent by large corporations. While winning big accounts is certainly a great motivator for disruptors in this market, that’s not necessarily where the big money is.
Currently, there are hundreds of thousands of small to medium-sized businesses that are doing nothing when it comes to managing business travel. They’re not using software. They’re not using an agency. They’re doing everything the manual way and booking on tools built for consumers, thus sacrificing the ability to control and track business travel (which happens to be an enormous expenditure)
Part of the current opportunity comes in winning over the businesses that currently have no travel management solution. Opportunity also lies in businesses that have been dissatisfied with their corporate travel experience for years. Many enterprises have been saddled with high agency fees, commissions, and charges for poor-quality customer support calls
The travel management software category has changed rapidly in the past two years, and yet we’re still at the beginning of this huge wave of disruption.
What is a travel management program? ›
A managed travel program is when a business outsources its employee travel logistics to a TMC (travel management company). The TMC handles anything and everything concerning travel and business—so the business can focus on doing what it does best.How do you choose a travel solution? ›
- Domain Experience.
- Focus on the Delivery Time.
- Focus on User Experience.
- Be Clear About Support After Development.
- Choose a smart booking tool.
- Assure 24/7 travel support.
- Create policies and approval workflows.
- Organize and utilize travel spend data in real-time.
- Improve collaboration between admin and finance.
Lemax supports multiple languages and currencies. It's integrated with Travelport Galileo and Amadeus GDS to allow travel agencies to add flights, hotels, rentals, excursions, vessels, cruises, and more. Lemax API can be used virtually for all travel booking operations.Which software is used by travel agents? ›
Lemax is an online software solution for travel agencies and tour operators that create, sell and operate multi-day tours and want to grow faster by digitalizing their business.What is the importance of tour and travel management? ›
A major benefit of travel management is the ability to reduce costs associated with travel. This can include everything from airline tickets, to hotel room rates and travel insurance. Generally, travel management specialists will have industry contacts and enough experience to find or negotiate the best deals.Why is corporate travel management important? ›
Why Businesses Should Use Corporate Travel Management Agencies. Reduce costs: a major advantage of using corporate travel management agencies is reducing travel costs. This includes accommodation rates, insurance, airline tickets, and any other related expense.What is regular business travel? ›
What is Business Travel? Business travel, otherwise known as corporate travel, is a term used to describe travel that is carried out on behalf of a business, or for the purposes of doing business with someone else.How can I improve my travel agency? ›
- Highlight the benefits of your product/service. ...
- Engage with customers on social media. ...
- Upsell products – provide an experience. ...
- Package travel components into unique travel products and multi-day tours. ...
- Find a travel niche market.
- Holidaymakers. These people will travel to a holiday destination for a typical resort holiday. ...
- Business Travellers. ...
- Backpackers & Adventure Travellers. ...
- Expedition Members. ...
- Long Term Travellers. ...
- Travellers with Special Needs. ...
- Children. ...
- Elderly Travellers.
What is a travel account? ›
A travel account combines all of your travel expenses from travel agencies and other travel suppliers onto a single invoice. Fewer invoices mean easier administration, total control and better basis for keeping track of costs.What are the 4 types of travel? ›
- Travel and Tourism. ...
- Domestic Tourism – Taking Holidays and Trips in your own country. ...
- Inbound Tourism – Visitors from overseas coming into the country. ...
- Outbound Tourism –Travelling to a different country for a visit or a. ...
- Different Types of Travel. ...
- Leisure Travel - includes travel for holidays, cultural events, recreation.
Types of travel agent businesses
There are three major business models that are used: independent, multiple, miniple.
- 1) Travel Management. ...
- 2) Passenger assistance. ...
- 3) Consulting. ...
- 4) Marketing and internal communication. ...
- 5) Technology. ...
- 6) Leisure Services.
A Travel Booking Engine is a software that enables travel and tourism business to make ticketing via the internet. It lets customers book flights, hotels, holiday packages, Cars, and other services online.Which methods do travel agents use to make bookings? ›
- The GDS or Global Distribution System. Image Source. ...
- CRS or Computer Reservation Systems. Image Source. ...
- OTAs or Online Travel Agents. Image Source.
What is GDS? The Global Distribution System (GDS) is a primary reservation tool for travel agents. GDS is a network that enables travel agencies and their clients to access travel data, shop for and compare reservations options, and book travel.Is GDS a software? ›
A global distribution system (GDS) is software that travel agencies use to sell airline tickets or book hotel rooms. It's one of the most important channels for airlines to sell their tickets. The global distribution system connects is prime for your hotel to tap beyond the local travel marketplace.What are the 3 main functions of a tour operator? ›
Tour Operators are involved in planning, development, promotion, administration and implementation of tourism products. They oversee all the day-to-day tasks and also supervise, motivate and train staff. They are employed by tour or transportation companies, resorts or attractions.What is the most important job for a travel agent? ›
A travel agent's role is to help people plan, choose and arrange their holiday. They will usually work to a budget set out by whoever is planning the holiday. They also offer advice and opinions on where to go and local tourist attractions, events and customs.
What is the difference between tour and travel? ›
Table Summarising the Difference between Trip and Tour. The word 'trip' means a short outing that one takes, especially for pleasure. Trips can also refer to journeys taken for official business purposes. The word 'tour' means longer journeys taken to several places/destinations for pleasure.What is the difference between travel agency and travel management company? ›
Often, a travel management company implements new technology to help businesses reach their intended program goals and track progress. A singular travel agency primarily focuses on assisting clients with booking business travel.How does traveling improve learning? ›
One of the most important lessons you learn through travel is that you are more capable than you thought. Travel teaches you confidence, independence and freedom. It boosts your self-awareness and your problem-solving skills.Who travel the most for business? ›
People between 30 and 49 travel the most for business, and most of those travelers are men. However, the number of women of all ages traveling for business is increasing. About 40% of millennials travel for business.What is the purpose of travel? ›
The purpose of travel is connected with building social relationships, opportunities to learn and grow, and commitment. It gives us the chance to be truly engaged in an activity, to develop new skills and to discover new cultures. It brings us closer to ourselves and others.How do I find travel clients? ›
- Position Yourself as a Specialist Travel Agent. ...
- Seek Out and Reward Referrals. ...
- Don't Be Afraid of Complicated Trips. ...
- Get Active on Social Media. ...
- Maintain Consistency Across All Platforms. ...
- Continue Your Travel Education and Highlight Your Credentials. ...
- Enlist Help in Lead Generation.
- Do your research. Get to know your destination in depth before you arrive. ...
- Don't draw attention. ...
- Make copies of important documents. ...
- Keep your friends and family updated. ...
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi. ...
- Safeguard your hotel room. ...
- Be aware of your surroundings.
Tourist (or overnight visitor): A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise (IRTS 2008, 2.13).Which type of people travel the most? ›
TRAVEL TRENDS BY GENERATION: FREQUENCY OF TRAVEL
Generation Z has an average of 29 vacation days per year. Millennials have an average of 35 vacation days a year. Generation X has an average of 26 vacation days per year. Boomers between 55-75 have an average of 27 vacation days a year.
Travel code is a travel agency that creates travel programs.
What is BPO travel account? ›
Travel business process outsourcing (BPO) is the transfer of responsibility for a company's travel-related operations to a third-party consultant firm. This type of BPO can encompass a range of projects that relate to travel, from the outsourcing of ticket reservation management to transportation logistics.What are the 5 types of travel? ›
As you can see, there are many different types of travel, which can broadly be categorised as: leisure travel, corporate travel, specialist travel, visiting friends and relatives and day trips.What are the 5 main types of tourism? ›
- Types of Tourism.
- Adventure tourism. As a kind of tourism in India, adventure tourism has recently grown in India. ...
- Beach Tourism. India's vast coastline and islands provides ample opportunities for fun packed tourism. ...
- Cultural tourism. ...
- Eco tourism. ...
- Medical tourism. ...
- Wildlife tourism.
Thomas Cook, (born November 22, 1808, Melbourne, Derbyshire, England—died July 18, 1892, Leicester, Leicestershire), English innovator of the conducted tour and founder of Thomas Cook and Son, a worldwide travel agency. Cook can be said to have invented modern tourism.What are the elements of travel? ›
The four basic elements of travel are air, land, sea, and water. Wildlife requires food, water, shelter, and a place where it can raise its young. The four elements of travel are used to categorize different kinds of travelers. The first three elements are important to all of us.What are the five steps for making travel arrangements? ›
- Pick your destination. ...
- Decide the duration of your trip. ...
- Book flights, train, or bus tickets, and accommodation. ...
- Plan the day-wise activities and course of action. ...
- Pack diligently and make all the necessary adjustments.
A global distribution system (GDS) is software that travel agencies use to sell airline tickets or book hotel rooms. It's one of the most important channels for airlines to sell their tickets. The global distribution system connects is prime for your hotel to tap beyond the local travel marketplace.What is GDS in aviation? ›
The Global Distribution System (GDS) is a primary reservation tool for travel agents. GDS is a network that enables travel agencies and their clients to access travel data, shop for and compare reservations options, and book travel.What is travel booking system? ›
A Travel Booking Engine is a software that enables travel and tourism business to make ticketing via the internet. It lets customers book flights, hotels, holiday packages, Cars, and other services online.How do I get access to Amadeus GDS? ›
The most common way to connect to Amadeus is to go through a GDS provider. There are multiple companies that provide these services and they will typically connect a hotel to all major GDS systems at once.
What are the three types of GDS? ›
There are three important GDS systems: Travelport (Galileo, Apollo, Worldspan), Amadeus and SABRE.What is GDS salary? ›
Ans: The monthly salary of India post GDS salary is Rs. 10,000/- for 4 hours and Rs. 12,000/- for 5 hours duty.What is a GDS code? ›
GDS Chain codes help to reinforce the brand image and positioning in the different distribution channels, strengthening access to the community of portals and tour operators and thus the overall booking potential of a company.What does PNR stand for in travel? ›
PNR data are unverified information provided by passengers and collected by air carriers to enable the reservation and check-in processes.What airline uses Amadeus? ›
According to ch-aviation.com, Amadeus' Altea reservations platform is used by major airlines such as British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines. More airlines are joining these ranks.Which is better Sabre or Amadeus? ›
Amadeus is considered the most versatile GDS. It consolidates around 490 airlines, 770,000 hospitality properties, 69 car rental companies and transfer carriers in 42,000 locations, 43 railway carriers, and 53 cruise and ferry lines. The main area of Amadeus distribution in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.What is online booking tool? ›
An online booking tool (sometimes referred to as an OBT) is an internet-based system that allows you to book flights, rail, hotels and more. The goal of an OBT is to provide simple, effective and hassle-free travel booking that's compliant with company travel policies.Which booking engine is the best? ›
What is the best hotel booking engine? According to HotelTechReport's rankings, which are based on real user reviews and software specs, the best hotel booking engine is Cloudbeds, which was voted #1 at the 2021 HotelTechAwards. Other top booking engines include Bookassist, SiteMinder, NetAffinity, and Avvio.What are the 4 basic functions of CRS? ›
All of the CRSs carry out four basic functions.
Display products and services offered by various tourism providers. Passenger or guest name record. Fare quotation and ticketing depending on the complexity of the services offered. Provision of information about trade shows, visa regulations, and payment gateways.
Amadeus e-Travel Management is a free app for Android published in the Recreation list of apps, part of Home & Hobby.
What is the most used GDS system? ›
Amadeus is the world's largest GDS, accounting for about 40% of GDS transactions, and it's especially popular in Europe.What is Amadeus and Sabre? ›
Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, Apollo and Galileo are all global distribution systems. Global Distribution System connects multiple numbers of providers to a shared platform for bookings (flight, hotel, packages, and cars) worldwide.