All bookings related to travel, such as event tickets, transportation, flights, lodging, etc. will be done by either yourself or a travel booker from Sandhills. This will vary case-by-case but our default preference is to make reservations directly on your behalf.
Why we prefer to book on your behalf when possible
We do not require bookings to be made by someone from the company, but under normal circumstances we prefer it for these reasons:
- So you can focus on your job. You have other important things to work on and we don't want you to worry about travel arrangements unless you have to.
- To prevent financial stress for you. When you make a purchase and then request reimbursement, it could be as much as two weeks (or more in rare cases) before you receive those funds from us. This can cause financial strain for employees and we want to avoid that when possible.
- So we can manage logistics. If we are coordinating groups, it's helpful for us to have access to booking information without bothering you.
- For record keeping. We carefully track travel related information for everyone on the team so that we can continue to improve our practices and budget accurately. Having access to itineraries and booking details makes this easier for us.
- For efficiency. We work hard to make the process streamlined and consistent. We maintain a record of everyone's travel details and can often make reservations for you very quickly without bothering you with many questions.
- To provide an extra set of eyes. Regardless of who makes the actual purchase, it is a good practice to have more than one person checking and double checking reservation details, especially for non-refundable purchases. We always try to offer creative suggestions when possible to make sure all options are considered before purchases are made.
- To take advantage of special offers. Now and then, discounts, upgrades, and other such privileges are available to our business accounts and it can be advantageous to both of us if we use them.
- To earn purchase rewards. The company does earn some points and benefits through our credit card providers and our various business accounts when making purchases.
Situations when you should book for yourself and get reimbursed
In the following situations, it might make more sense for you to make purchases yourself and request a reimbursement later:
- You are personally entitled to special benefits (upgrades, discounts, etc.) which we would not be able to secure for you otherwise.
- You are the only person from the company going on the trip. No logistics and coordination necessary.
- You are not comfortable with someone making such a purchase on your behalf.
- The purchase cannot be made in advance.
- A last minute change to the plan is necessary.
- No one from the company is available to make the reservation for you in time.
- You possess a company card and have permission to make travel purchases yourself.
These are only a few examples of the cases in which a different approach becomes appropriate.
The booking process
Under normal circumstances, all trips should include:
- Approval from the Director of Operations or CEO.
- A discussion between you and a travel booker about your preferences and needs.
- Final, explicit, pre-purchase approval from A) you if purchases are being made by a travel booker or B) a travel booker if you are making the purchases.
- An exchange of all the travel related details between you and the travel booker after purchases have been made.
- A request for reimbursement made after returning from the trip (if necessary).