Business Travel Is Back.
With the hope that the pandemic is winding down, live conferences, training, and business development mean that travel may once again become part of your business operations. Domestic travel rules are far more stable than International travel but still present issues you need to know.
Getting Tickets Is The First Challenge.
You may book tickets for your employees, but there’s no guarantee that they will end up on those flights, and they may have to go through circuitous routes to get to their destination.
In addition, between labor shortages, pandemic-related complexities, and summer weather, thousands of flights each month in June and July were canceled or delayed. This trend is continuing so far in August. Be prepared for last-minute changes by airlines and potential delays. It is advisable to leave a day or two earlier than you would have scheduled before the pandemic.
Domestic Travel Requirements And Recommendations
Although domestic travel does not require proof of vaccination, it is still recommended by the CDC. If you are not vaccinated, the CDC recommends that the traveler get a viral test one to three days before the travel date. In addition, they suggest that the traveler be tested three to five days after travel and self-quarantine for seven days (ten days if not tested). The complete list of travel recommendations is available at the CDC travel guideline website at Domestic Travel During COVID-19 | CDC.
Although most of the U.S. does not have a mask mandate, you will be required to wear a mask on all domestic flights (and other public transportation). Be aware that this has led to an increased incidence of unruly passengers. Your employees should be informed that they represent your business while traveling and are expected to behave accordingly. Researching your destinations to find out the local masking and social distancing requirements prior to travel will prevent any issues once you arrive.
Reducing your COVID risk when flying starts with the decisions you make while booking your flight — such as avoiding layovers. While it may increase the cost of your flight slightly, it will help reduce the risk of exposure to COVID while traveling.
Foreign travel presents numerous additional challenges. Most countries require vaccinations or recent negative tests. Some countries do not accept U.S. vaccination documents. Foreign travel requires more research and strict adherence to the destination country’s rules. It may require mandatory quarantine periods at your expense. Masking requirements vary widely from country to country. Research is essential to avoid complications and unexpected expenses.
You May Want To Consider Driving
If the trip is less than five or six hours by car, it may be cheaper and more convenient for the employee to drive their own car. (The company should reimburse for mileage, of course.) If your company has a policy on employees refraining from using their own car, you may want to plan ahead. Finding and paying for rental cars may be the most challenging part of the trip.
If Your Employees Are Not Ready To Travel?
Some travel is, of course, essential. But if your employees don’t feel comfortable hopping on a plane or meeting with people face to face, consider if this trip is truly crucial travel. It may not be. We’ve survived with video conferencing for almost a year and a half. We can go a bit further!