Travel Arrangements to Wow any Boss, Part One

By | Feb 2, 2008

When I first started interviewing for Admin Asst positions, I didn’t put travel arrangements on my resume. I mean, any idiot can make travel arrangements, can’t they? But then on every interview, I was asked about my ability to handle travel arrangements. I finally figured out that there is an art to keeping the boss happy when he’s traveling. This will be the first of 3 posts on making travel arrangements to keep any boss happy. In this post, I’ll talk about the general information you need when making travel arrangements.

  1. First, find out the boss’s preferences. Does she prefer window or aisle? Meal preferences or restrictions? Front of the plane or back? I had one boss who preferred the escape aisle since it generally provided more leg room. These little details are important in keeping your boss comfortable on the flight.
  2. Next is airline preferences. Be sure to get any frequent flier numbers as well as his airline preferences. Find out the status of her frequent flier accounts and when/if she is eligible for upgrades. Set yourself a reminder to call in the minute he is eligible so you can be sure to grab that upgrade.
  3. Time of day is important. Does she prefer to fly in with plenty of time to spare, or does she prefer to arrive at the last minute. This may vary from trip to trip, so always be sure to ask
  4. Let’s not forget hotel preferences. This includes not just which chain but also little things like, does the hotel have a gym (and what hours it’s open), do they have king beds (preferred by the very tall bosses), do they have a mini-bar, is there wi-fi available (or other broadband), is there a restaurant in the hotel, etc
  5. Find out if he has a preferred travel agent. If you work for a big corporation, chances are you’ll either have an in-house travel agency or have ones that are preferred. For a smaller company or non-profit, that may not be the case. And, of course, if money is an issue, you’ll probably want to make the arrangements yourself, since most travel agents charge for services these days. Making the arrangements yourself is the subject of another post.

For you old hands, this information probably seems pretty basic, but for those new to their administrative assistant position who are making these arrangements for the first time, these tips will hopefully provide a starting place to impress the boss. Feel free to chime in with any information I may have forgotten. If you’re the boss, let us know what you like to have when you travel.

Next post: The Itinerary.

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23 Comments so far
  1. Terrie Wright (1 comments) November 12, 2008 3:28 pm

    Thank you for these types of articles. I was an Admin Asst for the majority of my career before moving into sales. I now believe that Admin is a better fit for me. As I am reacquainting myself with some of my prior duties, I find refresher info like this is very, very helpful.

  2. Jodith (189 comments) November 12, 2008 5:06 pm

    Hi, Terrie,

    Welcome to Administrative Arts, and welcome back to the field!

    I’m glad you’re finding the content helpful. If you have any specific questions, just click on Ask the Admin on the menu bar and send me an e-mail. I’ll be happy to answer whatever I can.

  3. jason (2 comments) October 13, 2009 9:12 pm

    i just forwarded this to my assistant thank you for posting

  4. Jodith (189 comments) October 23, 2009 1:13 pm

    You’re welcome. Thank you for posting!

  5. t (1 comments) November 8, 2009 7:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing I am going on an interview tomorrow that I’m claiming is mine in Jesus name! thanks for the heads-up

  6. Jodith (189 comments) November 8, 2009 9:31 pm

    You’re very welcome! Good luck on that interview. I’ll say a prayer for you.

  7. Home Based Travel Business (2 comments) November 18, 2009 2:00 am

    Very good idea to raise that issue of making travel arrangements for the boss. Any personal assistant would be very happy if the boss calls him/her and says: ‘Thank you! The travel arrangesments have been handled in a very professional way. I have no hassle and I am enjoying myself’. The tips you give here are very useful.
    .-= Home Based Travel Business´s last blog ..What Other Travel Professionals Think About WorldVentures and Rovia? =-.

  8. "Joann@pressurewashinglosangeles" (1 comments) January 10, 2010 10:55 am

    My sister-In-law is looking for a job, so I will give her this information.

  9. Jodith (189 comments) January 10, 2010 6:15 pm

    Thanks! Wish her luck on her job hunt for me.

  10. traveladdict (1 comments) February 4, 2010 8:57 pm

    it is a big responsiblitiy being ask by the boss to handle the travel arrangement for him because you need to know if you chose the right services for him to be impressed
    .-= traveladdict´s last blog ..Save $10 on all Hotel Bookings =-.

  11. Fitness Bootcamp (1 comments) March 5, 2010 4:49 am

    Certainly some great advice for anyone seeking to go down that career path. As pointed out by “Traveladdict” the travel arrangements for your boss carries with it a huge responsibility and its crucial to get it right.

    Its re-assuring to see a guide like this posted so the rest of us stand a chance!

    Great information and a great post. Thanks

  12. Seo Birmingham (1 comments) June 2, 2010 12:46 am

    I look for experience of organising business trip when I recruit a PA or admin staff, it vital. I would go so far as to sugest list the place you have personally traveled on you CV as well, it can work for you two fold.

  13. Karen Lewis (1 comments) June 5, 2010 9:34 am

    Thank you sooooooo much for posting this information. For years, I wanted to apply for jobs which included these kinds of duties, but feared to do so and would not apply. No, there is no need to fear, advice is here and thank you Jesus for it. Thank you.!

  14. christian travel (1 comments) August 4, 2010 8:40 am

    Great practical tips!

    Actually, these pointers can come in handy when making travel arrangements for anybody … yourself included. Your spouse, your parents, your friends, your daughter and her husband (honeymoon travel) … people will definitley appreciate the time and attention to detail you’ve put into making things easier and more comfortable for them.

  15. Tanya@Naperville exercise equipment (1 comments) October 25, 2010 8:36 am

    I had no idea so much detail went into the task of making travel arrangements. Maybe I’m just not a picky flyer, but I don’t generally care what airline I’m on or what seat I’m in – sounds like your bosses were treated pretty well!

  16. Dave McClure (1 comments) March 7, 2011 3:55 am

    Making travel arrangements can be a real chore. There is so much to take into account that goes behind the scenes which you have successfully pointed out. Some good advice for us administrators.

  17. muneerah (1 comments) January 2, 2013 1:29 pm

    thank you jodith. this is so very helpful i appreciate you! Muneerah

  18. Jennifer L (1 comments) February 15, 2013 10:42 am

    I just wanted to say thank you for posting this information. I have been an administrative assistant for many years and I am looking to move up and out by finding a new employer. I have always had a knack for travel arrangements as my mother has worked for an airline for many years. Learning how to navigate airports and find the best rates comes easy to me, unfortunatley my current employer never uses me for this, so I wanted to be able to put it on my resume somehow and sound professional if asked about it in an interview.
    Jennifer L´s last blog post status update

  19. Connie | Sports Travel Agency (1 comments) March 12, 2013 8:00 am

    These are some great tips. I shared this article as well with our travel agents who work for me. I hope they wow our clients with these ideas.

  20. Connie (2 comments) March 13, 2013 10:32 am

    It is a great article. Most people do not consider the “ace up your sleeve” as far as your boss is concerned if you can surprise them with comprehensive travel plans. Booking through a professional, a Group Travel Specialist can go ahead and make all the difference. It is a surefire way to make you shine in the eyes of your boss. Go impress them by arranging all your travel needs with a Travel Specialists. Good Luck.
    Connie´s last blog post ..Campus tours: A great experience for student group travel!

  21. Cat Breeds (1 comments) April 17, 2014 2:16 am

    Let’s not forget about pets arrangements if boss has special friends.
    Cat Breeds´s last blog post ..York Chocolate Cat

  22. Vicky (1 comments) April 23, 2015 5:29 am

    I’m curious if anyone has a worksheet that could be used for making extensive travel arrangements to ensure you don’t miss anything?

  23. Jodith (189 comments) May 12, 2015 8:49 am

    Hi, Vicky. I don’t use excel for this, but Word. Excel isn’t as friendly for text heavy documents. Check out this blog post for the itinerary:

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