Tara Farrer works for Tiger Recruitment, a secretarial recruitment agency, where she is PA to the Managing Director and a Marketing Executive. Over the past year she has had experience liaising with PAs from all industry backgrounds and has a strong knowledge surrounding the world of office support recruitment and what employers expect from their PAs.
One of Tiger’s top PA candidates has provided us with some great tips on how to write a travel itinerary. Whether you are someone who has little itinerary experience or a PA who has plenty, her advice may help you improve on your itinerary technique so that it becomes a document that your boss will truly appreciate.
At the top of an itinerary, state the dates of travel and the route i.e. London – Berlin – Moscow. When you are providing names of places, it is recommended that write it in both English and the local language.
Inform your boss as to which passport (if he has numerous) he should take. Ensure the passport number is clearly specified. Embolden any text that is important while also making use of underlining and also italics.
When organising the itinerary, make sure that any times stated are written in local time - If they are in London, GMT or if they are in Washington, EST etc. and mention the time zone differences. This may stop your boss from calling you unexpectedly at 2:00 a.m.
If you are booking taxis, whether it's to the airport, hotel or meeting venue, ensure that they have the taxi company name, booking reference and information of where they are travelling to and from.
If taking a flight, ensure that they know which airport they are leaving from, where they are flying to, the departure and gate closing time, terminal number, airline name, flight number and give them the booking reference for their flight. Make them aware if their boarding pass it either enclosed of NOT enclosed.
Inform your boss as to when they are due to arrive at their destination in local time. If they do not have a taxi booked, instruct them to hail a taxi and provide them with the necessary information of their next destination.
If taking a train or other mode of transport, ensure they have information on how to purchase their tickets and details for their next journey's end. If tickets are pre-booked, provide them with the reference number, destination details and inform them, like with the airline tickets, if they are enclosed of NOT enclosed.
If they are staying in a hotel, give them the address of the hotel, their reference number and how many nights they will be staying. It's always nice to note the hotel website so they can take a look if they please.
When they're going to a meeting, ensure that they have the correct contact information for the person they are meeting, details of where they are meeting them - ie. the full address of the meeting venu with directions - and the time of the meeting. The contact information must include the email, phone numbers and office address of the person they are meeting (plus, the address of the meeting place if it isn't the person's office).
At the bottom of the itinerary, make a list of all the contact information they need. This should include:
- Taxi numbers (booked: Taxi company, contact name and number. Not booked: Local taxi companies and numbers)
- Hotel (address, contact name and number)
- Your contact details (number and email)
- Any contact details of who they will be meeting (name, company, email and number)
- Contact details for any meeting places (location name, address and number)
Other useful information to include are weather forecasts (do they need an umbrella?) and also restaurant suggestions. If you're giving them ideas for where to eat, ensure that it is in a reasonable distance to where they are staying or have a meeting and takes into account any dietary requirements/restrictions and/or culinary preferences they may have. Unique destination information including customs is also a detail that could be beneficial to your boss.
How many times have you had to write a travel itinerary for your boss in the last year? Did you find this post helpful or a reflection of some of your own best practices? Feel free to leave your comments and questions below.