How to Write a Travel Itinerary That Won’t See Your Boss Cursing You through Jet-Lagged Angst

Posted on Friday, October 15, 2021 by A Top London PANo comments

Travel itinerary skills are often highly needed, but also underrated, in PA jobs in London. Over the last year, even the most experienced PA’s travel itinerary writing skills would have gone rusty. Now that travel is beginning to open up once more, how can PAs create an itinerary that meets their executive’s needs, doesn’t waste time or leave them exhausted, and manages the extra complications of post-Covid travel?

Our PA recruitment agency offers these detailed tips to make your travel itineraries stand out from the crowd:

  • Do your Covid homework: Check up-to-date travel requirements and ensure that all bookings for Covid tests are made in the most efficient way. Your boss will likely prefer tests that can be taken in their hotel room instead of attending a clinic. So book them, diarise when they’re to be done, and nudge your executive with a reminder and instructions on how to submit the test. Write these details into the itinerary.
  • Make it clear: Itineraries tend to grow and change, and all too often they end up a copied and pasted mess. Keep fonts uniform, so if you highlight something, it will stand out for the right reason.
  • Include an overview: At the very top of the itinerary, state the dates and add an overview of the route. Include your boss’ passport number here too, and which passport they should travel on if they have multiple.
  • State local times: Travel itineraries are rife with confusion if you don’t use local times, so make sure to include these details. For example, when writing the time of the flight from London, follow it by GMT, whereas if they are catching their return flight from New York, add EST. Depending on your executive, they may also like you to include a time zone difference (which can be denoted using a +/-).
  • Details: Make sure to include details that your executive has quick and easy access to, including booking references, venue addresses, or anything else that’s relevant. For flights, include details such as the terminal number. If you’ve checked them in for the flight, ensure they have the boarding pass and state where they can find it. For pre-booked tickets, include reference numbers as well (and keep a copy of these yourself).
  • Connections: Think through connections. If you’re thinking “hmm, that’s quite tight”, it probably is! There's nothing more stressful than watching a train pull out in front of you because your connecting train only left you three minutes to traverse a city station!
  • Accommodation: It may seem glamorous to travel for work, but it’s often wearisome and exhausting. The accommodation you arrange can really make or break the travel experience. Speak to your executive about what really matters to them: Do they feel better if there’s a gym onsite? Do they prefer to stay in a serviced apartment with their own kitchenette and a home-from-home feel? Once you’ve decided, include all of the relevant information, including the website link and even a property overview with images.
  • Business details: Don’t lose sight of the purpose of the trip. Ensure that the travel itinerary includes information about who they are meeting—and their contact details—when, where, and what documentation they may need.
  • Summary: At the end of the itinerary, include your contact details and any telephone numbers that may be needed for the trip. It can also help to include a local weather forecast, restaurant and café suggestions, and any unique points that may be needed (e.g. local traditions or customs). Pop in insurance details, too.

By following the above, your executive will have a travel itinerary that leaves them feeling in control, at ease, and able to focus on the business at hand.


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