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Mastering the itinerary: a PA’s guide to business travel success


Planning business travel for executives is a delicate dance between efficiency, comfort, and company policy. As a PA or EA, you’re the maestro of this intricate choreography. PA Life has put the most important points together in a handy PA’s guide to business travel and rounded up some of the best options available from trusted business travel experts…

Key elements of a PA’s guide to business travel success:

1. Understanding the trip’s purpose

Every trip has a goal. Before diving into logistics, grasp the objective – a client meeting, a conference, or potential partnership discussions. This knowledge guides your choices: booking a central hotel for client access or a quieter location for pre-meeting preparation.

2. Executive preferences and needs

Comfort and productivity are paramount. Learn your executive’s travel preferences – preferred airlines, seating (window or aisle?), dietary restrictions. Do they require extra legroom for long flights? Knowing these details ensures a smoother journey.

3. Budget constraints and policy

While comfort is important, adhering to the company’s travel policy is crucial. Familiarise yourself with budget limitations for flights, hotels, and incidentals. Research cost-effective options that meet both policy and your executive’s needs. Consider loyalty programmes and corporate rates for potential savings.

4. Time zone management and jet lag

Respecting the clock is vital. Factor in time zone differences when scheduling meetings. Provide your executive with resources to combat jet lag – pre-departure sleep adjustments, hydration strategies, and arrival-day activity recommendations.

5. Visas, security and communication

Research visa requirements well in advance, especially for international trips. Ensure all travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance) are valid and easily accessible. Set up clear communication channels for updates or emergencies, like international roaming options or secure messaging apps.

6. Itinerary flexibility and contingency plans

The best-laid plans can change. Be prepared to adjust the itinerary for flight delays, cancellations, or unexpected meetings. Research alternative transportation options and have back-up hotel options in case of unforeseen circumstances.

7. Technology and tools

Embrace technology! Utilise travel booking platforms that integrate company policies and loyalty programmes. Travel apps can help with navigation, currency conversions, and language translation. Consider providing your executive with a portable wi-fi hotspot for seamless global connectivity.

And, just as importantly, read on to discover some great options for helping you with your planning.

These top business travel experts will make a PA’s life easier:

PA Life has rounded up some of the best TMCs and travel solution providers to help PAs in their business travel planning and management.


Travel Counsellors

As an EA or PA, Travel Counsellors knows you’re an expert in taking care of people – and that’s why Travel Counsellors for Business is committed to going above and beyond for you and your travellers. A truly bespoke service is exactly what your business leaders deserve. Their travel requirements are a genuine priority for Travel Counsellors. Whatever they need and wherever they need to go, your dedicated Travel Counsellor will get them there safely.

Your Travel Counsellor will work with you to understand the needs of your business. Not only will they plan the perfect trip, but they’ll also leverage data to help you travel more sustainably and cost-effectively. They’ll take care of everything, overseeing the full end-to-end process of your business travel. Plus, the company has just launched myTC Online – a simple self-booking tool for straightforward trips, allowing your Travel Counsellor to focus on more complex itineraries.

Rest assured you’ll never lose that personal touch, with 24/7 support still available for trips you’ve booked yourself. It’s time to discover a new level of care in business travel. Visit business., call on 0161 464 5350 or email to find out more.

Prestige Group

Prestige Group is one of London’s longest established full-service passenger transport and courier companies. It provides a range of transportation services to large corporate companies through to smaller organisations and private individuals, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Through its courier division, Prestige offers cycle, motorcycle, electric car, van and refrigerated van deliveries, removals and storage, UK wide, as well as UK overnight and international parcel services. Prestige also offers global travel concierge through its network of chauffeur driven cars, electric V Class Mercedes people carriers and minibuses, and even helicopters and private jet charters.

Through its long[1]established affiliations, Prestige offers global transport solutions in over 500 global towns and cities (and growing). It only works with the world’s most prestigious and experienced global transport companies that demonstrate the same quality and share the same ethos. It is through these affiliations that Prestige is able to organise onward travel for its discerning clients beyond the UK.

Airport meet & greets are also offered, along with assisting with check-in, escorting passengers through ‘fast track’ security, helping with security screening and accompanying to the dedicated premium lounge (Business & First Class). Passengers will be notified and collected from the lounge and escorted to the departure gate or to the aircraft. Everyone is a potential Prestige client. The company collaborates with directors of businesses, celebrities and high net worth individuals taking the difficulty out of intricate and complex travel itineraries, to keep everything under the ‘Prestige roof’. However, the company points out that it loves working with busy PAs and EAs, getting to know them and helping in some small way to make their lives that little bit easier.

Anyone signing up through PA life will have a 10% discount applied to their corporate account with Prestige. Find out more and get in touch with the team at


Clarity Business Travel

The strategic acquisition of Agiito by Clarity Business Travel and Brighter Events amalgamates years of unparalleled expertise and enviable reputations for service and driving value in corporate travel, meetings and events. With almost 900 of the industry’s brightest minds, the acquisition has brought together a wealth of knowledge, experience and creativity to support PAs. The fusion of specialised travel, meetings and events expertise guarantees innovative solutions tailored to meet the needs of every PA.

Through cutting-edge technology, PAs have seamless travel management and flawless event execution, with excellence at every turn. This powerhouse collaboration makes the company one of the largest UK TMCs with exceptional buying power so PAs get favourable rates and accessing exclusive perks. Plus, it is the first TMC with a distinction from The Institute of Customer Service and ISO 20121 accreditation in delivering sustainable events.

Multiple industry awards show the team’s collective strength and specialist knowledge as industry leaders.

Find out more at

Wings Travel Global

For a busy PA, coordinating complex travel arrangements such as flights, hotels, visas and transfers can be daunting and time consuming. So it makes sense to partner with TMC Wings Global Travel. We manage the trip from start to finish, taking care of every detail. You get a dedicated London-based account manager providing high-touch service, comprehensive reporting and 24/7 traveller duty of care.

Extended opening hours mean you can reach us between 7am and midnight. Headquartered in London with 20 operations worldwide, Wings has been managing travel programmes for over 30 years.

Email  For further information please see


Global Travel Management

In the dynamic realm of business travel, Natalie Pawley (pictured right), Director and co-founder of Global Travel Management (GTM), has been recognised as a luminary, earning the esteemed title of Travel Businesswoman of the Year 2024. Natalie’s 27-year journey with GTM commenced as its inaugural employee, where her meticulous financial management ensured stability and enhanced operational efficiency. Her adept leadership helped navigate GTM through adversities like post-9/11 downturns and the recent pandemic, prioritising team wellbeing amidst challenges.

Natalie’s commitment to sustainability shines through GTM’s pioneering carbon offset program, reflecting her environmental consciousness and the company’s dedication to responsible practices. As a visionary, Natalie adeptly balances leadership aspirations and fosters innovation within GTM, garnering admiration from colleagues and peers. On receiving the award, from Woking MP Jonathan Lord at the Palace of Westminster, Natalie said: “This is a great honour, but it also throws down the gauntlet to me: I will be continuing to work hard to lift women within Global Travel Management, so that we can continue to offer the best all-round service to our customers.”

Natalie has worked with the whole GTM team to provide tailor-made services for Personal Assistants, Executive Assistants and Virtual PAs.  You can find out more and get in touch with the team at


Business Direct @ SW Railway

Time is money and Business Direct can save you both time and money. Business Direct is a real time booking platform that is packed full of features that will not only make your life easier, but will save your business money, and more importantly your sanity. The organisation has worked closely with its customers and listened to the feedback to improve and develop its offering.

They have found that one of the areas that PAs consistently found a frustration when using other booking services was the aftersales service. Business Direct aims to resolve any issues within 24 hours. That means that when you need to make a refund and it meets the criteria, the refund is processed – no continual back and forth. Your time is important to you and chasing refunds is the last thing you want to do.

Business Direct is totally free to use, has no hidden costs, you can book tickets anywhere in England, Scotland and Wales, add-on bus tickets, TFL services and selected ferry tickets. No booking fees at all. Business Direct offers full 1-2-1 training and a dedicated team that will support you and your company with their business train travel needs.

Simply email today for a conversation and demo to make your life easier today.


This business travel round up is also published in PA Life’s Summer Issue 2024, amongst many other informative articles and supplier round ups.