Whether you’re organizing a tech conference, a yoga retreat, or an adrenalin-fueled heli-biking tour of the world’s craggiest peaks, there’s one thing that will always prove a little sticky (if not downright troublesome). Yep, we’re talking about payments.
When it comes to managing payments for any group travel situation, planning and preparing are key. As such, here are four things to consider now so that life will be easier (for all involved) down the track.
- Structuring payments for better business cashflow.
“Better late than never” makes sense in a lot of situations. Like when you remember to call your mom the day after her birthday, or you show up to a party an hour after everyone else. But when it comes to payments, late can cause serious problems.
That’s especially true if you’re a small business that has little in cash reserves or credit to rely on. Late incoming payments means late outgoing payments means potential late fees or — worse — ruined relationships or cuts to supplies.
Not that we want to sound pessimistic. (Our glass is always half full. Wine, anyone?) Even if that kind of scenario is not on the cards for you, keeping your cashflow flowing is still a good idea. The sooner payments are received, the sooner things can be checked off and confirmed; and the less time you need to spend chasing them up!
One way to factor this into your group travel planning is by ensuring you have your invoicing processes well-established and well-timed. Get your invoicing done earlier so that payments start rolling in earlier, too. That way, you’ll keep your business cashflow fluid and favorable.
- Offering payment plans to allow more flexibility to travelers.
Some travelers are happy to pay one lump sum up front and not have to worry a thing about it again. For others, individual budgets simply don’t allow it. Offering your travelers different payment plan options can help alleviate their budget concerns by giving them greater financial flexibility.
For example, you might accept a deposit as confirmation of booking, with the rest of the total to be paid later. Or you might allow travelers to pay in a series of installments. How flexible you make this is up to you: it comes down to finding a balance between managing your cashflow (see above) and giving the people in your group the financial flexibility they require.
- Allowing for individual customization.
Wouldn’t the life of an organizer be dreamy if everyone wanted to do and see the exact same things? Reality is, that’s not the case. So while it may be ideal from a management point of view to simply have one standard package price that applies to everyone, that’s not generally what the traveler wants.
To cater to your audience better, consider making trip packages customizable. Travelers might choose to opt in or out of particular activities, thus affecting their total costs. Or you might have different price options for individual versus shared accommodation. A couple who share a room, for example, would expect to pay less per person than a single traveller with a room to themselves.
Offering such customizations of course creates more complexity for you as organizer, so it’s important to keep a close track of each participant and their choices. Nevertheless, it can be worthwhile if it means greater flexibility and satisfaction for travelers.
- Providing multiple payment options.
Last but not least, it’s always a good idea to offer multiple payment options. Bank deposit, credit card, Paypal… different people have different preferences, so the more options there are, the easier it is for people to make payments. Supplying an option they’re comfortable with will also prompt some people to make their payments quicker — which, again, helps with that question of cashflow. To put it another way: offering multiple payment options means everybody wins.
If you’re a travel organizer navigating the complexity of prices and payments, it helps to have the right tools. Find out more about how YouLi can help you manage payments better.