Organizing group trips can be difficult, whether you’re crossing borders or just managing a group of people locally!
Fortunately, many of these complications can be mitigated by quality trip registration software.
There are a lot of trip registration software packages available, however. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, finding a trip registration software package that is right for you can be another obstacle rather than an opportunity.
So, what are the top features to look for in trip registration software?
No matter what size your group is, you’ll need to organize a lot of information. The first kinds of features that you look for in a trip registration software package should be tools that allow you to collect and organize information and communicate with your travelers efficiently.
A software that embeds into your website and offers login abilities are great too. Embedding in your website ensures the experience is smooth for applicants. And a login will provide an easy way for participants to update their information, make payments and check their status.
Forms and Upload Tools
All of your travelers will need to provide you with lots of information. From the basics like contact information to advanced concerns like passport info and travel plans.
A good trip registration software will include tools for you to create forms and questionnaires and to distribute these to your travelers. Some trip registration software packages even include templates of common important forms so that you don’t have to start from scratch. At the very least, a software that will allow you to build out the forms according to your process is the best solution.
Your trip registration software should also include tools that allow your travelers to upload images and PDFs of more complicated documents.
Those are just the basics.
These forms and upload tools should ideally allow travelers to save their progress on a form and come back to complete it later. This is especially true if you are organizing trips out of the country. These trips can require a great deal of paperwork and travelers might not have all of their documents in one place if they have them at all when they first start registering.
Many people who go on trips do not go on trips alone. A good trip registration software will allow group registration so that entire groups or families can submit all of their information in one place, and pay in one place – but we’ll talk more about payments later.
Group registration makes things easier for your travelers because it reduces the number of hoops that they have to jump through.
Group registration also makes things easier for you as an organizer because it essentially “bundles” multiple users’ data into more manageable collections of data. Group registration tools are great options for families as well as companies with multiple employees traveling together.
Trip registration isn’t only about organizing things on your end. It’s also about collecting things from your travelers and making sure that they have everything that they need.
As you organize your trip, you’ll probably need to be in touch with your travelers very regularly.
A trip registration software package that includes a messaging feature will help you to keep your messages orderly without getting them jumbled up in another email account, or needing to make another email account just to organize your trip.
Of course, you won’t need to send every email to every traveler. A trip registration software package should include ways for you to filter, sort, and search your travelers by different criteria so that you can send messages where they need to go without spending valuable time manually searching through user accounts or sending unnecessary bulk emails to the whole group.
Billing Tools and Purchase Protection
You might be able to get by without collecting payments online but that approach will drastically limit the size and scope of your client-pool. Using a trip registration software package that includes allowing you to collect online payments will make things easier for you and for your travelers. Everyone loves an easy way to pay online, and you will appreciate all the time you save collecting payments automatically without chasing down outstanding payments.
Collecting payments online is just the beginning.
The ideal trip registration software will also allow your travelers to set up payment schedules and automatic payments. This will allow them to make payments for a trip over time. This can be handy for expensive trips and it also makes sense for other reasons. After all, travelers plan their trips for months in advance; why should they have to pay all at once?
A trip registration software that allows online payment should also allow payment protection. This feature allows travelers to recoup all or some of their funds should they need to cancel their trip. Often the traveler will have to pay a fee when they sign up for payment protection. This prevents you from losing too much when someone cancels and it’s too late for you to fill the seat.
A Payment Structure that Works for You
Choosing a trip registration software isn’t only about the tools that they offer. It’s also about the services that they offer and how well they work with you.
You should be able to tell what services they offer from a page on their site but what about the rest? It can take time to know for sure whether a trip registration software is right for you.
Look at their pricing structure to see how it fits with your budget. Most services charge by periods of time, with annual subscriptions being the cheapest option.
If you aren’t familiar with the trip registration software, you should always go with the monthly option so that you don’t get locked into a year-long contract with a company that doesn’t work for you. Once you get to know them, however, annual contracts can be a good way to save on your operating costs.
Navigating the world of trip organizing can be complicated and choosing a trip registration software can be just as daunting. There are a lot of options out there to choose from but as long as you choose one that offers the above tools and features, you should be in good shape. Good hunting and happy trails.