Who knew a piece of paper could be very useful in business transactions? Take a receipt, for example. It serves more than just stating how much was spent since…continue reading
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What Is a Trip Report?
In providing organizational communication in business, reporting is necessary. For example, a government employee may be sent to the national air force for a confidential meeting with the US Army. A memorandum generally is placed first to inform about the coming conference. If the employee is already at the designated location, then the company that sent him or her may want an update of what happened, how much was spent, and more. To do that, the government worker prepares a trip report. Hence, it is the official document that outlines the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a trip.
Also, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported that US citizens establish around 405 million long-distance business trips annually. More so, it accounts for 16% of the entire long-distance travel.
In addition, Statista confirmed that in 2018 alone, American travelers had 463.6 million domestic business trips.
Trip Reports: Why Are They Beneficial?
First of all, trip reports in business are one of the easiest ways for an enterprise to discover the tour information, travel expenses, work responsibilities, or rewards. Some trips are quite expensive that managers would want to know if what they paid for is worth it. And if the traveler wrote the expected trip details in a report, then the supervisor is well-informed. Consequently, travelers also benefit from here since their expenses get repaid. But, the benefit depends on how well-written or detailed the report is. So be sure to work hard on that matter.
Also, did you know that trip reports are not for businesses only? The hospital, school, and other establishments may send some of their people to a particular destination for specific reasons. Maybe medical students are sent to foreign hospitals for training and experience. And aside from field trips, schools might plan on sending students to another place to study. Nonetheless, consider the whole process as a way to record whatever happened during the travel for evidence purposes.
To Whom Do You Send Trip Reports?
Indeed, trip reports are typically given to the manager. But more people may receive it, depending on the document’s purpose. Maybe the sheet contains information that shall be forwarded to accountants, assistant supervisors, and partners. And who knows there could be plans, tax information, and confidential data written as well? If there is anything to conceal from the details inside, then be sure to prepare a confidentiality agreement. That way, only the permitted individuals can view the report’s content.
The Elements of a Trip Report
After knowing the trip report’s definition and intent, how about what to find in its content? Just like most business reports, there are essential elements inside. And each aspect makes up one full trip report. Without further ado, here are the elements of the trip report:
How to Create a Trip Report
How often do people make trip reports? As most individuals who compose such reports are taking business trips, then you should know that there are a lot of them. Americans even have 405 million business trips, in long-distance, per year. And that amount accounts for 16% of all the long-distance travel. Meanwhile, in a most recent survey, Statista reported that American travelers reached 463.6 million domestic business trips in 2018. So if you are about to take that trip, be sure you are prepared with how to create a trip report. And you do that according to these steps:
Step 1: Always Carry a Small Notebook
Before heading to that trip, be sure you have a handy notebook and pen. Your phone will do too if you are more comfortable that way. Rest assured that the notebook becomes your most reliable assistant regarding what to write in your trip report. Since you can simply put that item in your purse or pocket, then writing down what’s necessary is easy to access. Most importantly, jot down the required details, especially when businesses have varying requests.
Step 2: Decide the Report Mode
As you write down, include the time and date of when particular events happened. The same goes for tracking the expenses paid during the trip. The point is be over-prepared as it is wiser than lacking any sense of preparedness. Moving forward. Start writing the report when the trip is done, and if you have time to write. First things first, what will be the report mode and format? Should you write in a detailed letter, memorandum, or an email? Knowing the final call for such factors prevents you from erring.
Step 3: Slowly Insert the Crucial Elements
Since you have enough knowledge about the trip report elements, as discussed before, slowly insert them down. From the subject line down to the receipts, follow that sequence. But, be sure you gathered enough data in the sheet. Giving only very little information to the report might make employers wonder if you are hiding any detail from the trip. And for the summary, keep it in-depth. Broad statements only invite more questions, so add more detail to it.
Step 4: Clean Your Report
Yes, keeping reports detailed is good. But don’t overdo it. Maybe the information is all over the place. Thus, the report is already wordy. To fix that issue, clean the content. Are there reiterations or unnecessary statements? Or are there some parts that are irrelevant to the report’s purpose? Then, omit those. Also, watch out for lengthy sentences. Issues on wordiness can be fixed by keeping it brief. Shorten the sentences instead and make it more concise or understandable. Trip reports that are direct to the point and easy to understand will surely suffice.
Step 5: End by Validating the Report
Are you nearly finished? Great, proceed to organize the content. Keeping it itemized is the key, so details are well-arranged; thus, readable. Lastly, validate the report. This validation is where the receipts and attachments that support the report play a vital role in proving your statements. False reports would be exposed once evaluators conduct data analysis to its content. So, confirm your report and provide your signature to end it.
What makes a good trip report?
A trip report is already good when it answers the important questions there is to know about what happened from a trip. Also, the report should present facts or evidence to support the statements inside.
What if I forget what happened during the trip?
Indeed, we sometimes forget particular details. It might happen if you had too much fun during the trip, like drinking and partying, which should not be your priority. So for trips that require reports, be professional. And that is why you carry a notebook, document everything, and write as soon as you have time to combat forgetfulness.
What are the parts of report writing?
Reports, in general, have different parts. And how they are itemized differs according to what’s required or the report’s purpose. But reports typically have the following parts:
- Title page
- Table of contents
- Executive summary
Indeed, there is plenty of specific details to incorporate in the trip report. But even when it can be quite tiring, you need not treat such reports as a burden. Remember that the document records all the work you placed during the travel. More so in seeing how much of an asset you are to the enterprise as they entrusted you that task. And think about it, reporting does not take too long to make, especially with a handy notebook as your assistant. Practice notetaking, and you eventually become a natural at composing trip reports.