U.S. Communities

HotelPlanner

Travel Program Solutions and Discounts for Government

 
  • Phone: 866-205-1205
  • Fax: 888-559-8160
Overview

The Travel Solutions contract will provide each agency a custom travel program and agency booking portal built to their unique needs and requirements. Agencies can choose the full travel suite of products or select just the components needed by their agency to complete their current program. Options include but are not limited to;

  • LODGING - Lodging options including hotel, corporate housing long-stay and other alternate housing sources with daily weekly and monthly rates available on many of our long-stay options.
  • CAR RENTAL – Whether you are shopping by supplier, price or vehicle class, the programs car rental component provides 15+ provider options and 14+ car classes to help travelers make the best choice for their needs.
  • FLIGHT - Our 156 flight partners provide the best opportunity for travelers to meet their specific schedule and budget requirements. By offering a variety of airlines, flight classes, non-paired rates, best fare option, and hot deals, travelers are sure to find the perfect flight.
  • EVENT SERVICES – In addition to your booking portal, HotelPlanner will provide a customizable event page for each group booking with the ability to offer multiple hotels to your guests and participants. Agencies will have ability to require their participants to pay as they register or register only for agency paid events. This program allows for tracking participant bookings, building rooming lists, tracking views and visits, providing custom directions and instruction to the group and surveying the group through the process with custom inquiries.

Agencies with employees holding a government ID will have access to all discounted rates, including government, through our Travel Solutions travel portal. For nonprofits or others eligible to use the contract that may not have a government ID, you can access all discounted rates except government by using our Nonprofit Travel Solutions portal.

HotelPlanner is proud to have been awarded an exclusive contract with U.S. Communities for Travel Solutions. Founded in 2002, HotelPlanner operates globally, with headquarters in West Palm Beach, FL, London, England, Barcelona Spain and Hong Kong, China. Sites are currently published and available in 23 languages and in over 100 countries.

Contract Features

HotelPlanner.com provider of Travel Solutions is now the go-to travel solution for government agencies. Cutting-edge technology assists agencies in capturing, controlling and minimizing their travel expenses. Dedicated, expert negotiators are available 24/7 to support your travelers and ensure they are offered the lowest rates available at the time of booking.

Key Products and Services
  • No Booking fees for any HotelPlanner.com offered product
  • Custom agency portal tailored to support your agency guidelines
  • Meetings software with Instant Contracting
  • Multiple channel discounts
  • Cost center report
  • Disaster support operations
FAQs

Click to download the FAQs as a PDF.

Program Overview

Who is eligible to use the U.S. Communities Travel Solutions Program?
Generally, the following agencies are eligible to use the U.S. Communities Program:

  • Counties, Cities, Towns and Villages
  • Special Districts (e.g., Fire, Sewer, Water, etc.)
  • Public Schools including: K-12, Community Colleges, Universities, Technical and Vocational
  • State Agencies
  • Other Local Governments
  • Nonprofit Organizations (including Private K-12, Private Colleges and Universities)

What services are available through the U.S. Communities Travel Solutions Program?
Individual services include hotels, flights, rental car, shuttle and ground transportation, and extended travel. Group or organization solutions for meeting and event services are also available.

Do agencies receive special rates as a member of the U.S. Communities Travel Solutions Program?
Yes, there are two types of discounts available. Employees with a government agency will have access to our government rates, multiple discount channels and can also book any other available rate. Employees with nonprofits and private education organizations will have access to discounted rates but will not have access to government rates.

Getting Started

How do I enroll my agency in the U.S. Communities Travel Solutions Program?
If your agency is currently registered with U.S. Communities, you can access the Travel Solutions Program at www.uscommunities.org/travelsolutions For new agencies, enrollment is fast and easy through our online registration form. Once complete, you can access the Travel Solutions Portal. Agencies can request a Custom Travel Portal with additional tools for  spend  limits, approval processes, profiles and more can.

How do employees access the discounted rates?
Employees will need to have an individual account in the HotelPlanner Travel Solutions Portal or through their Custom Agency Portal to access the discounts.

What is the process for making reservations?
Your agency's traveler begins by logging into the U.S. Communities Travel Solutions Portal or your agency's Custom Travel Portal. These specific sites must be used to receive the special discounted rates. Tabs for each travel service are located at the top. The easy and intuitive design will walk users through the reservation process.

Can reservations be cancelled?
To ensure the lowest rate available at the time of booking, HotelPlanner offers a variety of rates along with a variety of cancellation policies. Deeper discounted rates are generally nonrefundable. Please review the cancellation policy associated with the reservation you are requesting. If your plans may change, it may be best to select a rate that includes the ability to modify or make changes.

Hotel changes and modifications can be done right from your confirmation email. Rental car and flights will have a designated toll free number based on your agency's location. Each agency will have a dedicated travel director to serve as your agency's advisor and service provider.
 

General Program Questions

 
Will my travelers be required to provide proof of employment when traveling?

Yes, they may. The Travel Solutions Program provides special pricing only available to U.S. Communities registered agencies. For travel booked using government rates, you will be required to provide your government ID upon arrival at your lodging option. Proof of employment may be verified with a agency pay card, government ID, CAC or TWIC card.

Can we continue to book through our company travel agency and use the Travel Solutions Program?
Yes, We can provide access for your travel agency to book through the Travel Solutions Program. While there are no fees through HotelPlanner, be sure to check with your travel agency on any fees for their services.

Are foreign destinations included in the Travel Program?
Yes. HotelPlanner, headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL, has corporate offices located in: London, UK; Barcelona, Spain; and Hong Kong, China. The HotelPlanner employees are strategically located in metro cities across the world to give clients in-country, in-state and in-city expertise.

Does my agency need to meet any volume requirements to participate?
No. The Travel Solutions Program is designed for agencies of all sizes with no minimum requirements. Agencies with larger volumes and additional reporting needs may choose to request a Custom Agency Portal with reporting to meet their agency needs. This is a complimentary tool available to all agencies.

How are credit card charges handled?
Hotel Planner offers a variety of rate options. Some require payment at booking while others are paid at time of service. It is best practice to review the payment policies associated with your reservation.

Can the Travel Solutions Program special rates be extended to contractors of my agency?
Yes. There are two ways for agencies to extend the program rates to their contractors.

  • Through invitational travel --if the agency is responsible for the payment and secures the booking through their program
  • The contractor carries a CAC or TWIC

Why is our Agency Travel Program rate not available?
Rates are based on availability at the time of booking. It could be that the rate is sold out for the dates you are checking. HotelPlanner offers rates from multiple channels to ensure you have options in the area you need to travel.

Custom Portal Questions

Who should enroll my company?
Generally, the individual who is responsible for travel decisions or expenses should enroll your agency and be listed as the Company Administrator. All travelers should enroll as users. We can provide a process to enroll all agency employees at once.

How do we designate a new Company Administrator in the Travel Solutions Program?
Agencies using a Custom Portal will be required to designate at least two Administrators. A new Company Administrator may be designated by any of the Administrators of record via the administrative login. Through this link administrators and employees can be added, deleted or modified.

What if I forget my password as the Account Administrator? How do I retrieve it?
Email TechSupport@HotelPlanner.com and your company's password will be reset and sent to the registered contact's e-mail address on file.
 
What if an employee linked to our Travel Solution Program account leaves the agency?
Modifying your roster of employees is fast and easy. Simply log on as the Company Administrator. Visit the "Department" section and select the "delete" checkbox next to employees who have left your agency. Employees removed from the company account will no longer have access to the Travel Solutions Program.

Why should I encourage my employees to participate in Travel Solutions Program?
Full participation in the Travel Solutions Program offers benefits to your employees and your agency. More and more, travelers want to control where they stay. With a few simple spend guidelines, your agency can provide employees with the power to make their own travel decisions while still controlling the travel spend and capturing expenditures.

About HotelPlanner

About HotelPlanner

The Travel Solutions contract through U.S. Communities simplifies travel purchasing and streamlines the ability to manage and monitor travel expenses for state agencies, counties, cities, K12 schools, special districts, colleges and universities, and non-profits nationwide. You benefit by being able to access the lowest available travel rates through a competitively-solicited contract.

HotelPlanner is owned and operated by Lexyl Travel Technologies LLC., the leading provider of online services to the global group hotel sales market. Published in 23 languages and operating in over 100 countries, HotelPlanner’s world class technology provides instant rates and Instant Contracting™ to greatly increase productivity, accuracy and make capturing travel spend seamless.

HotelPlanner’s worldwide teams of experts are strategically located in local markets across the globe providing travelers in-location expertise. Our planners are complimented by service center support staff available to our travelers 24 hours a day/7 day per week.  Headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL, HotelPlanner has corporate offices in London, UK, Las Vegas, NV, Barcelona, Spain and Hong Kong China. HotelPlanner provides the right combination of technology, product, price and service to provide agencies a venue to create and manage a custom, end-to-end logistics travel program.

  • Services transient, long stay, groups and meetings for hotel, flight and car reservations
  • No fees for any HotelPlanner provided service
  • 200,000 lodging options, 156 flight partners, 16 rental car options, ground transportation
  • Comprehensive emergency management program
  • Global operator – 21+ languages in 100 + countries
Hotel

Individual Reservations

HotelPlanner's world-class technology provides government agencies and nonprofit organizations access to multiple channels in the same search. The perfect mix of negotiated rates, daily discounts, and special program rates continually place the lowest available offers in front of the client at the time of booking.

Additional discount channels are available to government agencies and will require a government ID at check-in to qualify. Travelers who have booked this rate without an ID will be charged the rack rate at check-in.

Extended Stay

Reserving extended stay travel for work crews and other long-term stays can be a formidable undertaking. With HotelPlanner, a one-page request gives you instant access to daily, weekly and monthly stay rates. Multiple filters allow you to sort through this information by distance from a landmark or address, price, star rating, quality scores, and amenities such as kitchens and complimentary breakfast. Your designated planner will be monitoring your requests, making recommendations and assisting you with the process to find the perfect accommodations.

You can rely on HotelPlanner to create and manage an end-to-end logistics program for your agency needs.

Our system is designed for complete financial control.  The program allows for profiles and restrictions based on the agency’s guidelines to control expenses. Rate caps, resort restrictions, green initiatives and proximity to a work location are just a few of the items available. Special government rates that meet agency per diem are highlighted within the search giving travelers an easy option to stay in budget.

For those individuals that need approval to travel, our automated approval module is the perfect tool. The traveler completes the reservation and submits. The request is automatically sent to the approving party with the option to approve, decline or request additional information. Upon approval, the confirmation is then sent to the traveler to proceed. Standard payments or direct bill options* can be utilized with this function.

*All direct bills must be pre-approved or be part of the direct bill program.

Groups, Meetings & Events

HotelPlanner helps clients select the right property for their meetings and events by combining technology with a highly experienced staff of professional meeting planners and government travel specialists. Meeting planners will receive instant offers for their groups, meeting and events with access to instant contracting.

We will review all venue meeting deals on a group-by-group basis using local planners with more than 10 years of regional group travel expertise.  Components such as, no attrition policy, no resort fees or flat taxes, free meeting space and complimentary sleeping rooms are just a sample of benefits that may be negotiated. Our rate checker compares the group rates against rates in the market.  Hotels are not permitted to provide pricing higher than any other published rate ensuring our traveler the lowest price options at the time of booking.

Hotel profiles are visible from the booking page by selecting the hotel name. Property photos, address, maps, directions, start rating, local attraction, verified reviews, property details, policies and expenses, meetings facilities and capacities with printable diagrams, amenities, pet policies and shuttle information are all part of the profile.

Click Image to See the Full Profile

Event Services

In addition to the agency booking portal, HotelPlanner will provide a customizable event page for each group booking with the ability to offer multiple hotels to the agency guests and participants. The agency has the ability to require their participants to pay as they register or register only for company paid events. This program allows for tracking participant bookings, building rooming lists, tracking views and visits, providing custom directions and instructions to the group and surveying the group with custom inquiries. Event administrators will have access to a control panel to customize their event by adding greetings, event instructions, photos, surveys and more.

Flights & Car Rental

Flight

HotelPlanner’s 156 flight partners provide the best opportunity for travelers to meet their specific schedule and budget requirements. By offering a variety of airlines, flight classes, non-paired rates, best fare option, and hot deals, travelers are provided the best options available at the time of booking.

Rental Car

Whether you are shopping by supplier, price or vehicle class, the HotelPlanner car rental component provides 15+ provider options and 14+ car classes to help travelers make the best choice for their needs. Pricing formats are available by provider, in a list or in a grid for easy comparison.

Special Hertz Discounts

Hertz is offering discount pricing when you book your car using the Corporate Discount Number (CDP#) 2084929.

To book under this additional discount code, visit the Hertz website and enter the CDP number when making your reservation. You can also access this discount rate from the HotelPlanner booking site by clicking the "More" tab.

Hertz is also offering free membership in the Hertz Gold Plus Rewards program.

Download Hertz brochure.

Emergency Response

The purpose of this effort is to secure housing, meeting rooms, flight, car and other ancillary services for any public agencies traveling due to emergency/disaster or preparedness efforts in anticipation of an emergency/disaster.

HotelPlanner operates multi-regional Emergency Command Centers to ensure comprehensive coverage, with no interruptions in service, regardless of the disaster’s location.

Our system houses additional information such as availability of generator operations, power truck and semi parking, sustainable supplies, and direct contact with multiple contacts for each hotel.

HotelPlanner defines a disaster as any event that requires unexpected housing needs and is not subject to whether or not an official disaster has been declared by the appropriate government entity. This includes, but is not limited to the following incidents:


We coordinate planning and response efforts before a disaster strikes. Engaging in advanced planning provides manageability for all stakeholders – Agency staff, first responders, our hotel partners and the HotelPlanner Emergency Response Team.

HotelPlanner monitors seasonal conditions and hotel occupancies regularly. During Pre-Disaster Operations, we will assess tourist compression due to conferences, festivals, corporate, sports & special events, in the affected area(s), as an integral part of pre-disaster phase. Our teams manage the strategic placement of first responders, corporate client and displaced homeowners to maximize the ability of relief support to occupy the areas needed while keeping other groups outside the main area of operations.

Emergency response teams work with each agency to determine a process that streamlines communication, assures procurements are limited to authorized expenditures and maximizes resources and reporting.