Managing travel for a film production can be a messy process. It calls for a high level of organization and a workflow that can scale to meet all production sizes and budgets. We’ve created a list of 9 ways to better book flights for your film crew.

Traveling encompasses three major areas; flights, lodging and rental vehicles. As a result, there’s a lot of details that need to be captured and managed prior to booking. We’ll be reviewing each of these areas, and providing templates and hacks to speed up the process.

film crew travel hacks

1. Use google forms for travelers

Prior booking any flights, hotels, and rentals you’ll need to first capture talent & crew details. Unfortunately, calls, emails, and correspondence with every traveler will devour a lot of time.


Check out our Google Form for Travel. We send this out to collect talent & crew details prior to any bookings. You can make your own based on ours. Or click on the more button (3 dots) in the form to Make a Copy, it will be added to you google drive.

Instead, make a Google Form! Google Forms are private questionnaires you can link to talent and crew to fill out. 

Watch this demo video to ramp up on Google Forms in no time.

All responses are saved into a Google sheet for easy access afterwards. 

travel details for film crew

2. Travel sheets for booking details

Travel sheets are the best way to keep all of your details organized and in one place. Take a look at below at an example:

Travel Sheet to input Booking details

  • You’ll have a living document that your team can collaborate on remotely.
  • You can export as a PDF, and filter which details to include.
  • You can copy an entire row from Google Sheets and paste right into a Gmail message. The formatting stays intact, and makes the information more digestible for the recipient.

    Instruct those with editing permissions to always keep the sheet updated with new information. It should be a goal to eventually populate all of the empty fields.

    Add a column to track who on your team booked which rows (initials usually work). This way you know who to go to if there are questions about a specific travel item.

    If a shared document makes you nervous, you can always roll back changes. Google Sheets keeps a full history of updates. In the unlikely event the spreadsheet is accidentally deleted by someone on your team, you can periodically clone backups.


    Thankfully, there also apps that are specifically designed to streamline group travel planning.

    Tripgrid is one such app. Its planning tools integrate travel management tools like maps, itineraries, reservations, and other important travel documents into a single workflow.


    We made a film travel sheet template, and want to share it with you! To download a copy into your Google Drive account for editing, just open the following link and click the Make a Copy button. You’ll need to be logged into your gmail account. 

    Download Travel Sheet Template →


    A Travel Sheet is where you can organize all of your flight, lodging, and rental car bookings. If you have multiple people handling travel, then it’s a good idea to use Google Sheets for the following reasons:

      It is designed specifically for travel coordinators, and allows for easy collaboration with other coordinators on your team as you go.


    3. An email address for travel

    When you order tickets from a dedicated email account (e.g., it provides a central account for all of your purchase confirmations and receipts. You can share the login credentials of this account with the production unit and travel bookers. Voila, everyone has access.

    From there, your team can open up confirmation emails, parse out the details you want hidden (i.e. flight/hotel costs), and add additional notes before sending it along to the appropriate crew members.

    travel hacks for crew

    4. Don't buy from third parties

    Although you can usually find lower rates on aggregators like Expedia, Orbitz, and Kayak, it’s recommended that you book from an airline directly. Many third-party sites will route you to an offshore callcenters, and give you a hard time about changing your flight.

    Yes, fare’s may be higher when you book flights directly, but most airlines offer 24/7 support in the event you need to make a late night change. This is not uncommon with productions.

    traveling film crew

    5. Travel agents

    Agents can often locate more flight options and save you money on initial bookings. Plus they can help lessen fees and charges should you have to change a booking. One caveat is that most agents are not available in the evenings or on weekends.

    Alternatively, online services like Flightfox offers a turn-key platform to enlist an online travel concierge to find the cheapest rates for you .

    organizing crew info

    6. All details in one document


    When sending emails to your film crew, it’s more effective to provide every traveler with a single, personalized digest of all the info they need (i.e. flight, rental, hotel, etc.) rather than sending multiple smaller emails. This way, your cast and crew can quickly reference a single email for instructions. It also limits the number of threads you have to manage per traveler.

    It’s best to avoid attaching documents to emails. Instead, compose everything in the body of the email. This becomes especially important when traveling through locations with limited cell reception or wi-fi access for downloading attachments. Delegate a crew member to take point on creating and sending the travel document email. This standardizes the email structure, and designates responsibility for tracking progress.


    Organizing travel details within a table makes it easier for recipients to understand what is going on, and projects a more professional image. If you’re using Google Sheets, copying and pasting tables into a Gmail message works perfectly. The grid lines and colors are retained and formatted for viewing on the phone. 

    If you’re trying to paste a table from Excel, the table will either not format correctly, or added as an attachment (not recommended).

    Communicate Production Travel by Pasting between Google Sheets into Gmail

    Communicate Production Travel by Pasting between Google Sheets into Gmail


    Providing details in the order of travel will make it easier for your travelers. Here are some of the items you should include in your travel digest:

    • Transport instructions from home airport
    • Transport instructions from lodging to airport
    • Hotel check-in / check-out
    • Flight information (flight numbers, etc)
    • Rental car / transportation info
    • Weather forecast for travel days
    • Local contacts
    • Emergency contacts
    • Trip Insurance information

    A good example of a subject title would be something along the lines of:

    Project name | Uruguay Prod Team | RETURN TRIP 12/01/16 – 12/11/16 Travel Documents

    In the email body, add a custom message up top, and paste in the table of travel details you created in Step 1.


    If you’re not sending emails from a dedicated travel email, make sure to at least CC it. This way all travel related emails will be copied to one location for reference down-the-road.

    changes in travel plans

    7. Don't sweat the travel changes

    As your production plans change, so will your travel. Clear communication is imperative when circulating changes to travelers. Always try to send the fewest number of emails possible to your traveler. Consolidate where you can to keep the number of emails down. Nothing is worse than trying to find important information in a deluge of emails, while traveling through areas with limited wifi.

    • Create a new email.
    • Cut and paste info from the previous travel document into the email body.
    • Copy the previous subject and prefix it with the word “UPDATED.”  For example, UPDATED Project name | Uruguay Prod Team | 12/01/16 – 12/11/16 Travel Documents
    • Revise the details in the body of the email in a different font color (i.e. red) so they stand out and aren’t overlooked.
    • Add a brief paragraph outlining the changes at the top of the email, and let them know all changes are in red. For example, Your hotel has been changed, new information below in red.
    • Ask travelers to confirm they received this email.
    • Follow up until you receive confirmation from all of your travelers regarding the changes. This is very important, better to hunt someone by phone / text / email in advance than to deal with further changes because they missed  your initial update.

    travel efficiently 

    8. Check in online to save time

    To speed up travel time, feel free to check-in your travelers online. Let your travelers know you are going to check them in, and to stay tuned for their boarding passes the day of their flight. When you email their boarding pass, include instructions for what they should do if they miss their flight. Lastly, try to stay in touch with travelers on the departure date to confirm they’re going to make their flight.

    travel hacks for film crew

    9. Track expenses and keep receipts

    All travel ​expenses should be accounted for in the wrap book the end of production. This includes flights, hotel, AirBnB, taxis, restaurants, travel guides, translators, etc. Digital receipts should be printed and included as well.

    Additionally, ​keep track of all travel expenses within the travel sheet with detailed descriptions, pricing, and payment status.

    To ensure we collect every receipt, I often add a status column for receipts and label the cell On File or Requested/Waiting for… This reminds whoever is managing the travel sheet to make sure they have a copy before moving on to another task.

    up next

    The Best Film Crew List

    We hope these travel hacks were helpful. Other useful crew hacks typically exist for working on set. In the next post, we provide a free template for a film crew list, along with some other hacks on organizing your crew's deets.

    Up Next: Best Film Crew List Template →
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    • Focused on the intersection between Entertainment and Technology. Grew up in Silicon Valley, now resides in Silicon Beach. Also an animal lover, avid reader and futurist.


    1. I like your suggestion to create an email account for the project name so you can share it with the production crew. The company I work for wants to hire a film crew to help produce a commercial for streaming services. I can see how having a central email and account will help simplify things, so I’m glad you shared that tip!

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