7 Things to Consider Before Taking Family On Your Next Business Trip
If your company allows you to bring your family along on a work trip, your first thought may be, “the more, the merrier.” However, there are a few things you will want to consider before bringing your family along on your best business trip.
In this piece, we’ve broken down everything you need to consider before making the big decision the next time you travel for work.
#1. Consider if It’s Appropriate
The first thing to consider before even beginning to plan a trip is whether the situation is appropriate. If you have a lot of agency over your work-related decisions, you’re free to choose what you want to do. Similarly, if your employer does not mind you combining a working visit with a recreational one, then feel free to.
However, keep in mind that this visit is first and foremost for work. Are you entering a situation or location that makes bringing your family along appropriate?
#2. Dividing Your Time
Depending on how you stitch your trip together, you may find it difficult to properly divide your time between family and work. If days are for working and nights are for family, you may struggle to turn off your work brain when night hits and turn it back on the next morning.
A late night of fun-having can seriously encroach on your work needs the next day. Consider before planning if you could properly structure your trip to accommodate both areas.
#3. Are You Taking Advantage of Your Employer?
While your boss may “okay” bringing your family along, you won’t want to build any animosity simply because they’re being kind. Oftentimes, the business itself has strict rules on what qualifies for a work trip, and there are certain rules to follow.
Be sure you’re not putting your employer in a bad position by guilting them into saying yes. Also, don’t get on the bad side of your company overall by taking advantage of their hospitality and opportunities.
#4. Will Your Family Improve the Trip?
In some situations, having your family present may actually help to improve your work performance. For example, if you’re going to speak at a major conference and suffer from public speaking nerves, having loved ones nearby may calm your nerves.
If you’re struggling with whether it’s appropriate for your family to come, ask yourself whether they can be an attribute or detrimental to your trip.
#5. Consider Having Different Rooms
If you would like to bring the family around for an extension of your trip after the work part is over, consider buying separate rooms.
This can help to bring your family with you, allowing you to travel together but keeping family and work-life separate when it counts. Sometimes bringing your family along makes sense logistically, but little changes like different rooms can help to keep you focused when it matters.
#6. Do Not Expense Family Meals
Moreso than a consideration, this is a hard rule you’ll need to be able to follow when it comes to bringing the family on business trips. You cannot expense anything that is not pertinent to your trip and used by you.
So while your company may allow you to charge your meals and rooms to the card, don’t take it as permission to charge your family’s too. Not only is this unethical, but it is also a huge tax issue on the part of your business.
If your family cannot afford the trip separate from the business, avoid a joint family-work trip as it can cause problems when the question of what is covered under per diem comes up.
#7. Consider Having Your Family Meet You Later
To avoid complications or to miss out on things while you’re busy working, discuss whether your family can meet you later.
While this won’t make sense in all situations, such as you’re driving, a later flight or train ride can help avoid problems. You won’t need to worry about dividing work and family time and can simply finish all your work and extend your trip for a few days to spend solely with your family.
Business trips can be a fun way to gain new experience and network to build your professional portfolio. While it can make sense to bring family, you’ll need to make sure that you can clearly define the line between family and work time. Combining the trip and blurring the lines can lead to big issues in the end.