Bringing your family on a business trip can alleviate loneliness, but there's a right way to do this. If you’re scheduled to go on a business trip, your employer might cover the cost of your hotel room, your rental car and your airfare. Therefore, you're only responsible for your family's expenses. This can be an excellent alternative if you’re looking to getaway with your clan for a few days. However, you need to remember a few things when bringing your family on a business trip.
1. Time Limits
Before bringing your family on a business trip, ask yourself, ‘will I have time to spend with them.’ You'll undoubtedly work during the day, and depending on your job, your evenings might be free to spend with your family. But if you're going to business dinners or other events every evening, it might not make sense to bring your family along.
2. Get Separate Rooms
If you have older children, such as teenagers, consider getting a separate room. This is only necessary if you need to bring work back to the hotel or have telephone meetings after hours. With your entire family in the same room, there might be too many distractions, making it harder to finish work.
3. Don't Bring Family to Business Dinners
If you have a business dinner or other after hours obligations, don't assume that your family has an invitation. Sometimes, the person you're meeting with may welcome your wife or children, especially if it's a casual setting but you shouldn’t assume this. Bringing your family may look unprofessional, and your host may not appreciate mixing business with your personal life.
4. Don’t Charge Family Meals to the Expense Account
If you're out of town on business, your employer might provide a credit card to charge your meals. Understand, however, that this expense account is for you only – not your family members. Now, depending on the company, your employer might not care how you spend dedicated funds. But it's important to clarify the stipulations before you use company funds to purchase meals for your family.
5. Stay One or Two Extra Days
Realistically speaking, you might not have time to explore the local scenery with your family. Therefore, plan to stay in the host city for two days before or after your business obligations. You can conduct business and spend time sightseeing with your family.
6. Get Your Family on the Same Page
Before bringing your family with you, sit down and have a family meeting. Make sure they understand that the primary reason for this trip is business, not pleasure. Therefore, your schedule isn't as flexible as theirs. With that said, you might miss a few outings, or your family may eat dinner without you.
7. Choose Hotels with Plenty of Amenities
If you have the option of selecting your own hotel, choose one with plenty of amenities to keep your family entertained. You might select a hotel with an onsite restaurant, indoor swimming pool or perhaps a game room. Also, if the hotel is within walking distance of several attractions, this can alleviate the need to rent a car for your family.
Going on business trips alone can be tiring and lonely. But with your family along for the ride, you can return to your loved ones in the evening. If you decide to do this, make sure it's the right choice and weigh the pros and cons. What other factors should you consider before bringing your family on a business trip?