6 Tips for Bringing Your Significant Other on a Business Trip
Having your significant other join you for a business trip or conference can be a rewarding experience — you get to share the time with a loved one, and they get to have a mini-break of their own. However, it takes careful planning to ensure you’re both on the same page and actually enjoy the experience.
Here are six tips to help ensure the trip goes smoothly:
1. Be Upfront with Employer
Consult your supervisor or human resources department to make sure it’s acceptable for a significant other to travel with you. Most companies have no problems with this arrangement, as long as your partner will pay for their own airfare and meals while sharing your hotel room.
2. Set Work/Fun Boundaries
It can be challenging to mix business with pleasure. If you’re in work mode and your significant other is in vacation mode, you may have to meet in the middle. If possible, add a day or two at the end of the trip for a mini-break for both of you to enjoy. “Let your partner know that while you’re going to do your best to give him or her attention and time, your first priority will be work,” says Jonathan Bennett, certified counselor and founder of The Popular Man. “This will save your partner from unnecessary disappointment during the trip if your business duties get in the way of your partner’s plans for you as a couple. ”
3. Research the Location
Are you heading to a destination with 24/7 activities or a less traveled one? A major consideration is whether the area will offer enough activities to keep your partner occupied. Some people might prefer a vibrant big city, while others might get more excited about the chance to chill by the pool or order room service. If your partner prefers to be on the go, make sure they can access transportation and points of interest to visit, like a hotel shuttle.
4. Plan a Flexible Itinerary
Sometimes dinner plans get postponed or work meetings run longer. Your partner may have to dine or sight-see alone. The more flexible they are, the better. Figure out a solo itinerary in advance. Your spouse should know what they want to see, where they will go and generally how they will spend their days while you’re working.
“Something my husband and I do on nearly any trip — not just work trips — is rather than buying time-sensitive tickets or creating a firm itinerary, we create a list of activities we’re interested in and then rank them by priority,” says Bridget Kochersperger, a travel blogger at Whereiwillroam.
5. Be Realistic About Your Time
It’s important to estimate the time needed for each activity, too. That way, it’s simple to choose what to do based on your work or conference schedule. You can also group activities into areas of the city (Restaurant X, Brewery Y, Museum Z are within a one-, three- or five-block radius). This approach allows you to make the most of both solo and couple time.
“When you’re traveling with your significant other on a work trip, it’s just as important to come up with things you can do together as it is to come up with things you can do on your own,” says Maddy Osman, travel Blogger at Tanksthatgetaround.
6. Prepare for the Unexpected
Business trips can get cancelled at a moment’s notice so contingency plans are a must. If you’ve booked a plane ticket for your significant other — and the business trip falls through for instance — you will likely be on the hook for cancellation fees. Carefully select airfare, hotel and other arrangements like tickets and tours that offer the option to cancel or reschedule. Or perhaps you could both visit the destination anyway for a long weekend or vacation.
Bringing your significant other on a work trip can offer many positives, as long as you are upfront with your employer, communicate expectations and remain flexible.