What Should You Know About Taking Family on a Business Trip?

by Julia on April 17, 2018

Should you take your significant other or your kids on a business trip for work?

Well, the answer to that depends on who you ask. Some people might say absolutely not, and it’s incredibly inappropriate, while other people might say sure if you have the opportunity why not.

So what is the standard, and what should you know if it’s something you’re planning to do?

Expense Management

Expense management and filling out your travel expense report can get tricky if you take your family, so be prepared for this.

If you’re not careful with how you’re managing your expenses during something that’s morphed into a family trip, you can find yourself in a sticky situation.

Also, when it’s tax time you’ll have some things to think about as well. For example, if you’re planning to deduct your business travel expenses that occur within the U.S., the trip has to be completely business related. If you took your family along, you can’t deduct the expenses related to them coming.

When you’re thinking about a business trip and your expenses, it shouldn’t cost your employer even a penny for you to bring someone along. It can create a lot of conflict with an employer if things aren’t specifically discussed ahead of time.

Think About Your Schedule During Your Trip

You may want to spend more time with your spouse or your kids, and that’s your whole reason for taking them along on a business trip, but that’s not always what happens.

If you’re going to be extremely stressed out or busy, why would you bring them? That’s just going to make things difficult for them.

If you’re going to be negotiating a huge deal, probably not the right time to bring your family.

However, maybe if you’re going to have the chance to add a few extra days at the end of your trip for some sightseeing you can bring them alone.

Another time when it might be fine to take the family with you is if you’re going to be attending a show or conference. You might have a flexible schedule, and you’re not going to have a lot of pressure on you to perform during these events.

Is It Appropriate?

If you bring your kids on your work trip, are you going to feel tempted to skip out on important dinners and evening events because they’re there? If you bring just your spouse or significant other, is it inappropriate to bring them to a client dinner? Are you going to be working with other people who might feel resentful that you’ve brought someone along on your work trip?

These are all things to ask yourself. You have to think about the corporate culture and standards not only where you work, but you have to think about what people are going to think outside of your company.

If you’re going to meet with clients they might find it really off-putting if your husband or wife shows up to a dinner. Just because your employer might have a relaxed culture doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to feel the same way.


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