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Business travel has seen major changes in recent years. Trends like bleisure travel are prompting many travel managers to reflect on and adjust their programs. As employees take advantage of this perk and strive for even more flexibility and greater work-life balance, some are seeking to include a guest in their business trips. Allowing employees to have a corporate travel companion comes with some key benefits. However, several considerations must be taken into account when adapting travel programs to accommodate business trip guests.

Benefits of Accommodating Business Trip Guests

According to a UK survey of 500 international business travelers, more than 80% experienced negative emotions while away for work. Of these, stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and loneliness were among the top responses. Allowing corporate travel companions such as spouses, partners, children, and even friends may reduce these feelings, especially during longer trips. Accommodating business trip guests shows your company cares about its employees’ well-being, which may boost morale, productivity, and loyalty.

Adapting Travel Programs for Corporate Travel Companions

Clear expectations for employees bringing guests along on corporate trips must be established. If your company doesn’t already have standards in place, you should review and integrate policies regarding employee conduct, transportation, accommodations, and general expenses.

Employee Conduct

Whether an employee and their guest are staying on location for a corporate trip or extending a trip into a personal vacation, expectations must be clear that business is the priority during working hours. Having a guest accompany an employee should not interfere with their business dealings and responsibilities. Guidelines should clearly define situations where a guest may be permitted to attend business gatherings, such as dinners, networking events, or other social functions, outside of standard working hours or business.


Accommodating a business trip guest likely doesn’t mean your company is willing to cover costs like airfare for anyone other than the employee. Be clear that guests must purchase their own plane or train tickets and other transportation needs. If your travel program covers costs for employee ride-sharing services, it’s likely business trip guests will tag along with corporate travelers to mutual destinations like the airport or hotel. Unless multiple riders accrue a fee more than expected for a single rider, your travel program should permit guests to share a ride with employees.


You’ll need to determine if you permit employees to stay in a room with their guests covered by the company or if guests have to purchase their own rooms. Keep in mind that having a single guest isn’t likely to raise hotel room costs significantly if at all. However, employees traveling with multiple guests, such as a spouse and kids, might have different accommodation needs. Be direct about what the company is willing to cover in all possible situations.

General Expenses

Travel program policies need rules for general expenses. If your company provides a stipend to employees, decide if employees can use these funds however they want or if they can only use a stipend for certain expenses. If business travelers are reimbursed for incurred expenses, stipulate they must keep all expenses separate from their guests. Have employees pay for items separately and keep track of receipts.

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