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Business Travel Vacation Travel

Combining A Business Trip With A Family Vacation

Summer is just around the corner. Which means school break, barbecues and outdoor adventures are on the horizon. It’s also the time to start brainstorming and planning family vacations. But did you know that most working Americans rarely use up their paid vacation days? In fact, in 2016 the United States left 429 millions unused days on the table. With numerous studies showing this adverse affect on health, it’s important now more than ever to take a few days for yourself. That may be why a new trend in ‘bleisure’’ travel is taking off – combining an upcoming business trip with a family vacation.

Family vacation during a business trip?  You can’t be serious.

Now before you stress out about all the minor details and how it can be blown off course, read through our 8 tips to combine a business trip with a family vacation and keep it on track.

  1. You’ll ultimately be saving money. Your company is already paying for your round trip ticket and hotel room. It could save you a few hundred dollars or more by using this to your advantage. Bunk up in your hotel room and schedule your return ticket back for a few days later than planned.
  2. Use reward miles or member status to buy additional plane tickets for your family or other upgrades. You may even be able to upgrade to a larger room to more comfortably accommodate everyone.
  3. Define your schedule and any limitations. Let your family know your schedule beforehand and any pressing deadlines or meetings. Be clear that you’ll need space during that time and won’t be available. It may feel harsh at first, but setting expectations early will give you more breathing room later on.
  4. Find a place that caters to everyone’s needs. Look for a hotel/townhouse that provides room for you to work, but also area for kids to play. It could be a pool on-site or fun attractions in the area. Booking a vacation rental, if acceptable in your travel policy, may be a perfect option.
  5. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of kids club or babysitting.
  6. If attending a conference, see if they are giving away family-friendly promotions. We attended a conference recently that was giving away tickets to Disneyland.
  7. Stay a few extra days. Here is where you finally use some of that well-deserved personal time.  What’s the point of being in a new place if you can’t enjoy it, right? Stay in the same area, or adventure out and explore the region.
  8. Contact a leisure travel agent. It might be worth contacting a specialist for special pricing and additional offers. Our leisure division, Andavo Travel, can help point you in the right direction.
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Corporate Social Responsibility

When was the last time you experienced a business trip that gave you exhilaration, laughs, tears, joy and a broader view of yourself and your ability to make a difference in our world? I would have said never, until a recent trip to Nicaragua with Continental Airlines and AirPlus with a combination of business meetings, training and a significant dose of humanitarian service. Under the direction of the host sponsors we were participating in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or the donation of funds, time, and resources by companies to charitable or non-profit initiatives with the intention of “giving back” for the greater common good. The result was highly effective business meetings, lifelong bonds between participates, and a renewed outlook and awareness of on life.
Prior to the trip we were given the book The Radical Edge, Stoke Your Business, AMP Your Life and Change the World by noted motivational speaker Steve Farber. It was and excellent book with the perfect message to prepare us for the experiences ahead. The key point of the book is to “do what you love in the service of people who love what you do” and we had the opportunity to apply this to our work and personal lives through our experiences in Nicaragua.
In addition to our business commitments we provided humanitarian aid at a senior center, to children in a special a needs orphanage, and with people living in desperate conditions near the city dump. Our group brought hundreds of pounds of excess baggage filled with much needed items as well as cash donations. The recipients were so appreciative of every act of service or donation received. They were such gentle people who with very little of their own seemed to be living a life of contentment. They were warm and friendly, always smiling.
We all wondered what our reactions would be to the sights and circumstances we would be experiencing. Could we handle it? Would we break down? Well, I have reviewed over 400 of our combined photos from the trip and we are continually happy, laughing and smiling while giving to the people of Nicaragua. We later shared tender thoughts, feelings, and ah-ha moments, but you couldn’t take away our joy during the moments of giving. It was an amazing experience beyond any of our expectations and made this a business trip we’ll never forget.
What kind of CSR could you include in your next business meeting to make it an event of a lifetime?!