Is it Appropriate to Bring Family on a Business Trip?

If and when it is appropriate for your family to tag along on business.

Business travel is lonely. Night after night away from home, missing family and friends, and friends and family missing you. Many business travelers are partaking in the new trends of bleisure, taking a mini-vacation before or after a business trip.

If this new trend has you wondering how you bring your family on a business trip, you are not alone. A Bridgestreet Hospitality survey found 55% of bleisure travelers bring family members with them. Further, 29% said they haven’t yet, but would like to or are planning to.

We interviewed Phil Shawe, Co-CEO of TransPerfect, to learn more about bringing the family on a business trip.

As a CEO, when do you deem it appropriate for an employee to bring a family/friend along on a business trip?

It is extremely important not to take advantage of the rules, especially when it comes to business trips. If it’s your first time bringing a family member or friend along, the overarching rule is to check with your supervisor first. If it’s a trip that you have done many times, and your boss can trust you, then it may be allowed. It is definitely more appropriate to ask a question like this after you have been on a few trips with the company.

How can employees balance time on business trips between work and family, and still impress the CEO?

A lot of times, finding a balance on trips and making it work can demonstrate to your CEO that not only are you someone who values family but that you don’t have to put your work on hold to make sure that time is spent between everyone. You have devised a plan of action that allows you to work hard, face clients and spend some quality time with loved ones – a trait that most CEOs love to see.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to ask their CEO to bring an additional person?

If you check with your CEO and he isn’t able to accommodate an additional person, your best bet is to accept his answer and let your work speak for itself. If you are constantly traveling, doing an excellent job and making sure that you are always readily available, it may be okay to revisit the question in the future.

How can an employee ensure their CEO that the job will get done even better with friends/family around?

If you are a frequent business traveler, the lack of being around for family/friends is almost always an issue. Without the stress of missing out on family events and other milestones, you can ensure that your mind is focused on the work in front of you.

Looking for more tips for taking your family on a business trip? See related articles:

Family on a Business Trip






Business Travel Life

Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.

Kristina Portillo, CPT, MS

Kristina is the founder of Business Travel Life. Her love of fitness and travel unified to create a resource for business travelers and road warriors who want to take a healthier approach to business travel. She has traveled for business on and off for the past eight years. Kristina received a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University and received her Bachelors of Arts in Business Marketing from Chaminade University of Honolulu.

  1. I do not manage people, so maybe I’m out of touch, but I don’t get the prove-yourself-first approach to bringing a family member on business travel. Why wouldn’t you assume your employee is responsible enough to manage work and family life on a trip? After all, that employee has to do it at home. He/she is responsible enough to send on business trips, so wouldn’t you assume they would be appropriate with a spouse along? I think that as long as corporate guidelines for travel expenses are clear, family tagging along should be a non-issue. If work is not getting done while on a trip or there are expense irregularities, that’s a performance issue like any other.

    1. This is an excellent point. I think the prove yourself approach would be due to the corporate culture of the company. Some companies still expect the unreasonable all work-no downtime scenario for business travelers, which we all know leads to burnout, among other things.

  2. We go all the time. We pay for our own expenses. Why it would be an issue is very odd unless your charging the company for your families expenses then yes ok. The hotel room usually accommodates 1-4 people anyhow.

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