Company trips are a great opportunity to bond with your team, celebrate your successes, and discover new horizons. It’s an exciting event that the group looks forward to - and you’re in charge of planning it. With so much to coordinate, it’s easy to forget something that puts a halt on your entire trip. So how do you successfully plan your company’s trip and keep everyone on the same page?
First and foremost, you’ll need to know your budget. Knowing the dollar amount allotted for a company trip will help when searching for a location, flights, hotels and any activities and transportation included in your plans. Once you get a firm number from your company, start researching travel and accommodation options. You’ll find that your budget will heavily deplete as flights and hotel will be your highest cost. Keep in mind that travel is cheaper when you book early. The longer you wait to book, the higher the cost will be. Once travel and accommodations are booked, you’ll have an idea of how much money is left over to spend on food, attractions, cab rides, etc.
Although this is a group trip, there is only one planner - you! While it is okay to designate different planning activities to different people, make sure that nothing gets booked without your say-so. This will prevent double-booking, issues with going over-budget, and booking unpopular activities. Activities that have not been agreed upon by your team, should not be included as part of your group itinerary. If someone feels strongly about an activity, suggest they use the free time scheduled to check out whatever they wish that has not been included in the list of group activities during your trip.
Speaking of free time, make sure you build some into your trip! Yes, you’re there to celebrate and bond together, but everyone needs their alone time. These are opportunities to wander, explore, discover, and have stories to share later over dinner. Let the team know when these free times are on your group’s itinerary.
Your itinerary is the backbone of your trip. Everyone should have a copy as well as access to a digital version, such as a shared Google Doc. To keep everyone on the same page, it should not only include the time of each activity, but also the address and any relevant information. For instance, if you are going rock wall climbing, writing “make sure to wear closed toe shoes” underneath the activity title can’t hurt. Remember not to over pack your group’s itinerary - this is simply meant to keep everyone on track and informed about what’s happening, not to schedule their every minute.
We tend to forget things when traveling - so help your team out! Sharing a travel checklist and weather forecast can prevent travel woes from happening later. You could even make it a game to see who can guess the #1 item most travelers forget (i.e., a toothbrush!) to engage your team and get them thinking. If you are going to any upscale places or events, make sure your team knows to bring appropriate clothes. When everyone’s prepared, you’ll have a much smoother and enjoyable trip.
Whether you’re traveling across the state, the country, or the globe, it can be real work to coordinate plans for a group. By taking things a step at a time, making plans crystal clear, and preparing your team, your company trip should be a wonderful and memorable one. Bon voyage!
By Aubrey Dion
Aubrey Dion is proud to be back working for the family business she grew up in. Over the years, she has performed a wide variety of jobs in both the office and factory, becoming a true "jack of all trades." Aubrey credits her quick learning ability to her strong theatre background, where memorization and attention to detail are vital. Working in the marketing department allows her to stay creative and work on exciting new projects for the company.