Travelling for work has its pros and cons: you get to visit a new destination with all your expenses covered, but you’re taken away from your family. Look for the silver lining though – with your own expenses covered, you could use the opportunity to convert your business trip into a family holiday.
AVANI Hotels & Resorts in Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia, Mozambique and Botswana, offer some solid advice for business executives thinking of extending their trip into a family event.
- Organise your business appointments or meetings to be on a Friday or Monday – this makes it easy to bring your family to join you without you (or your partner) having to take extra leave, and your children won’t miss school.
- Corporates often benefit from more affordable hotel rates, because they make frequent bookings, or even block bookings for conferences. Speak to your hotel to find out if they will hold this rate for your private stay, or choose a hotel that offers Stay Longer specials, like the AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino that offers a 20% discount and free breakfast for stays longer than three days.
- Choose a hotel with family-friendly restaurants that offer food choices to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Planning the day’s events over breakfast together is a great start for everyone, while a family dinner is a perfect space for you to catch up on the day’s events before you spend the evening at leisure together, particularly if work commitments have kept you apart.
- If it’s inevitable that you’re going to be working once your family has joined you, make sure to set some time aside each day to create special memories with them. If you’re staying at AVANI Lesotho Hotel & Casino, for example, you could head out to the Maletsunyane Falls, home to the world’s longest commercial single drop abseil, or you could enjoy unlimited access to the Zambian side of the iconic Victoria Falls if you’re staying at AVANI Victoria Falls Resort.
- Join frequent flyer programmes to benefit from discounted flights, as well as travel rewards programmes, and look out for special offers and events in your destination city to help you stretch your budget and experience the best that the location has to offer. Joining a rewards programme like DISCOVERY, where you can earn rewards by staying in any one of its 550 affiliated hotels in 76 countries means that you have access to more benefits than joining a particular hotel group’s loyalty scheme.
- Hotels often offer special rates or discounts in their ‘off’ seasons outside of peak holidays and school vacation periods – as do many tourist attractions and cultural activities. Don’t forget to ask about any off-season offers from your hotel to stretch the family budget when they join you after the working part of your trip is done if you are indeed travelling during one of these times.
- Choose a hotel that gives you the benefits you need, like free Wi-Fi, a business centre, and access to meeting rooms, but that also has features that will appeal to your family, such as a swimming pool and children’s play area. The best hotels for work and leisure also offer a range of dining options, so that you can entertain clients or colleagues in a more formal setting, or eat in a more informal environment with your family, with food that suits their preferences more.
Travelling for work is serious business – but you can transform it into fun with your family with some careful research and planning to make the most of your time and resources.