Many Employees are Mixing Business with Pleasure During Their Travels

Many Employees are Mixing Business with Pleasure During Their Travels

Expense management during business trips is complicated enough already. However, keeping figures may become even more challenging in the future, as it seems that a large portion of business travelers have become accustomed to mixing personal time into their business trip schedules.

A recent report from The New York Times detailed how "some play on a trip for work," quoting a number of prominent business travelers who detailed how they like to spend time on personal trips and sightseeing, for example, while out on company business trips.

Such prospects could throw a wrench into a company's expense management plans. Workers may be more likely to violate company expense policies if they're mixing personal costs with business costs, which would necessitate more stringent expense reporting policies.

Nick Vournakis, senior vice president at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, a travel management company, for example, explained the practice of mixing personal trips with business trips has been picking up significantly and recently.

"This is a trend we've seen pick up for the business traveler over the last several years...blending leisure and business as a way to make the throes of business travel a little bit more palatable, a little bit more acceptable," he told the news source.

Lorraine Sileo, vice president of research for PhoCusWright, further detailed how pervasive the practice has become. She noted that 47 percent of all American business travelers added at least one leisure day to one of their business trips during 2011. Businesses that hope to avoid sharing the brunt of the cost for these personal days would do well to employ automated expense reporting technology, such as that offered by Certify, to ensure that they're not reimbursing any out-of-policy personally-incurred expenses on behalf of their employees.

Sileo went on to explain that businesses that do not enforce strict travel policies are most likely to see their employees add leisure days on their business trip - so if a company is against the practice, it would do well to tighten up its traveling policy.

Luxurious accommodations for business travelers - regardless of leisure days - seems to be in vogue

Another recent report, from CNN, detailed the best airlines on which to fly in business class. It was suggested within the article itself that business travelers are becoming more demanding in terms of what they expect while out on a trip. As a result, many businesses are having to augment their budgets for business trips, in addition to allowing for leisure days.

"[If businesses] don't have strict policies, travelers are more likely to tack leisure time onto business trips," Sileo explained to The New York Times. "They want to take in the destination of the places they are going for business."

"When I started in the industry, a big seat, legroom, cocktails and upgraded meals were pretty much all that you could expect [when flying on business]," Gailen David, explained to CNN, when asked about the proliferation of luxurious travel options. "Now expanded menu choices and infinite entertainment are pluses I've quickly become accustomed to."

For an example of the practice, The New York Times spoke to Caroline Michaud, director of public relations at the Preferred Hotel Group. Michaud spoke about how she often extends her business trips - even by just a few hours - to make time to enjoy herself in the city of her destination.

"I'm always seeing how you can stretch the trip," Michaud said to the news source. "You don't have to stay extra nights to get the real feel of a city ... I do it when I'm traveling to cities I've never been to before. Why not see it on the weekend and during the week because it's two different vibes?"

Learn more about Certify's travel and expense management software.