Bringing Family on the Road

A recent article from MSNBC states:

Combining business and leisure trips, or “blended travel” in which business travelers bring along a friend or family members, has gained momentum in recent years, some industry experts say.

A survey conducted earlier this year by the Meredith Corporation, the publisher of Family Circle magazine, found that of readers who travel for work, 77 percent took along a family member or significant other on their last business trip, and 47 percent do so the majority of the time.

What I want to know is: who are these people? Who are the business travelers that take their significant other or kids with them on almost half of their trips? Who are these SOs that can go along on business trips half the time? Do they not have jobs of their own? Or school (if we’re talking about kids)? In four years, the Home Warrior has come with me on a business trip once.  When we drove to Dallas for a rare Saturday work trip. One time we went to Napa, and then from there I flew to Salt Lake City for work, but he did not accompany me.  Of course I would love if he could go with me every time I go to Newark or Nashville or San Jose, but a) he has a job, and b) we can’t afford all of the plane fares for him to travel with me.

I also raised my eyebrows at this section.

One client whose corporate travel policy allows him to fly business class recently saved his company money when he decided to sail with his wife on the Queen Mary to London instead. Fare for two was less expensive than one business class ticket, said Steiner….

Good for him for having a company that will allow him to fly business class to London. This also may be an indicator of the type of business traveler surveyed. But in  my experience, if I said to my company, “Hey, if I find a fare that’s half of the price I would otherwise pay, can I bring my husband?” they would laugh at me. I mean, really laugh.

I am interested in what other people’s experiences are.  Does your company pay for a spouse to travel with you? How often do you bring your SO with you? Do you ever tack a personal trip at the end of a business trip?


  1. I work in a consulting company where quite a few of us travel every week and I have seen this a couple of times where one of the parents travels every week to a desirable location (like Florida) and one week the rest of the family joins the parent, with the parent working and the family taking vacation. But I find it hard to believe the parent is productive when his/her family is in town on vacation.

  2. I’ve had a traveling job for…nearly ten years now. And there’ve been multiple times when a friend joined me for part or all of a trip (especially if I had extended the trip a few days). But I have no partner and kids. And several times over ten years is…less than once a year. 🙂 So like, twice when I went to Hawaii, friends came, and stayed in the hotel with me, and I worked during the day, and they sunbathed. And once I had to stay the weekend in Florida and work the next week so a friend came down and we went to Disney World.

  3. I don’t travel too often, but when I was in NYC for work in July, I stayed through the weekend and my boyfriend joined me on Friday and we spent the weekend there (his first visit to NYC!). It just made sense since I was already there.

  4. I have done this occasionally. When I was in NYC, I stayed over the weekend and had my husband join me there. Another time I was in Detroit and similarly, over the weekend he came up and we drove to Niagara Falls.

    It’s interesting the mention of people utilizing “alternatives” to business class airfare. We fly business class overseas, but the policy specifically prohibits flying in coach and using the savings to bring someone else along. Which makes sense; the point of business class is so that you can be refreshed and productive during the following workday, so downgrading to coach and using the remaining $ to bring someone else defeats the purpose.

  5. Southwest has that great Companion Pass for frequent travelers and I often take my 11 year old son on trips during the summer, breaks and the occasional weekend. He has started watching the Travel Channel to find interesting things to do during the travel. While I am in meetings he has a netbook to surf – and usually can hang out in a spare office or conference room. It has been a great learning experience for him.

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