Payments for hard work, creative thinking, and problem-solving can differ for every company. Specific reimbursement will motivate and push team members to work harder based on the payment incentive. 

Travel incentive is when a corporate company gives an all-expenses paid trip to a certain individual or group. These incentives are a different way to pay the team for their hard work and show them that their work is being recognized. Paying staff in this way can ensure that the individual gets the necessary rest and enjoyment of seeing a new location, covered by the business. 

Companies can use these incentive travel programs in multiple different ways, but the aim is always the same. Not only do they want to reimburse individuals for what they have done, but also give them the time to take a breath, discover more, and come back refreshed with new ideas and creativity.

What Is An Incentive Travel Program?

These are programs set out to reward staff members and employees with an all-expenses paid trip to a certain destination. Some of the incentives include paying for the whole family or spouse, while others only cover the employee. 

Companies will use these incentives instead of rewarding the team members with a financial reward. These programs can be used for individuals or groups and can include a few days of work, while the remaining days can be used for rest and exploring. 

There are various incentive travel programs, some having a full itinerary while other programs, provide a destination and all expenses paid, but it is up to the employee to decide what they want to do and see at these specific locations.

Deciding on a reward system can be a difficult task. A specific group of employees prefers a cash reward such as bonuses while others promote travel programs or extra days off. These different programs can make it difficult for companies to ensure that they provide an incentive that is suitable for every employee.

Converting to a incentive travel program can benefit your company in multiple ways and these benefits can leave all your employees energized, motivated, and excited about where they can go next.

Check Out What Is Incentive Travel Program & Does It Work?:

Pros & Cons of Travel Incentive Programs

Pros of A Travel Incentive

Productivity and Healthy Competition among Staff Members

Competition is the drive behind many companies. This advantage can also be used as a drive within the company. The corporation can use travel programs to ensure that members work hard intending to obtain the ultimate free trip to a specific holiday location. 

Healthy competition will push the members of the company to work harder to obtain that advantage over others to win the big prize. This will also lead to staff members being more productive and focusing on the tasks that will give them the lead over other employees. 

These incentive travel programs rewards will motivate staff members to use the time they have on their hands to work on each goal set by the corporation, which will inevitably lead to these members obtaining the reward of a free holiday.

Boost Employee Morale 

Working without being recognized other than a financial payment can be demeaning and will lead some employees to feel invaluable. Moreover, most employees work at their most productive and peak level when there is external motivation. 

By opening up the floor to a travel program employees can see that hard work will and can pay off, on more than just the financial side. This will boost the morale in the office because people will start to push the teams they work with to reach their goals quicker and with better solutions

With team incentive trips, the group will help individuals to ensure that the whole team reaches the goal and in the end achieve the reward of a travel incentive. 

Flexibility and Adjustability 

Not every person enjoys the great outdoors or the snowy side of America. Some individuals love spending time indoors or walking through old buildings and beautiful museums. 

Companies can consider this and adjust the location based on the employee that received the reward. This will ensure that the employee receiving the travel program can rest, recoup and reenergize on the trip, which will allow them to come back to the office, well-rested and motivated to work on the next goals. 

Employee Availability and Retention 

Employees competing for the reward program will ensure that they work a certain amount of hours to establish their competitive advantage. This will lead them to be available for work more often, focusing on staying in the lead and winning the incentive.

Staff members will tend to stay longer at a company to work on achieving the ultimate goal of the travel incentive program. This will assist the company in retaining its employees for longer, and to an extent investing more time and energy into them so that they can help grow the company. 

Increase Sales and Profits

Travel incentive programs are a great way to raise profits and increase sales. The employees will work harder and smarter to achieve their goals more quickly. And this will lead to the company’s boost in sales. 

These incentive travels can increase the company’s profit even as it will cost the company money to pay for all the expenses that are connected to the traveling program.

Cons of a Travel Incentive

Taking Strong Employees Out of Action 

Rewards can cost a company money, while a travel incentive can cost have a bigger impact than just finances. It can cost the company sales and profits.

By taking one of the key role players in a sales team out of the system, the company can lose the weekly profit of its strongest players. This can leave clients with poor customer service, or other staff members not having the strength to close deals like the star employee. 

Lack of Budget or Spending on Incentive Programs

Providing a travel incentive when the company is making big profits is one thing, however, the problems start to rise as the corporation goes through a slump and the rewards are at a minimum. 

Companies can commit to a set amount of incentive rewards and only later discover that there are no funds to fully cover these trips. This can lead to demotivated staff members which can lead them to be sluggish or depart from the job.

Planning and Scheduling

The entire concept behind a travel incentive program is that employees can enjoy a program that is fully financed with an itinerary for what they can and need to do. 

The itinerary must be completed by another member of the company. This can take up to several hours to dot out and plan, which leads to another hire or delegating it to other staff that does not necessarily have it in their job description. 

Cheating and Crockery to Get What They Want

Competition can bring out the worst in some candidates. These competitors will fight and cheat their way to the top without feeling shameful about their actions. This can lead to chaotic and unfair competition which will reward the wrong employee. 

Miss Aligned Motivation 

Motivation can be a key part of obtaining a productive day. Employees tend to work harder if they are fighting for a cause or facing a deadline. Competitions can lead to employees only focusing on obtaining the reward and not tuning into what the company goals, values, and driving forces are.

Examples of Incentive Travel Program From Incentive Travel Solutions

There are multiple ways of rewarding employees for the hard work and goals they achieve. These incentives can other than capital gain, and can exceptionally motivate the staff members. 

International Incentive

These programs are trips that are fully paid for to a specific location that will be decided by the company. This incentive will allow the employee to discover a different country and location without needing to contribute to the trip. 

Choosing an international location can pinch the employee’s curiosity with the desire to discover and experience a different culture and location than what they are used to. These locations are not part of the employee’s regular holiday destination.

Local Traveling Incentive Program 

Not all competitors have the curiosity to experience a different culture or international location. Some of these competitors love their own countries. Corporations can add local locations to the incentive program to motivate individuals that loves local traveling and want to visit locations in their own country. 

These will be locations that not all locals get to experience due to a lack of free time, or even funds to travel halfway across their own country. This incentive makes it easy for the individual receiving these incentives to explore experiences that they have desired to see.

Check Out the Fundamentals of an Incentive Travel Program:

Common Incentive Travel Destinations

According to Brightspot, their locations are the ultimate options for a travel incentive program. These locations can be international or locally based. The main focus is to treat the staff with a trip based on a location that they have never been, to or would not pay to see on their own. 

Here are specific international destinations that will leave any employee speechless. 

Sorrento, Italy

This small town based on the Almafi coast of Italy is a great location for a high-achieving member of any business. Some of the fun activities to do in and around Sorrento are visiting the old town, the Marina Grande, and the Piazza Tasso.


Portugal is one of the more affordable countries to visit. This location has various beaches, festivals, and easily accessible towns to visit. It is also known for its’s liveliness and enthusiastic locals. 

incentive trips for employees


This architectural phenomenon leaves travelers in awe with all the beautifully built and designed chapels, cathedrals, and cellars. Prague will leave all music lovers satisfied with the wide range available. The adventurer can enjoy parks and nature hikes in the natural landscape that Prague presents


The country of Ireland is well known for its beautiful natural landscape, lively cities, and fascinating castles. This county is rich with history and the size will allow visitors to explore every part of it in one trip. 

Tips For Designing An Effective Corporate Travel Incentive Program

Get Suggestions From Your Staff

Planning an incentive program for a location that none of the competitors find attractive is a lifeless goal. The employees will have no motivation to reap the reward. Rather ask the staff members of specific locations and set up incentive programs based on those suggestions. 

This will enrich the team, as they will feel validated and as a result of their opinions now have a goal to obtain. 

Know The Objectives Of Your Program

Enterprises can miss their main objectives when zooming in on the rewards and programs that will motivate their staff. These companies need to first state why they are rewarding individuals or teams with incentive programs, and sole focus on the objective at hand. Some objectives can be to ensure bigger profit, raise team morale or gain more sales.

Prepare Clear Guidelines

Preparing an itinerary plays a key role in the program. This allows the winning competition to know exactly where they will be going, what they can do, and how much and the exact products the company pays for. 

Clear guidelines need to be presented with the reward to ensure that the candidate can prepare and spend the company money on the correct services and products, such as taxis and hotels or food and leisure activities. The employee can spend all the allocated money on leisure activities and end up stranded due to insufficient funds.

Some first-time travelers need clear indications of where to go, what to pay for, and how to get around in a foreign location or country. By providing these guidelines, the company can prevent overspending and traveler safety. 

Consult Travel Experts

Consulting an expert in a field to ensure that the company knows how to gain the most without paying for all of it is a great way to make traveling incentives a viable option. These experts can provide the corporation with detail that will influence the destination choice and money allocations.

Travel experts can provide the company with cheaper flight options, free or less expensive leisure activities that the competitors will enjoy, and local hotels or locations that are a steal to stay at. These experts know the local hangout spaces and can provide the company with amazing sights to experience as a first-time traveler.

Look At Different Vendors

Do not use the first option that arises. Companies can take the time to search for vendors that will provide a good service that will take care of all the planning and services. Taking care of the employees should be the priority and all vendors should know that. Ensure that you spend the money on the best vendor. 


Not every part of the trip or location should be set in stone. Corporate companies should leave a distance to ensure that negotiation can take place. Do not sign or accept set plans far ahead of the traveling date. Circumstances can change and the important task can arise which needs prior attention.

Stick To The Budget

Set a budget and stick to it. Employees must stick to the budget to ensure that the trips do not cost an additional amount to cover for a lack of planning or execution. If companies and employees do not stick to the budget, the forthcoming programs can be canceled to pay for the current traveling plan. Provide a strict budget and stick with it. 

Offer a Wide Range of Choices

Provide more than one option for the travel incentive program. The enterprise can formulate multiple options in which the winning candidate can choose the location that they want to travel to. This will allow companies to touch all competitors and team interests. 

Some candidates may have experienced a certain location before the program, thus not peaking their interest. This can lead to candidates not competing, and demotivating other staff. Companies can counter this by providing various options for traveling programs and locations. 

Make The Program Appealing To A Diverse Group of Employees

Choose a location that offers a wide range of different activities. Not all individuals enjoy the same activities on a holiday. Some enjoy long beach days, while hiking or sightseeing might be more enjoyable to others. These different activities can motivate staff members to participate and work towards receiving traveling incentives.

Emphasize Overall Experience 

Creating a beautiful picture by emphasizing more than just the big exciting locations can play a crucial part in motivating employees. Express everything on the itinerary and explaining every possible part will ensure that there are no false ideas about what to expect. 

If the staff members know exactly what they will experience, their motivation to obtain it can grow. Traveling can come with a few bumps and ensuring that everyone knows that will set an expectation. 

Provide Support 

Out of sight out of mind is not the best way to provide support to employees on a traveling incentive. These individuals are traveling on the company account. So regular check-ins to ensure they are safe and enjoying the trip can add value to the current and future trips and programs. 

Broaden Perspectives of Employees

Traveling and experiencing divergent cultures is a quick way to broaden a tourist perspective. These travel incentives will teach travelers that people think and live in different ways, some drastically different from them. 

Employees will come back after an incentive program, with certain experiences that will broaden their way of thinking. This is extremely beneficial to the company because the employees will start to address problems with a broader perspective. 

Utilize Personal Experiences and Endorsements of Employees

Companies can use the personal experiences of the employees to decide on travel locations and endorsements. Once an employee had a good or bad experience, the company can take these experiences to plan a better trip.

Provide Non-travel Options 

Traveling can be a stressful experience and some individuals prefer to stay at home where they know everything. Providing non-traveling options will motivate the individuals that prefer to stay at home with options such as financial benefits, extra off days, or a breakaway weekend in the city they stay in, which can be just as motivational as a trip to a foreign country. 

What Are Other Options Beside Traveling? 

Other options besides traveling are firstly financial benefits. Instead of providing a free trip, companies can provide a cash bonus incentive where the employees receive a certain amount of money for their hard work. 

Using extra days as an incentive program. Secondly, companies can allow a few extra days off instead of a traveling incentive. This will motivate some individuals because they can spend more time with their families and friends, which they might not see on a regular base. 

Lastly hotel incentive programs. This refers to companies providing incentives such as retirement programs, mentoring programs, or allowing flexible working hours. 


What Are Examples of Hotel Employee Incentive Programs? 

Providing incentives such as a retirement plan, flexible working hours, or career and personal development are strong examples of hotel incentive programs.

What Is The Best Sales Incentive Trip?

The best sales trip is the one where a company has asked the employees to provide input on where to go, and what they want to see and experience. Ensuring that there are different activities for every personality will provide a great sales incentive trip for anyone.

Are Noncash Incentive Rewards Most Effective Motivators? 

Noncash incentives are a more effective way to motivate employees. Tapping into the emotional aspect of the employee and providing more value on paper than a financial check, is a more effective way of motivation.

Final Thoughts

Incentives are an effective way to motivate employees to reach the goals that the corporation set for their teams. These programs show employees that they are valuable. Companies should use more than one incentive program to ensure that the whole team, which is full of different personalities, can chase the incentives and goals without excluding anyone. 

Sabine Ghali

Kelly Murphy


Certified Meeting planner with 20+ years of event management experience, founder of ConferenceSource, expert in meeting facility sourcing & contracting in North America, Europe, South America and Asia. Kelly will manage your budget as if they were her own, negotiating the best possible rate and hotel contract to benefit and protect every client and exceed all expectations for all planning aspects for sales meetings, educational meetings, product launches, incentive trips down to a small board of directors meeting. We make meetings easy understanding your meeting objectives and delivering meeting matched components.