How do you scale down an incentive travel trip?

Posted by Jo Kelly

A key purpose of incentive travel is to help drive a high performance from staff. The desire to win the proposed trip provides enough motivation for staff to work harder and achieve more. Ultimately, it becomes a win-win scenario for employer and employee – the employer receives optimum staff performance, which delivers increased productivity and profits, while the employees get a high-value, experiential reward for their efforts.

But what happens when you’re on a budget?

Thankfully, there is a wealth of incentive travel ideas available when it comes to scaling down incentive travel rewards. This makes it easier to choose something that ties in with your business, brand values and, of course, your budget.

An incentive travel trip must recognise success and whether your budget is big or small, you can create an experience that will resonate with the recipients. In order to match the trip to your budget, you just need to scale it accordingly. So how should you go about this?

Destination, longevity, and attendees, can all be tailored in line with your specific needs, whatever your business may be. What matters is the experience you give your employees.

See our incentive travel ideas

Remember, it’s a reward, so the trip needs to fulfil their expectations. For the attendees, the experience should encourage them to return to the office with renewed motivation to get stuck into their work, and achieve again, in the hope of being rewarded once more.


Your choice of destination has the first and most obvious impact on budget – short or long haul, for instance, will affect distance and flight cost. The destination also has other implications in terms of weather, landscape and perception of value.

With this in mind, it’s worth remembering that your trip doesn’t necessarily need to be abroad. You could opt for a luxury few days away in the UK, such as a spa break, hotel experience, or city break to London or Edinburgh. This avoids costly fees for flights, while still obtaining the desired results.


The length of your trip also influences cost – the longer your employees are away, the more, for instance, hotel nights – bed, breakfast and dinners – you’ll probably need to pay for. This is not only in terms of accommodation, but also activities, excursions and other expenses.

Rewarding with a shorter break is a cheaper alternative and doesn’t need to feel like a cost-cutting exercise. It’s all about presentation and what it entails. If the destination is right and the entertainment laid on hits the mark, then a few days away can be enough for employees to feel valued.

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How you occupy your rewarded employees during the trip can also affect your budget. Organising a jam-packed itinerary full of days out and pre-paid entertainment, for instance, can be costly.

Alternatively, consider planning events with a good amount of downtime in-between to save money, while allowing your staff to explore or relax in their own way. Attendees often appreciate the opportunity to do this, as it can make a trip even more personal for them. Staff can feel spoilt while they still having the chance to do their own thing and spend a bit of their own money.


Another area to consider for scaling down your trip is the number of attendees it will include. The more staff you send on an incentive travel trip, the higher the cost will be.

One way to resolve this issue is to offer trips for different achievements or levels of staff, such as new starters, senior roles and long-service members. Alternatively, you could choose to send a smaller group of employees on a trip each time, allowing you to include more exciting activities on the itinerary to further improve the experience for those attending.

Trips to make your incentive travel do more

When it comes to incentive travel, there’s a whole host of ways to reward and excite your staff. And, with careful management and considering factors like your trip destination, length, activities, and attendees – it doesn’t need to break your budget.

At CR Worldwide, incentive travel is one part of the event services we offer. We can quickly, design, develop and implement incentive travel events that provide a range of benefits for you and your staff. Our events are:

Easy to implement – Our events are quick to set up and are tailored to suit your staff, your needs and business goals.

Engaging – Quickly enhance loyalty and performance, creating an emotional bond with your brand, and increasing company awareness.

Easy to manage – Run and hosted by dedicated managers, who provide exciting schedules of activities and experiences and help to execute your itinerary.

We’d love to excite, engage and inspire your staff with our services in incentive travel. To speak to a member of our award-winning team:

Jo has worked at CR Worldwide as Events Operations Director since 2004. She is responsible for scoping and delivering all types of events, for clients of all sizes, globally. She manages the division’s team who organise and execute award-winning events – ranging from one-off sales floor days, corporate hospitality events and incentive travel trips, to annual conferences and partner summits.