Planning incentive travel

Posted by Jo Kelly

Putting together your incentive travel can be difficult. The world is your oyster in terms of places to go and things to do.

Proper planning can help you to organise a trip that’s appreciated by your staff, within your budget, and sympathetic to the needs of your business.

We explain the key things to keep in mind when planning your incentive travel trip.


This is the deciding factor of your planning. It can be easy to let your ideas run away with you, but defining your budget early should help give you a sense of what you can and can’t do. It should also help you focus on finding the right trip to suit your needs.

Depending on your budget, you can look at the sorts of incentive trip you could offer, from your choice of destination to the number of staff you could take.

Your budget, for instance, might pay for sending a handful of your staff to a far-flung locale, or it could stretch to sending more employees somewhere closer to home.

It’s a good idea to use your budget to help you make decisions on things like scale and location, and, using that as a starting point, you can plan the rest of your incentive travel trip.

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What, where and when?

Deciding on the specific places you will visit on your trip, what activities you will get involved in, and when the trip will take place, are key decisions that can help transform a run-of-the-mill trip into something special.

When you go, for instance, might mean you hold your trip around a specific time of year, like to tie in with visiting a specialist event or convention. It could also be timed to coincide with a traditional event, such as Oktoberfest, or visiting a seasonal attraction, like a Christmas market. This could also be a deciding factor when it comes to choosing where you will stay on your trip and the places you decide to visit.

When you go on your trip and how long for can also influence the activities that your party are involved in.

They could be solely dedicated to an event, for instance, or you might work time into the itinerary for your staff to go and explore.

See our incentive travel ideas

It’s worth pointing you that choosing to have your incentive trip at a certain time of year, like Christmas, will probably need careful consideration. You need to make sure you don’t inadvertently leave your business short staffed over a busy period, or without its key salespeople, for example.

The incentive

Once you’ve decided on a location you can look at what the key goals of the incentive itself will be. For instance, are you driving sales across a store or tracking sales of a specific product?

The location can also help you to make decisions on the design and the messaging behind the incentive. It could be themed around the location itself, for example, or a specific activity that staff could take part in while they’re on the trip.

Keep in mind that an incentive needs to be achievable, and it needs to be something staff can get actively engaged in and excited by – motivating them to work harder for your business and giving them additional goals to strive for.

Taking the time to plan your incentive travel means you can control the amount you spend, dictate the direction your incentive takes, and ensure that the trip you provide is as memorable and motivating as possible.

We’d love to help you engage, motivate and inspire your team with our innovative incentive travel services. 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.