14 Feb 2022 | by Lydia Chenhall

Incentive travel is eagerly making its way back into reward and recognition programmes as the world begins to open up again. Incentive trips have always been a sure-fire way of boosting performance and morale, and it makes sense that some would react more favourably to travel incentives than other R&R incentives, especially since travel has been so restricted.

It’s a given your incentive trip needs to be just as incredible as the hard work your team have put in. It also needs to appeal to them – so make sure to read the room. If your team are a bunch of 20-something tech-crazy party animals, it’s highly unlikely a trip to an old estate in the middle of nowhere to drink tea and experience the life of high society would reel them in – even if that’s your idea of a perfect holiday.

However, when looking to personalise your incentive, is it a good idea to include partners in this? In all honesty, it really depends on the context. If your team are all happily married, then it’s likely that bringing their partners could be a key factor in whether or not they decide to go on the trip.


Do we exclude those singletons?

There is the case of a mixed bunch, and our Social Media Executive and travel incentive king, Guy Humphrey, believes that “extending the invite to partners is a great idea, because it creates opportunities to spend time with loved ones. However, for those who are single, this extended invite should also be offered because it still nurtures the opportunity to make those cherished memories with a loved one”.

You’re creating positive memories for your team and thanking them for doing an incredible job. So, if you’re providing them with such an incredible experience, it’s only natural they’ll likely want their partner, or someone special, to join them. I for one would be a tad jealous if my partner went on a once-in-a-lifetime trip without me!

Additionally, winners’ partners and loved ones are usually the ones who are supporting them behind the scenes. For example, they might be taking the kids to school, cooking dinner every night and making their own sacrifices to allow their partner to be able to work longer hours and achieve excellent results. The success of a winner should therefore be considered a team effort, as the support from loved ones is a key contributor to their success. With this in mind, it is only right that partners and loved ones should be rewarded too.


A steady, cautious return

It’s been a tough few years – especially for travel (and partners stuck together over lockdown…). People are going to look at incentive travel with an air of trepidation over the next few months, because unfortunately, we’re not out of the pandemic just yet. Even though you may spend a large chunk of money on this once-in-a-lifetime trip, that doesn’t mean people are going to drop everything and join you. People are going to be nervous – and you shouldn’t make them feel guilty for this!


Look at the bigger picture

If you’re unsure about whether or not to include partners on a trip, it might be best to really look at what you want to achieve with this incentive. Is it to celebrate hard work and finally relax? Or is it more of a team bonding session with an aim to produce new business goals?

If you’re after the latter, and it’s likely to be jam-packed with work-based activities, maybe it’s best to leave the partners at home…


Can you afford it?

While we want to cater to everyone and provide a great time, there is unfortunately that good ol’ budget that can get in the way.

This is a great way to meet in the middle. You can cover the costs for your team, however, leave the decision up to them to decide whether they want to pay for a plus one.

So, whether or not you add a plus one to the invitation all depends on the context and goals of your travel incentive. Whatever you decide, including a travel incentive is a fantastic addition to your rewards and recognition programme.


If you’re looking to revitalise your R&R scheme, Penguins is your answer. With our incredibly high standards, creativity, and experience, Penguins will always exceed your expectations. So, get in touch and let’s create unforgettable memories together.

Want to know more about rewards and recognition programmes? Read our whitepaper: The Changing Face of Reward.

Lydia Chenhall

By Lydia Chenhall

CopywriterMore articles by Lydia Chenhall