Gone are the days when business trips meant just work. Today an increasing number of business travellers are opting to extend their business trips into a personal holiday. By bringing a non-work companion or family on the trip one can save on time along with travel and lodging expenses.
A recent survey by a famous travel advice website stated that over 65% of the working professionals interviewed have extended business trips into a personal holiday.And this number is only increasing.
Several experts are of the opinion that as work eats into personal time, working professionals are now becoming open to mixing business with pleasure. While extending a business trip into a personal holiday is fairly simple, there a few things a business traveller must keep in mind while extending a business trip into a personal one
- 1) Corporate Policy
Be clear what your corporate policy allows. Though an increasing number of companies are fine with employees combining leave with a business trip, it is imperative to check on what one is entitled to. For instance a lot of hotel abroad levy extra charges for another individual occupying a shared room. Buffet expenses generally will be extra. It is therefore important to be clear on and prepared for the incremental expenses. It is also best to not push for corporate discounts on expenses you would be incurring for leisure.
- 2) Bills
Do keep a record of what has been spend purely for business purposes and what has been spent for leisure. Accurate records and bills are necessary to not just settle travel expenses but pay any incremental expenses that pertain to leisure or requirements of your non-work travel-companion/family members
- 3) Travel Insurance
You would in all likelihood be covered by the travel insurance provided by your company for the duration of the trip. If possible try and extend this for the entire duration of the trip by paying the incremental amount from your pocket. It is also equally important that your travelling -companion and family members are covered by travel insurance as
- a) Medical expenses abroad could be massive
A single day of hospitalization costs are upward of Rs. 2-3 lakhs a day in the US. If you plan to visit remote areas (e.g. Lhasa, interiors of turkey etc.) medical evacuation cover is a must. Facing a medical emergency in a remote location would require immediate transport to the closest hospital which could be a few hundred miles away.
- b) There are a host of travel mishaps your companion/family members could face
missed flight, trip cancellation due to missed connecting flight, loss of passport among others. Travel insurance provides immediate assistance
You could opt for a separate travel cover for your family. In case it is not possible to extend the travel insurance its best to opt for a family floater for yourself and your family for the entire trip duration. Do keep in mind the following while picking your travel insurance
- a) Benefits:
A travel insurance policy is designed to assist a traveller with any kind of travel emergency. A good travel insurance should therefore cover the following over and above medical cover.
- b) Coverage
As discussed earlier medical emergencies abroad can be very expensive lack or inability to arrange funds on time could lead to permanent health issues. A good insurance should therefore provide at least USD 100,000. Bharti AXA GI for instance has an international network that spans 200 countries across the globe. If you intend to carry expensive equipment please check for coverage for each of these.
- c) Claims
Checking the claims creditability of an insurance firm is fairly easy. Customer reviews and IRDA published data can provide you a clear picture.
- d) Network
Whilst abroad, the ability of an insurance firm to provide assistance like medical evacuation, emergency cash is purely contingent on its size and strength of its network. Today a lot of insurance firms in India are JVs between an Indian entity and an insurance firm of global repute. Such companies offer dual advantage of products at affordable Indian prices along with claims servicing at par with global standards.
- e) Premium
Do compare products to know what is on offer. Travel insurance is pretty affordable and costs less than 1% of your trip.
Apart from being reliable, travel insurance also very easy to buy online and can be purchased in matter of minutes even on the day of your departure.
All travel insurance products are subject to medical declarations and medical examinations in case of pre-existing diseases and for individuals over 70 years of age.
Insurance is the subject matter of solicitation
- a) Medical expenses abroad could be massive