Business Owners: How do You Treat Employees Who Travel

Business travel is tough. It’s a parade of hotels, airports, taxis, deadlines, delays, time zones, and all that. So I ask you, business owners, how do you treat your employees when they travel:

  • Can they deduct the cost of a session at the gym in the hotel?
  • Can they buy a movie at the end of a long day?
  • Do you cover their full costs of meals?
  • Do you let them keep their miles, their hotel points, and other similar perks?
  • Can they take a taxi, or do they have to deal with the shared airporter vans?

Here’s the thing: business travel is hard. It takes people away from their normal life. Delays are common, jet lag is common, and while it may not be work to sit on a plane and wait at the airport, on off hours and weekends … it certainly isn’t fun. There are a lot more hours spent on the job than just the working hours.

The tax code is a problem. The government unfairly (in my opinion) limits the deductibility of some of the associated expenses. But what do you do for them? Do you accept those expenses? Should you?

(Image credit: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)


  • Keri Morgret says:

    At my husband’s former company, they would give a percentage increase of the salary for any quarter where you were out of the country for more than 30 of the 90 days. This helped make up for (a bit at least) for extended overseas travel. He was also able to keep his mileage and hotel points.

  • vicky Zillioux says:

    I have another one…Do you let them make their own reservations. I worked for a firm who required that everyone in the company go through one person to have their reservations made. This person had never traveled in her life (literally) and had no idea about connections in airports, distance from home to airports, types of hotels. Her mantra was to book the cheapest route. Needless to say it was a disaster. We ended up working our way around it be looking up our own flights and emailing her what reservations we wanted. It wasn’t what the company had it mind but it was the only way to travel with any sanity. The better way to do it would be to put in some guidelines for travelers to follow when making flight arrangements.

  • Robert Samuel says:

    I think any business owner who has employees travel for them should accommodate them with a little extra when they go on the road. Like you said, it’s not easy and health and stress are of the main concern (especially trying to fly in these times). Business owners should definitely give traveling employees perks. 🙂

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