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10 Ideas for Successful Incentive Trips

Staff writer – March 23, 2018 – Updated May 23, 2019

Everyone loves to travel, and this includes your top-performing employees. Unlike a cash reward, an incentive trip creates lasting memories, making it an ideal strategy for motivating employees and building loyalty. Incentive trips can be tailored to any budget, and to individuals, families, or groups of employees. But there are a lot of details to take care of when planning any trip, and you want to get it right. Read on for 10 ideas for creating memorable incentive trips.

1. Give Them What They Love

Build a trip around an employee’s tastes. This is, of course, easier if you know the employee well, and easier for individuals than for groups, but even with groups it is possible to find common interests. If your employee loves art, send them to Paris, Florence, or Madrid and arrange for knowledgeable guides to show them around museums, monuments, and galleries. Another employee or group may prefer camping in a national park, with tickets to nearby attractions.

2. Culture Vultures

Immerse your employees in the culture of their destination with language training, interaction with local residents, and cooking lessons. This is ideal for a small group (an individual may feel isolated and large groups will stick together and not benefit from the experience).


3. Be Epi-curious

While nice, five-star restaurants can get boring. Send a group to enjoy the different varieties of mole in Oaxaca, gumbo in New Orleans, or beer in Prague. A trip through wine country is also a popular option, as is a tour of the tapas bars in any Spanish city. Whichever destination you choose, make sure employees know how to avoid food poisoning.


4. And Food for the Mind

You may have an employee who would relish an educational trip. Try a trip to London or Berlin, learning about sites tied to historical events. Or the Galapagos Islands with a guide who can tell them all about the amazing animals that live there. Visitors to Sri Lanka love learning how tea is grown and processed.

5. A Taste of Adventure

Give your group an unforgettable experience. Your employees may crave something out of the ordinary, something they would never think to do for themselves. Try Tanzania, where they can go on a safari in Serengeti National Park or climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Or a wilderness experience in the Everglades (this would be a great teambuilding activity)! Maybe they would enjoy quad biking in Dubai or visiting Rio during Carnaval.

6. Get the Blood Pumping

Especially for employees who do most of their work at a desk, a trip that focuses on the physical can, strangely enough, be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. White-water rafting is a great activity for teambuilding, and it can be combined with hiking and camping. Another employee might enjoy a week of tai chi lessons in a quiet setting, whether domestic or international. Others may crave a spa weekend with invigorating massages.

7. Book an Event

A domestic or international live event can be the centerpiece of a wonderful trip. A weekend in Chicago with tickets to Lollapalooza can be just what your employee needs to get pumped up and inspired! A sports fan can take in a Manchester United match before visiting the National Football Museum. Another employee will love tickets to the Vienna Philharmonic.

8. Our Social Responsibility

Consider meaningful trips built around corporate social responsibility. This can involve helping the poor, voluntourism projects, wildlife or ecosystem conservation, or organic farming. If your company has a focus on social issues, development, or ethics, your employees may be just the type of people who would find such a trip to be life-changing.

9. A Package Deal

If you want your employees to focus on enjoying all their destination has to offer without any hassle, consider a package deal that takes care of their travel, accommodations, at least some of their meals, and excursions. Book a trip to Istanbul that includes a tour of Topkapı Palace and the Hagia Sophia, and a guide to help them haggle in the Grand Bazaar. Or go for an all-expenses-paid trip to NYC, San Francisco, or Paris that hits all the city’s hot spots.

10. Family Trips

A growing trend is to include employees’ families in incentive trips. There are a number of options here, including beach resorts, sporting events, and theme parks. National parks are also a good choice, as are castle tours.


Wow your employees with these exciting trips that they will remember for years and years!