What could be more motivating to your employees than rewards that include a week at the Bahamas, with their families, and all on the company’s tab? You would think this appealing reward would be enough to boost your quarterly earnings, but unfortunately, a free exotic destination that invites the families of your employees might not be enough to achieve business goals from your incentive travel program. To some extent,an exotic destination may entice some of your employees to go after more prospects, to improve performances, and so on. But the results might be short-lived and the returns might seem paltry in comparison to the investments you made in incentives Travel programs are especially costly so you need a proper plan to guarantee that business goals and objectives are met. Here’s how to go about creating travel incentives for your company. Plan as early as possible. Never leave anything to the last minute — especially when the travel incentive comes with a day or two of conferences (with the rest of the week reserved for leisurely activities). Planning comes with research because you don’t want to just randomly point to a part of the world map, and then decide, “OK. This is where we’re going this year.” It should be adventurous, for sure, but it would mostly be disastrous. Look up the most favored incentive travel destinations. Compare each to one another. Think about how each destination might be ideal or inadequate for your participants. And find out what wide-ranging activities you can present with such a destination. What’s the ideal planning schedule? Most companies prepare a year or more in advance. Promote the incentive as early as possible. It turns out that one in four participants are actually unaware they are even qualified for the incentive travel program — or worse, that such a rewards program exists. There is no point in developing your incentive program and planning for several destinations if only a handful of people in your organization know about it. Get your management people to communicate the goals of the program. Get the word out that, for example, those who reach a certain volume of sales for the month get to go to the Caribbean or Hawaii with their family. Hire an expert in travel planning and incentive programs. While it is important to reward your high earners and motivate other employees to improve performance, you cannot be expected to worry about your incentive program. You do have a business to run. In the interest of ensuring a well-planned and executed travel program while still managing your company, let a travel planning and incentive programs expert handle everything.