More mileage—this is what you want to look for in the international incentive trips your company arranges for top-performing employees. After all, with skyrocketing costs for foreign travel, you certainly want to secure sufficient return on your investment. But how do you guarantee that the international incentive trips your company organizes leave your business with favorable results? Whether it’s the annual sales meeting or a full-on incentive holiday package for the rainmakers in your company, the key to international incentive travel is to plan it meticulously. And this begins by considering the essential factors that will affect the outcome and the overall experience for participants. For starters, don’t be easily swayed into going where the rest of the incentive travelers are going. Trendy international destinations such as the Caribbean, the U.K., and Portugal may be exciting. But would it not make more sense for your company to go to a foreign destination that your business might be associated with or has plans of being connected to your operation? You’re taking your team across the globe. You might as well use this opportunity to develop closer connections with your international suppliers, or to expand their understanding of the global marketplace. When you choose a destination that your company has been doing business with, your schedule and activities for the incentive trip will be more productive — for everyone concerned. Instead of seeing your team head to the beach or hang out at a local bar, they can spend a fraction of their time by visiting your suppliers at their locations. This visit not only allows your employees to forge better relationships with the foreign companies you do business with, but it also helps them have a better understanding of how the local culture and practices affect output. It’s an opportunity for your company to improve business relationships while conveying appreciation for employees that have done well. So think about it. Another great opportunity you can explore, when choosing international destinations that are relevant to your business, might be to try and give back to the communities that may have a hand in generating revenue for your company. You can merge your corporate social responsibility programs and improve your public image as a company at the same time. And finally, consider hiring an incentive travel house to plan and execute your foreign trips. Yes, it is an added cost to your budget but in return, you guarantee that the trips will be highly organized, that no detail will be left unchecked, that participants will find the experience rewarding, and that the goal for the whole endeavor will be achieved — with little to no headaches.