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Here is my current situation:

I am a student graduating in September who is looking for a full-time job. A company located across the country from me interviewed me (remotely) and extended an offer. They said they would be willing to fly me out in a month so I can tour their office and meet my prospective coworkers before coming to a decision. They are paying for my flight and my hotel accommodations.

Here is where my question lies:

I want my fiance to come with me, so we can both check out the city and look at apartments (neither of us have ever been). I am about 90% sure I am going to accept this job offer, and it would be great to have some idea about what areas of the city we would like to live in, etc.

He would book for and pay his own tickets, and we would either offer to cover the full price of the hotel room or make up the difference in cost between a room for one VS two people.

My question is whether this is an appropriate thing to ask of my prospective employer in the first place, and if so, how I would go about phrasing this question. I would ideally want them to send me exact details about the flight so my fiance could book a ticket on the same one, and ask about how we should go about paying for his portion of the hotel room.

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    Shouldn't they give you the flight details anyways? Hence how are you going to catch that flight? I personally would say, that this is nothing you need to discuss with your future employer as its completely on you and has no effect on the employer. For the hotel room, a simple request should do – XtremeBaumer May 20 at 15:02
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    Can you let us know your location? It's worth pointing out that in the US, it's typical for hotel rooms to be booked at a "double occupancy" rate by default. This basically means that there is zero difference in cost for one person vs two people. This is probably a minor thing in the scheme of your question, but worth pointing out since you were prepared to pay the difference in the hotel cost (while the difference is probably zero). – dwizum May 20 at 15:08
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    Anecdotally, I was in a similar situation interviewing in the US for a job across country. The company flew me out for a few days for an in-person interview and after accepting the offer allowed me a 1-week house hunting trip with my significant other. So I would say requesting travel for a partner is at least not uncommon when discussing relocation. – Bones May 20 at 19:05
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    @mcalex: Ah there's nothing like a misleading title line that seems to imply they're asking the company to pay, then burying the crucial detail in the 5th paragraph. – smci May 21 at 9:22
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    @smci I didn't find the title misleading at all. It asks if the OP can bring... not if the company can bring... – Darren H May 21 at 11:46
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Your specific question was,

My question is whether this is an appropriate thing to ask of my prospective employer in the first place, and if so, how I would go about phrasing this question.

Given how eager the employer is to support your decision making process, it seems perfectly reasonable that you would want to bring your significant other along - they clearly play a role in the decision to move across the country to an unknown city. Since you're willing to offer paying their expenses (versus asking the company to pay them), it doesn't even seem like you need to ask the employer if they're OK with you bringing them along - it seems more appropriate to just inform them of your plan and politely ask for the coordinating details. Assuming the employer is doing the booking, you might phrase it something along the lines of,

I appreciate your generous offer to fly me to your location and tour your facilities. It will certainly help me get a feel for the city and your corporate culture. Since this relocation is a big decision for me personally, I would like to bring X, my fiance, along on the trip - we are willing to pay all costs associated with X's travel. Could you please provide me with the details of the booking you've made for me, so I can coordinate X's travel to be on the same flight as mine?

If the employer expects you to book the travel and then submit an expense report for reimbursement, it becomes even easier, since you can choose to only submit your expenses (and not your fiance's). At that point, you can simply disclose that your fiance is coming along, in case the employer is planning any after-work social plans that they may want to include them in (i.e. taking you out for dinner or something):

Attached is the itinerary I've booked. Also, I wanted to let you know that my fiance, X, is joining me for the trip as the potential relocation will be a decision for both of us. We're happy to be considering this change!

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    +1 I've brought my wife with me for interviews for exactly this reason. The company even paid for her ticket! It never hurts to ask. – jcmack May 20 at 17:46
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    In addition to this, not only can it not hurt to ask, it might even demonstrate how serious you are about the job and earn some bonus points. – delinear May 21 at 12:16
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    As a manager I try not to get too involved in what people do or don't do in their relationship, but I would seriously question the reasoning of a candidate who was engaged and did not seriously involve their fiance in the decision making process. It wouldn't be a deal breaker, and I'd never bring it up, but it would be one data point that would cause me to pay attention to other potential data points. – corsiKa May 21 at 20:45
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I'd be a little surprised if the company want to book the ticket and the accommodation from their side.

In general, for these sort of visits before you become an employee of the company, usually they use the reimbursement model. That means, you'll have to pay for the expenses now, and once you submit the voucher / invoices, they will pay you the agreed upon cost as reimbursement.

As you mentioned already, inform them about your plan, and ask the same questions - if you submit the invoices for only the expenses incurred for your travel and stay - whether they are OKay to accept that or not. Most likely, they would not disagree.

In case you can have separate expense invoices for you and your partner - it should not matter anyways. If they are on single invoice for some reason - you just have to keep the company informed - that's all.


After the edit: Based on the emails we have been sending back and forth, they plan to book the ticket on my behalf instead of the standard reimbursement model.

After the clarification:

My question is whether this is an appropriate thing to ask of my prospective employer in the first place, and if so, how I would go about phrasing this question. I would ideally want them to send me exact details about the flight so my fiance could book a ticket on the same one, and ask about how we should go about paying for his portion of the hotel room.

  • Yes, it's acceptable to ask.
  • Phrase it just the way you phrased it here.
  • They will have to send the flight and hotel details anyway. Your partner can book the ticket on their own just fine.
  • For the hotel room - check with the contact person in the company whether they would be OK to offer you a twin-sharing room booked for you and your partner, or, if they have budget for only a single occupancy room, and if the twin-sharing room costs more than the former one, you can offer to pay the difference and book a twin-sharing room.
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    Thank you for your reply! Based on the emails we have been sending back and forth, they plan to book the ticket on my behalf instead of the standard reimbursement model. – Naomi Sushii May 20 at 15:04
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    @SouravGhosh, Companies often make these arrangements on behalf of the candidate in these situations. I believe they are assuming that graduating students may not have the funds in hand to pay for the trip, especially considering the other expenses they will soon have, like housing. – cdkMoose May 20 at 16:17
  • I would be surprised if they asked me to book tickets/accommodation.From my experience as an interviewee, companies generally book hotel/flight/rental car and reimburse incidentals. Small sample size but I've never had to pay for flight tickets. I have paid for hotel and rental car out of pocket which were reimbursed later. – hojusaram May 21 at 4:32
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    As a relevant aside, the cost of a ticket might be $500-$1,000. They're paying way more than that in costs to recruit you. – Wayne Werner May 21 at 17:31
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    I've been to many on-site interviews in the US. They do not use a reimbursement model. Flights and hotels are paid for by the company up front and usually arranged via the company's corporate travel agent. – Isvara May 21 at 18:07
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In my case I had the same thing come up. What I ended up doing is going alone for the interview trip or what ever you want to call it. During that time, I told them me and my wife would need another trip up here to find housing. They had no issues getting us both a plane ticket and hotel for 3 days to find housing. I would think they even expected it.

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