I just got invited to a work trip to NYC. It's only a one night trip, and I will be traveling with a few coworkers. Oddly enough, the same weekend (trip is on a Friday), I had declined a trip to NYC with my significant other to visit some friends. Now it seems like an almost perfect way to extend the business trip Friday into a Saturday/Sunday personal trip.

However, they are arranging travel and I don't want to step on any toes. It's seems burdensome for them to have to book X 2-way flights and 1 1-way flight. I also don't want my presence there to seem like a disingenuous way to just get a cheap vacation. I don't even know if there's some policy against bringing an employee somewhere and leaving them. Of course the answer to most of these is I should just ask but I'd like to scope what the norm is for this.

Should I just say I'll provide my own travel to alleviate some of the issues? Am I just overthinking it and I should really take advantage of the great situation?

  • I'm voting to close as company specific. Some companies will be happy to have you stay over the weekend (you pay the extra hotels) because it means cheaper airfare. Others won't. You should contact your Travel department and ask. – Dan Pichelman Jul 19 '17 at 15:56
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    I even did this for a job interview I had in Boston. The company was paying for the flight and I told them I'd like to spend the weekend in Boston so they scheduled the return flight for the Sunday after my interview. If a company, I didn't even work for was willing to do this, I don't think it should be any problem for you. As @DanPichelman points out though, it is obviously company-specific. – AffableAmbler Jul 19 '17 at 16:29

You're overthinking. It happens - though it won't always be accepted depending on the company.

At the very least it'll cost you nothing to ask. Just don't put the WE expenses on the company.

Worst case: skip the return flight (or tell them to not book it) and fly back with your SO using a one-way ticket on your dime.

  • surely skipping a return flight your company has paid for is a bad idea? – User632716 Jul 19 '17 at 16:15
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    @User632716 - Why? The company would be paying to return you under normal circumstances and you missing the flight has no impact on them (as long as you have other plans to get home). – brhans Jul 19 '17 at 16:24
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    @brhans Because a one-way ticket may have been cheaper. – Johns-305 Jul 19 '17 at 16:36
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    @Johns-305 - but this answer recommends to talk to the company 1st - so it they don't want to book the 1-way and end up paying for a return that doesn't get used that's their own fault... – brhans Jul 19 '17 at 16:38
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    @brhans Sure, but you didn't add those caveats in your original answer to User632716. If they knowingly booked an unused ticket, yes, that's on them. If you don't say anything and skip the return, that's bad form. – Johns-305 Jul 19 '17 at 16:53

What you're asking to do is very, very common. Traditionally, the most important factors are:

  1. No or no significant cost to the company.
  2. You intended personal activities will not impact or influence your professional ones.
  3. You have enough Leave, Vacation, PTO, etc. to cover any missed days.

It's not a meaningful burden to book you a separate ticket. In fact, they might be doing so anyway because it can make accounting easier. If you manager approves, all you need to do is tell the travel coordinator you'll be returning on an alternate date.

  • A few times I've been able to get my employer to adjust the travel dates before booking the ticket. If they were going to have to pay for me to fly across the country anyway, changing the date of a flight isn't generally a big deal. (If it changes the price the employee should expect to pay the difference; if the new price is lower the employee should expect not to get anything from the company for that.) – Monica Cellio Jul 19 '17 at 16:30

My manager and I went to a conference in Florida (we live and work in LA). She asked if she can come back 1 week after our conference ended because she wanted to spend some quality time with her daughter. This conversation came up after our company bought the ticket. There were two things in that conversation that may help you.

1) Our Executives were willing to let her come back a week later and change her flight if there's no changes to the airline price

2) If there are any price difference, my manager agreed to pay the difference.

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