5 Cheap Company Retreat Ideas That Won’t Break Your Budget

group of young adults having a picnic outside the city skyline

Cheap company retreat ideas. You’ve heard about the lavish, all-inclusive, and very expensive retreats that some companies do, but what if you want that same experience on a budget? We’ll give you some ideas about how to plan a company retreat without breaking the bank, but  what’s the big deal when it comes to company retreats anyway? Retreats allow employees to build greater synergy, regroup, and rediscover a passion for their work in an environment outside of the office. When employees return to work post-retreat, stress levels are lower, resulting in additional energy to work as hard as necessary without sacrificing quality.

Many organizations plan company retreats in and around major events, like client project “rev-up” retreats, a first quarter push to align the organization and boost productivity, or an end-of-summer retreat to celebrate the final days of nice weather, and a much deserved reward for work efforts. Employees will appreciate that you recognize their efforts by creating a fun event and incorporating team building activities where they enhance workplace skills in the process a—win-win for you as their leader, the employees and the entire organization.

Unfortunately, organizations can be limited to a budget for company retreats, which can put a constraint on the activities planned. If you’re organizing a retreat and managing a tight budget, do not fear, there are many options to plan a fun event without breaking the bank. Here are the five best cheap company retreat ideas for your next retreat!

5 Cheap Company Retreat Ideas That Won’t Break Your Budget

  1. Camp Out
  2. Talent-Sourcing
  3. Take Advantage of the Company Conference
  4. Retreat in your own City
  5. Organize a Rec Sports Team

Camp Out

yellow tent in a wooded campsiteCamping is a great way to bring company employees together on a budget. The cost to rent space is relatively low and employees often help one another set up camp, cook, clean and create fun group activities. Incorporate team building activities to improve culture, unity, problem solving, and communication amongst the groups. Add a problem solving activity such as a murder mystery game from Team Building Kits into the mix! Include other activities for variety such as puzzles, board games, fishing, s’mores by the fire, and so on. Camping is also a great way to get away from the stresses of everyday work surroundings and is an ideal environment for employees to get to know each other better. Don’t want to stay overnight? No problem! You can still set up a fun “Day Camp” and pack it up before sun down.


group of young people performing yoga on the beachSearch for special talents within your organization by finding out your employees’ hobbies and activities that they engage in outside of work. This is a great way to find out what special activities and/or interests employees have such as knitting, painting, yoga, and photography that can be taught to the group. With this lower budget retreat activity, employees are provided basic training from fellow team members and it can be a fun way to get to know one another for greater team unity. This retreat activity provides employees with a fun outlet outside of their usual work day. Showing employees that you care about their hobbies and skills outside of the workplace can have a positive impact as an employer. Cater the event with some fun lunch items, desserts, and beverages to take it up a notch.

Take Advantage of the Company Conference

man speaking and presenting at a conference in front of large crowdIf your organization has already planned an all-company conference or meeting during the year, incorporate a retreat into the event as well. The cost is already incurred by the conference itself, so additional costs for a retreat won’t break your event budget. Add activities such as salsa challenges where teams create their own salsa to be judged by the leadership, winners receive a prize such as gift cards or an additional PTO day.

Retreat in Your Own City

baltimore inner harbor with boats on a clear sunny dayWherever your offices are located, incorporate an activity at a restaurant, city scavenger hunt, a city tour, or rent an event space, hotel conference room/pool, or recreation facility to accommodate the organization’s retreat and activities. Costs associated with an event like this include the rental space, renting transportation, activities, and food and beverages. It can get pricey fast—but ask businesses for the “local” discount as you make calls to organize the retreat.

Take a look at our blog series exploring certain cities for team building! Here are some dives into team building in Baltimore and Seattle!

Organize a Rec Sports Team

yellow soccer ball stopped before the line on a dead field

Incorporating a recreational sport activity can be an effective option for restricted-budget retreats. Rent park space for activities such as softball and kickball, or bowling at a family entertainment center. Any recreational sport activity can be a fun team experience to develop cohesive unity, enhance communication, and develop better relationships. Check your local YMCA or city league for sign up options.

Cheap Company Retreat Ideas FAQ

What is a Company Retreat?

A company retreat is basically an all-company gathering that usually takes places outside of the office. Company retreats can vary by location and by activity. Many organizations use the company retreat as a once or twice a year “check up” where executives can talk about how the company is doing financially while employees take part in a day-long team building activity. Some companies have picnics, ski, hike, go out to restaurants, provide a big bar tab, and more. There are lots of ways for companies to get creative in the company retreat department, but it doesn’t have to break the bank to have an impact.‍

How Much does a Company Retreat Cost?

It really depends on the size of your company and the budget you’ve set for company culture-boosting activities. The cost comes down to how much the chosen activity will be per person plus any extras (venue, food, beverages, transportation, and activity). If you’re trying to cut costs, you can do the retreat in the office, organize a potluck, or carpool to the destination.

Looking for a team building activity to bring to your next retreat? Try Team Building Kits!