written by Henry Moore with www.fitwelltraveler.com
If you’ve ever considered letting your family tag along on a business trip, read on for some advice on how to make the most of your working vacation.
Connecting with family is difficult when your job requires extensive travel. It’s even harder when you’re traveling to a fun-filled destination that you know your family would enjoy; the guilt can be overwhelming. Fortunately, there may be a solution to this ages-old moral conundrum: if your company says it OK, take your family with you. Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.
Do be mindful of your work schedule. Chances are, you won’t have a great deal of time to devote to your family during the day or on the evening of your first scheduled day in the office. Make sure your family knows this time and makes arrangements for dining and entertainment.
Don’t forget you’ve brought them with you. Try to avoid making your family feel like they were dragged along like a piece of luggage. Plan a special evening together to do something you wouldn’t — or couldn’t — in your hometown.
Do plan your stay over the weekend. If you have time to plan ahead, request days off before or after your scheduled work days to give yourself and your family enough time to enjoy the sights.
Don’t forget to plan for childcare. Even single moms and dads can enjoy a working vacation with a little preparation. Bring a trusted friend along to hang with the kids while you work or ask a colleague for child care recommendations in the area.
Do be mindful of your sleeping arrangements. Chances are, your company plans to foot the bill for your hotel. However, add another two or three people to the mix and suddenly that single king room feels like a shoebox. Discuss your options with the HR department before you go. It won’t hurt to ask about allowing you to pay the differenesce between a studio and a suite.
Don’t allow criticism from co-workers to sway your decision. Canadian sportscaster and dad Ian Mendes travels nearly half the year for work and reports that some co-workers can get an attitude about bringing family. If you get wind of any gossip, don’t pay it any attention. There’s no shame in seeking every opportunity to spend time with your family, especially if you’re on the road a lot.
Do keep your small business connected while you’re away. Entrepreneurs know that taking even a few days off can have a negative impact on a small business, but that’s no reason you should lose family time on your trip. Fortunately, technology can make it easy to stay online even while you’re away from the office. From automated posts to a virtual assistant, check out these tips for keeping your business active while you’re away.
Don’t skip the sights and sounds of the city. Most major corporations have their headquarters in metropolitan areas, meaning plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself and your family in local culture. Make the most of your adventure by knowing which landmarks or events you want to visit well before you arrive.
In today’s fast-paced and increasingly-demanding society, family time can feel like a perpetually chased dream that never comes true. However, even if you’re at the apex of your career, traveling together for business can be a pleasurable experience. If you still need convincing, keep in mind that travel offers educational benefits for growing minds. USA Today columnist Lisa Mercer reports that travel offers the opportunity to catch up on history and see the world from a new perspective. Additionally, travel abroad will help children gain an understanding of world culture, which will be of benefit when it’s time for them to get out in the real world on their own.
For a list of the best hotels for business travel, check out this list published by Travel and Leisure. Many of these offerings are family friendly, which should make planning that much easier.