Okay, so the terms “business travel” and “family travel” probably don’t seem to go together very well, right? One is typically all about work, while the other is typically all about vacation (and we all know how those two terms don’t go together very well), but even more than that – how can you even consider bringing the fam along on a business trip?
Well, one family travel blogger recently attended a 3-day conference, brought her kids along, and made a list of her 5 tips for how to take your kids on a business trip successfully. She acknowledges that this won’t work with all business travel, but if you’re looking to turn your next business trip into a family vacation at the end of it (or even to combine the two, alternating work and play days), then these tips might help you make the most of it. At the very least, this article could help you decide whether it’s worth considering (or even possible).
Amy, the blogger behind The Q Family Adventures, says the biggest key to whether bringing the family along on a business trip will work is whether you’ve got a childcare option – and this should be pretty obvious to any traveling parent. If you’re busy in a conference or with sales meetings, there’s no way you’re going to be able to tow Junior along – or leave him in your hotel room watching pay-per-view. Amy had it easy in that her husband agreed to take some time off from his job and be the daycare provider while Amy attended the conference, but other options include seeing if the conference you’re attending or the hotel you’re staying in provides daycare.
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Once you’ve got the childcare issue sorted, other things Amy suggests include doing either more pre-trip research than usual – or at least different pre-trip research than you’re used to – so you have a list of activities you can do with your kids when you’re done with your meetings; making sure you’ve set aside ample “family time” during your trip so that it’s not crammed with work (and so that your kids aren’t the only ones on vacation); and adding a day before or after your conference or meetings onto your trip, so you’ve got at least that time to enjoy a bit of a family vacation.
Again, Amy admits up front that these tips won’t work on every business trip, but if you can get the childcare question answered quickly and easily – and, of course, if you’re going somewhere fun that your family wants to visit as well – then it’s definitely worth considering bringing the fam along.
photo by RichardBH