Top Family Travel Tips

Family Travel Tips

Family Travel Tips: If you travel frequently on business and have a family, it can be tough to juggle the responsibilities of work and home.

With careful planning and collaboration with your family, your time away can be less stressful.

Learn to stay connected to your family, while still staying focused on your work and self-care.

Be prepared to make the most of your time when back at home, and reassure your family that you are there for them.

Consider ways to include your family on your business trips.

Or make sure they know you’ll be there for important family events.

Coping While You’re Away on Business

Talk openly with your children about your business travels.

Help to prepare them for your absence. Provide them with reassurance and answer any concerns they have.

  • Discuss when you’ll be away, where you’re going, for how long, and when you’ll be returning.
  • Show them that you care and will miss them, using your words or hugs. For example, say, “I care about you so much. Even though I’ll be away, you’ll be in my thoughts. I will be sending hugs and kisses even from afar.”
  • Make them feel safe, and provide them with reassurance about who will take care of them while you’re away. Answer their questions if they have specific concerns while you’re gone. Consider saying, “I will miss you very much. Remember that I will be away only for a short time. Trust that your dad will take good care of you while I’m away, and make sure that you have everything you need.”

Make regular contact by video or telephone when away.

Modern technology makes it easier to stay connected while you’re out of town. Make “face time” a priority while you’re gone by scheduling phone calls in the evenings after work.

 During your chat, take time to ask them how they’ve been, and then listen actively when they reply.

  • If the business trip is for multiple days or weeks, regular phone calls can help you to stay connected. If you’re only gone for one night, the phone call may be more of a “check-in” with your family than a long conversation.
  • Depending on the age of your kids, and your comfort level with various technology, try video chatting on your phone or laptop. This real-time, face-to-face interaction can help to reduce the distance you’re feeling from your kids.

    Family Travel Tips

  • Make video chatting and telephone calls feel more like regular conversations.
  • Focus on topics that you and your family enjoy talking about.
  • Avoid dwelling on feeling sad that you’re away, or trying to discipline your kids from a distance.
  • When you’re video chatting, take your family on a virtual tour of the place where you’re staying. This will help them feel as if they’re there with you.
  • You can also check-in by sending a text or email.

Play online games with your kids or partner.

You can play social games with your family on your phone or tablet wherever you are.

Find a game app that you can play together as a family or one-on-one.

Set aside 15-20 minutes to play together before bedtime.

  • You can find free games on social gaming sites like or
  • Family Travel Tips

Use your time away as “you” time.

Being away from your family and traveling on business can be stressful.

Use this time away from your normal routine to focus on your needs.

  • When you’re on a business trip, you will likely have “downtime” in the evenings or mornings. Use this time wisely by focusing on yourself.
  • Consider doing activities that help you feel refreshed. Use the hotel’s fitness center.
  • Get a massage. Explore the city. Have a relaxing dinner.
  • By making your business trips less stressful for yourself, you’ll likely feel more prepared to handle family responsibilities when back home.
  • If things are stressing you out at home, being on a trip can also be a good way to get a little healthy space and regain some perspective on your family life.

Limit business travel to shorter trips when possible.

If you’ve been traveling for work for years, you may have enjoyed the luxuries of extending your trips to include visits with friends and family or taking extra time at the end of a trip for yourself. When you have responsibilities back home, consider ways to shorten trips so that family time takes equal priority.

  • Find out if there are ways to reduce the length of your business trips to just overnights, or during the week. Find out if you can arrange your travels so that you’re home for more Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Shorter trips may be less disruptive to your family routine.
  • Think about doing trips that are a few days rather than a whole week.
  • Try packing more meetings in each day, so that you maximize your work time while away.
  • For example, have meetings at 5pm and 7am, in addition to normal business hours as way to utilize time more efficiently.
  • Consider whether a trip is necessary at all. In some cases, you may be able to conduct your business remotely via video calls or other digital meeting technology.

Making the Most of Your Time at Home

Plan to spend more time with the kids when you’re home.

Make sure to spend quality time with your family, and devote more energy to their needs.

Remind them that you are a constant support in their lives, even if you travel on business.

  • Take an active part in their daily activities and interests.
  • Attend sporting events, recitals, and music lessons with them.
  • Help them with homework.
  • Maximize your time in the evenings and weekends to do activities that help them learn and grow as individuals. Avoid defaulting to activities like watching TV together. Make activities unique and get outdoors when possible.
  • Listen to their hopes and dreams. Be warm and comforting support them. Avoid putting the burden of your work on them.
  • Plan an exciting adventure that you can have together as a family, like a camping or hiking trip.

    Family Travel Tips

Help to reduce family resentment when you return.

Children may feel abandoned by a parent who is away for long periods of time.

They may feel like they can’t rely on you to be a stable part of their lives. This can lead to resentment.

  • Be nurturing when they seem upset, frustrated, or anxious about your business traveling. While they may not fully understand your work responsibilities, particularly if they are younger, it is important to tell them often that they matter. Consider saying things like, “Even though I’ll be away, I am always thinking of you.”
  • Redirect the negative feelings to positive actions.
  • Give them hugs, even if they seem to pull away.
  • Show them that your love is unconditional.
  • Connect and check in with them as much as possible while you’re gone.
  • Try fun and creative approaches, like playing online games with them.
  • This will help them feel as if you are a presence in their lives even while you are away.

Collaborate with your spouse or partner on family obligations when home.

Make sure that your partner or spouse doesn’t feel overwhelmed and burdened every time you travel on business.

Discuss with them what support they need to feel less stressed.

  • Identify extra help that you can arrange when you’re away.
  • For example, consider having a babysitter or housekeeper help out when you’re traveling to ease the load off your spouse. Or, help to order or prepare meals that are ready-made before you leave for a few days.
  • Make sure that your spouse has free time to rest and relax. Recognize that they also need “me” time.
  • Don’t forget to appreciate what your partner does. Depending on how you show your love, consider giving gifts, words of love, or physical affection to make them feel special.

Finding Ways to Include Your Family More

Adjust your business schedule to attend important family events.

Make sure that you’re aware of important upcoming events that your child participates in.

Keep a calendar of important birthdays, anniversaries, and family get-togethers.

Attending significant events shows that your family is just as important as your work commitments.

  • Talk with your spouse or partner about upcoming events in the next three months.
  • By planning ahead, you’re less likely to miss out on important times with your family.
  • If you can’t make it to an event, make sure to set aside time to be with your family afterward. For example, let’s say that a last-minute business trip conflicts with attending a dance recital with your child. See if someone can record the event, and then watch it with your child and family afterward. Turn it into a special event at home by watching it in the living room together.
  • Family Travel Tips

Negotiate with your company to see if spouses or children can fly with you.

Some companies are more accommodating than others.

It may also be a matter of your negotiating skills.

If you’ve been traveling awhile for business, this may give your leverage to negotiate and see if your family can attend.

  • Even if the expenses of travel cannot be paid in full for your family while on business, see if there may be hotel accommodations or plane airfare that can be included for them.
  • Consider ways to negotiate for a plane ticket for your spouse, but not the children. Your employer may be more willing to assist with this fare.
  • Be assertive and have a clear case as to why helping with family expenses is good for the company. Consider discussing company values of work-life balance as part of their mission.

Take your family on trips with you sometimes.

Even if your company can’t pay for your family’s expenses, give your family an opportunity to travel and explore in the same way you do.

Find ways to add on family time while you’re away on business by having a short family vacation after you’re finished with your work.

  • Let’s say you travel to different places for work-related conferences.
  • Consider bringing your family with you. While you’re at the conference, they can explore the city. You can also have time with them in the evenings or after the conference is over.
  • If you travel frequently to the same destinations each year, consider taking them to one of the places you visit that’s family-friendly. Help them to understand what you do when you’re away. They may feel more interested in what you do for work if you take them along from time to time.

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