When summertime hits, balancing business travel and family can become a bit more complicated. After all, you want to give your all to both, and that can really take a toll on a person. For business travelers who have families with children, there is a lot of added pressure as you try to balance both your business travel and busy family life. Summer can be one of the busiest times of the year for parents because even though the kids are out of school, many participate in sports, daytime activities, and have weekend parties and events. The good news is that business travel doesn’t have to put a damper on your work-life balance in the summer. Keep reading to learn some tips that can help you balance your busy schedule and family life.
Preparation is key. When you’re always on the go, planning ahead can save you precious time to enjoy with your family. This can cut down on stress and allow you to complete tasks more efficiently before heading out on a business trip. From meal planning to using a family calendar, knowing what’s happening and when can help the household run more smoothly. Get packing done in advance, and maybe enlist little ones in helping get you ready for the trip. Whether it’s having them write you little notes that you can open while you are gone or having them help with the laundry, this can prove to be a much-needed bonding activity before the trip. Additionally, hiring a travel management company, like AmTrav, can certainly take some tasks off your plate. Find a company that handles all of your business trip planning for you from start to finish, offers in-house customer service from agents right at the company, and gives you the ability to make tweaks on the go as needed. Having that tool in your back pocket will make business travel easier, which in turn will help cut down on the stress of balancing it with your family.
Communicate. Communication is exceedingly important, both before and during your trip. Make sure that you take time to explain to children what is happening so that they do not feel abandoned when you leave. Give them the chance to ask questions and learn about what you will be doing on the road, no matter how boring it might seem. Creating a family calendar can help the kids count down to your return, and when you’re on the road, be sure to check in often. There are a number of ways you can make video calls with one another, but even just keeping it simple with traditional phone calls works, too. Video calls create a lot of opportunities to not miss out on things just because you’re gone. You may potentially be able to see your child’s baseball game or see what they made at camp that day. Keeping the lines of communication open is critical in balancing business travel and home life.
Reward your family. Balancing business travel and your family is hard work. However, the experiences that you gain, the security of your job, and perhaps even the personal enjoyment of your work should all make it worth it. When you’re away, especially during busy summers, you may miss out on some events or activities that you would rather not miss. Taking the time to make the moments you are home count will help quell resentment and keep the balance in your home. Reward your spouse when you get back — acknowledge their hard work while you were away. Additionally, immediately upon your return, be sure to give your children the attention they have been missing. Postponing your downtime just a little longer, even though you’re likely exhausted, will do wonders for helping to maintain the harmony in the household.
Overall, when you’re traveling for business during the summer, it can be pretty hectic. Hopefully, these tips will make your next summer business trip a little less stressful and more balanced. Do you have other ideas that can help improve the home/work-life balance while on the road? Let us know in the comments.