Parents like you whose demands of the job include traveling to other cities and countries don’t have it easy. You not only juggle work and family life, you also have to leap over extra hurdles—from long layovers at airports and sleeping in hotel rooms away from your families to driving endlessly in a car or RV rental. All while trying to maintain normalcy at home. It’s not easy. You have it harder than many people, and the kids may suffer as well. However, it’s not impossible to do, and do it swimmingly too. With time, patience, due diligence, and team effort, you and the kids will find the right footing and make it work to your advantage. And with the help of these crucial tips for frequently traveling parents, you’ll get on just fine. Hey, somebody has to do it. It might as well be you.
Frequently Traveling Parents Must Know Tips
Not normalcy in the traditional, what-society-expects kind of sense. Maintain normalcy at home in a way that works for you and the whole family. Even though you are traveling all the time and might maintain a hectic, come-and-go schedule; it doesn’t mean that you can’t have a normal family life by your standards.
Sit down with the kids, open a clear, judgment-free channel of communication, and discuss what works for everyone. Find a routine that everybody’s comfortable with—whether it’s preparing the kids’ lunches over the weekend so they can just grab and go or holding that family game night on a Thursday instead of a Friday—and try and stick to it as much as possible.
And remember, just because it’s not normal by society’s standards, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong and you’re scarring those kids for life.
Stay in touch.
Whether you are thousands of miles away or just in the next city over, whether you’re driving an RV rental across Australia in the middle of the night or in your hotel room at the end of the day, it’s important to stay it touch with your partner and the kids. You might have a hectic schedule, but you can certainly—and should—carve some time out to check in at home.
Have nightly conversations with your family while you’re away as often as you can, whether it’s over the phone or through Skype. Talk about your day, discuss homework and the things that happened at school, and don’t hesitate to tell the kids about your own adventures.
Before you take off, make sure to leave reminders at home as well. Post-it notes and white boards are a great way to stay in touch without you physically being there, to remind them about their responsibilities, practices and exams.
Come bearing gifts and quality time.
Remember to take home some trinkets and unique souvenirs with you. It’s a great way to share your own travels and experiences with your loved ones, make them feel included, and let them know that even though you were miles away, you were thinking about them.
And lastly, come home prepared to spend time with them. Take a day to rest, but be ready to take the kids out for dinner and a movie or a picnic at the park once you’ve recuperated from your travels. It is crucial for frequently traveling parents to let their family know that they are important; and spending much needed quality time with them at home is the best way to reassure them.
Better yet, every now and then, take them on one of your trips. Extend your work trip into a family vacation. Hire an RV rental and go on a road trip, or book a beach resort room for a few days. There’s no better way to end a dull business trip than with a fun holiday for the whole family.