How to do Business Travel with Children
6 Helpful tips for Business Travel with Kids
Increasingly frequent business travellers are trying to travel with spouses and children on their business trips. The growth of bleisure travel to help business people maintain a healthy work/life balance continues, and travelling with children can help to bridge the gap in their lives and ease the stress associated with constant travel away from loved ones.
But clearly travelling with your children is not without its challenges. Ela Slutski from multi-lingual, international babysitting service Holiday Sitters knows a thing or two about this topic, so we invited her to share some of her top tips for easy business travel with young navigators in tow. Over to you Ela..
The opportunity for travel is greater than ever for leisure and business alike. Simultaneously, the lines between home and work are no longer quite so bold and separative. Families in the UK have 13 weeks of school-term holiday per year, and with business continuing as normal during these periods, it’s likely that corporate travel will coincide with weeks that the kids are off.
During these periods, business travellers have the opportunity to take the family along for the trip, without having to withdraw the kids from school. Corporate travel sometimes offers the perfect excuse for a short city break, but sometimes a collective trip is forced by necessity. In either case, we’re seeing more business travellers take their kids abroad with them.
I’ve put together a useful list of 6 tips for business travellers embarking on a trip with their kids.
1. Set Expectations
Business travel is undoubtedly more straightforward for an individual than as a family group with kids. Expectations should be that your time away will be more chaotic than previous business trips, and the nature of your activities might change somewhat. The trip will be different, so take time to enjoy that difference rather than to lament how your business trip routine is shattered.
2. Choose your Hotel Carefully
Most hotels do welcome families, but not all. Even if it’s fine on paper, consider the activities and amenities available to kids, but also the hotel’s proximity to your daily working location.
3. Focus on Flight Times
We’ve all pulled an all-nighter or got up extra early for a flight. Whilst this is fine for us adults, it’ll get the trip off on the wrong foot for the little ones whose sleep patterns will be disrupted. Plan flight times and resulting transits meticulously, and see them in the context of the family week.
4. Adjust your Budget
Expenses won’t go quite as far when you have the family along for your breakfast buffet and evening meals. Business travel with kids is bound to be more expensive, so discuss this with the trip’s financiers (if that’s not you!) or be prepared to cover the increased costs from your own pocket.
5. Consider hiring a Babysitter
If you’re going alone, hiring a trusted babysitter is essential during the daytime whilst you’re at a conference or in a client’s office. If you bring a partner along, this is more of a luxury for you to get some time alone together. In either case, always inform the hotel that someone else will be looking after the kids during that particular time period.
6. Make the Most of it
Travel is very exciting for youngsters, especially if it’s to a place they’ve never visited before. Please help them to make the most of their trip and don’t limit their experience to a conference centre and hotel room! Instead, use this chance to broaden minds and open new horizons. This will be very memorable in the long run and will really help them develop as well-rounded young adults.
Take the Family
Don't be put off. Business travel with kids can be perfectly feasible, manageable, and enjoyable. But it’s important to consider this as a type of trip in itself, rather than comparing with long and lazy family holidays or corporate travel as an independent individual. Business travel with the family has its own challenges, but also provides a rewarding opportunity for kids to see more of the world - and for you to connect with your family, especially when you're busy with work commitments.
Take extra consideration for the practicalities of moving about, the costs associated with feeding and entertaining curious youngsters, and the balance of expectations between work and family.
Taking all this into account, there’s no reason why business travel needs to remain a solitary endeavour any more.
About the Author
Ela Slutski is the co-founder of Holiday Sitters, an Amsterdam-based start-up which matches expats, tourists, and business travellers with trusted babysitters who speak their own language.
Holiday Sitters is due to expand into most major European cities over the next two years.