Is it possible to take your kids along on your business trip?
I just recently came back from my first Blogging conference – Type A Mom Conference. It was a great learning and networking experience for me. I met so many wonderful bloggers – the ones I have known for a while like TheVacationGals, TravelMamas and HaveKidWillTravel; the ones I have heard of like SecretAgentMama; the ones I have never read like BoogersAndBurps, MusicSavvyMom and RockandRollMama, and the ones who live in my city like MyHomeSweetHome and TheBlogRollers.
I look at this conference trip as part of my business trip since I really do want to improve my blog and make it better. But I can’t possibly pass up this opportunity to make it a family trip.
I think with a little bit of planning you can make it work for your family. However, it doesn’t mean it will work in all business trips. Here are 5 tips on how I successfully took my kids on a business trip.
1) Do your research for childcare
The most important thing to consider whether you should take your kids on a work-related trip is childcare. You don’t want to leave your kids in a hotel room all day with TV on.
There are a few alternatives to that. In our case, my husband took a few days off and graciously accepted the role of daddy daycare during the conference. I research on things to do and gave him a few choices to start but he also enjoyed explore the town on his own as well.
Another option is to check the conference you attended if there are any kids program. The Type A Mom conference did a GREAT job in accommodating parents. They offered Kidcon which was a kid program sponsored by iRobot. My kids were not in the program but I have talked to a few people whose kids attended and they were very happy with the program.
2) Accommodation Type
Choose where you stay is another way to ensure a fun trip for your kids and success for you. Typically, hotels for business travelers have similar amenities that parents are looking for like small fridge, swimming pool, or microwave.
Location is equally important to the accommodation type. You want the hotel to be centrally located so they can get out and explore while you are in the conference.
3) Plan for things to do
I did some research before the trip on things to do. Check out the conference information section. They normally provide you with the local information and resources that you can use. Check out local bloggers.
I also do the same research as our normal vacation trip. I typically check TripAdvisor, Yelps, Chowhound and that city website. These are great resources to start.
4) Set aside family time
With busy schedule during the conference it might be hard to find the time to spend with your family. I found that by checking out the sessions in advance and know the schedule, you will be able to add family time into such hectic schedule.
See if there are free time during lunch that you can grab a quick lunch with your family. Or plan a nice breakfast in town before the day starts.
5) Spend extra day before or after the conference
If your schedule permit, look into adding a day before or after the meeting for a fun family time. Normally, on the first day of the conference, they won’t start until the evening. Try arriving early so you can enjoy a day with your family before heading out to a conference.
On this trip we arrived early and enjoyed hiking in the park before headed to town and registered for my conference.
We also left late the next day after spent another full day on a tour.
Overall, we had a great time on our family/business trip. Keep in mind that not all trips are alike. So you must know your own expectation and find out what is a good fit for you and your family.
How about you? Have you done a combine family/business trip before? What other tips you have that helped make it work?