Travel Tips for Work at Home Parents – By Missy Ward

by Missy Ward on December 28, 2012

Even though I work from home, I travel frequently to attend and speak at different industry conferences and to meet with clients. My family is used to it now, but it wasn’t always easy. I dealt with a lot of anxiety leaving my family behind.

Here are four business travel tips for work at home parents that can make the situation less stressful for everyone:

1. Get your childcare system in place. If your kids attend daycare, make sure your spouse understands the daily drop-off and pickup schedule. If you’re a single parent, consider hiring a professional care provider instead of relying on a friend or family member. BrightStar Care, for example, offers a “KidCare” program that includes transportation to and from activities among its sitter, nanny and pediatric care services.

2. Separate work finances from home finances. I know from first-hand experience that there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to sift through a Hefty bag filled with receipts at tax time. Allowing your business and home expenses to intermingle will inevitably play havoc with your home and business budgets. Fortunately, your trusty smartphone can help simplify matters tremendously. ExpenseDocs, for instance, enables you to input expenses on the fly into categorized documents. Additionally, if you’ve been putting off setting up a dedicated business checking account or taking out a credit card for your company, this trip might serve as the perfect reason to do it.

3. Create a task schedule. Create a list of daily or weekly tasks, assign them to the appropriate people, and have them check off completed tasks. If your kids are computer savvy, you can even create a Google calendar schedule that allows you to see this process in action. If you have older children, this trip might prove an ideal opportunity to nudge them into the world of domestic responsibilities. Take some time before you leave to show them how to run a load of laundry without dyeing all the clothes pink, how to keep floors and carpets clean and how to feed Fido. Most importantly, show them where the emergency phone numbers are and instruct them on how and when to dial 911.

4. Help your kids cope. Despite your best efforts to explain, your little ones may not understand why you need to travel, and they may even worry whether you’re coming back. Julie Weed, writing in the New York Times, notes several little touches working parents can employ to relieve these anxieties. Placing a big calendar on the wall or refrigerator door, with the dates of your departure and return clearly marked, lets your kids see exactly when you’ll be back and cross off the days until you return. Emailing photos back home for your children to see is also helpful. As for communication, a video-ready smartphone or Skype-enabled laptop provides an extra degree of reassurance over a phone call, but just the sound of your voice will help your child (and you) cope with the separation.

Have a safe journey!

Missy Ward is a Co-Founder of Affiilate Summit, FeedFront Magazine Co-Editor-in-Chief and blogs on

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