With small children, you can go on a work trip only once – the first and the last – this is what some people think. Everything is real even with three children, if you organize yourself correctly and not be afraid – others answer. And, as practice shows, the truth is on the side of the latter.
Let’s talk about how families travel with children and manage to be productive while traveling. How to prepare a baby for a trip and prepare yourself, where it is better not to fly, what to take on the road, how to organize a workflow when traveling with children, and other tips from experienced travel parents – in our article.
When can you leave?
The main motivators of family outings abroad are the habit of traveling, fatigue from the routine, and the desire to “create your own biography”.
To decide to travel with, say, two small children, you need to be easy-going, have an appropriate attitude, and work that can be done remotely. And most importantly – to understand that life after the birth of children does not end.
If you traveled before the baby was born, it is much easier to continue the tradition after the baby arrives. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start.
Medicines and documents – must have
Visas and terms of stay, entry conditions, climate features, mandatory vaccinations, and housing rental conditions – this is the main thing that needs to be clarified before flying with children.
Other important points include the availability and level of medicine, the absence of dangerous diseases such as malaria, and the level of sanitation. For example, seeing elephants in India with a child is a much more dangerous undertaking than visiting London museums or PortAventura Park in Spain with them.
It never hurts to check where the nearest children’s hospital is.
For older children, moving can be difficult – primarily due to the fact that simple but beloved things disappear from the environment. And the task of parents is to make this transition as soft as possible.
Favorite and inexpensive mass-produced goods can be bought locally. Then it is very important to find out in advance where the nearest parks and playgrounds are in the new location and what large supermarkets with familiar products are located in the area where you are going to live.
Being proactive when you travel with kids is very important. This applies not only to the choice of direction or location – children also need to be prepared.
Where to go and for how long?
Working parents who go on a trip with kids love maritime countries – both European and Asian ones are suitable, provided there is a sufficient sanitary level.
The period of stay should be at least a month, the only way to count on normal adaptation. From winter to summer, it is also better not to move so that the child does not have to experience a change in temperature.
As for attractions, you need to be ready to change your plans at any time. Relocations and transfers are recommended to be interspersed with rest for three to five days so that neither children nor parents have an emotional and physical overload.
We recommend that you make a list of mandatory points and select places to travel with kids based on it.
What to take on the road?
We hope there is no need to explain why you should book accommodation in advance. Money, confirmed reservations, personal documents – you can’t go to the airport without them, regardless of whether you are traveling alone or with a child.
If you work remotely – take a laptop, if a photographer – also a camera, if you earn a living with applied skills – work tools. And if a baby is snoring on their shoulder, then send this to the suitcase:
- Travel first aid kit;
- Plaid or shawl (tent, inflatable rug, and sleeping bags for “wild” recreation);
- A small backpack with a drinking system;
- Lightweight stroller or backpack;
- Wet wipes, disposable diapers and diapers;
- Habitual food and favorite drink of the child + water in a bottle familiar to them;
- Old and new toys, tablet with cartoons and games.
How to organize work?
To continue working when a child is at hand, and another country outside the windows is a challenge. There is no need to build illusions: on family travel, a child requires no less time than at home.
As a rule, it is most effective to work during the daytime and nighttime sleep of the child or when they are with someone else, heroically combining the role of a parent and a professional is real, but tiring.
With nomadic life, there are too many unknowns in the equation that are difficult to predict. But there is the main rule: do not leave for tomorrow what you can do today.
Talk and remind the family that you will be working, although this is obvious, it is still worth saying. Decide how many hours a day you need to work and stick to that while traveling. It is important to schedule your day and understand when you work and when family time comes. Don’t work weekends, don’t work at all.
Sleep = Work
The maximum that you can carve out for yourself during a family trip with an active child is 20 minutes. All tasks where you need to concentrate well can be done while the child is sleeping. During the day, you can carve out a total of 3-4 hours to work, and in fact, this is an unrealistic amount of time.
You can hire a local nanny or, if finances allow, take them with you. With a long stay, you can go to a kindergarten – so the child will be busy for the whole day and get a lot of new knowledge, including language, and parents can work without stress.
Rest, semi-rest, or work?
It is important to immediately determine the format of the trip – semi-working, working, or resting, and try not to deviate from it.
It is better to move rallies, calls, and urgent tasks to the first half of the day, and everything else to the time when the children are sleeping. It is better not to plan important negotiations or presentations via Zoom or Skype while moving or during a transplant.
WiFi when traveling is not always reliable, and even if the kids are asleep, sometimes it doesn’t work. When there is no Internet access, you can read and try to prepare as much as possible for all the things that can be done offline. For example, writing emails to send them later, scheduling tasks, preparing articles and posts for your pages, sorting photos, and more.
Hardware, software, and silence
To work, you need a good laptop (preferably with a good battery) and the Internet. Make sure your computer is in order, being somewhere with a dead laptop is very sad and expensive, most likely.
Equally important is the software for your remote work. So that you spend less time explaining tasks/results to colleagues/subordinates or partners, you can use modern applications that will save you time. Learn how to record a screen on Mac, how to use video conferencing software, various organizers, plugins for your browser, etc.
You also need a comfortable place to work. You can work on the couch for a couple of days but constantly is not an option. It is important that the hotel/apartment has a work table and a chair/armchair (tell the children that this is for you).
Someone is comfortable working in a cafe. Then using Tripadvisor, for example, you can find a suitable one in advance, or run through the nearest streets.
Do not forget also about coworking – today they are everywhere and can be easily found on the Internet.
Maximum concentration at the moments when it is possible, distribution of the workload between adults, a real assessment of strength, and the ability to plan each trip are the key to successful travel work.