I love to travel. I beg for work trips. I love meeting new people and seeing new things. Life is all about the experience! I love to see all my remote coworkers in person, engage with customers, and learn how create more success through work. This type of learning experience is often the best motivation.
Since becoming a single parent (50/50), I get a little anxious about traveling without my children and it’s not just about the kids.
Here are my Top 10 Things that parents worry about when they travel.
- Childcare: If your ex has a career that limits the days they can have the kids, you need to arrange additional backup for those times. Or maybe your ex just needs a night or two off if you are gone for any length of time. If you are completely single parenting, you need to find someone to act as a parent while you are away.
- Animal care: Can someone watch the pets? Is there a way to trade pet sitting? Money seems more important than ever. If you have someone being the parent for you while you are away, perhaps they’ll stay at your house and watch the pets too. You’ll owe them big time!
Cell plan: If you are travelling out of the country, call your cellular company to discuss travel plans. It’s worth it. There is also wifi everywhere. Take advantage of Skype, Facetime, and FB Messenger.
- Drugs: Bring medication for the ailments you might encounter: allergy; headache and fever; sinus; anti nausea; immodium; and any prescription medications.
- Last minute chores: Usually before a trip, you will be inundated with dozens of mini-emergencies from family, friends, and work. You may want to shout obscenities, “Why didn’t you tell me about this last week!” Instead, if finances allow, drop off your laundry at an inexpensive laundry service or splurge on a cleaner the week before your trip.
- Pack Light: Most of the things you wear can be worn twice. Leave room in your luggage for gifts! You should bring trinkets from your hometown for people you meet or want to meet.
- Carry-on vs. checked: Checking your luggage usually adds about $70 to the cost of your trip. So, as long as you aren’t bringing liquids, you may want to cram everything into a carry-on bag. I typically travel this way. It’s exhausting if you have a bunch of connections, but worth it. The best part is there will be no lost luggage.
- Ride to the airport: As a single parent, there is often nobody to drive you to and from the airport. In order to save money, you may want to line up a drive ahead.
- Hotel arrival: Make sure you have wi-fi! Some hotels charge in your room, but have free areas. See if there are services that the hotel offers or are nearby that you can enjoy. Find a grocery store to save money and eat healthy. When you check into a hotel, be sure to use the corporate card or your money will be tied up the entire week!
- Have fun: Travel is often filled with meetings and dinners. Take a few hours to have fun and enjoy the location!
These are the big things I worry about as a single mom who occasionally travels for business. I’m sure there will be more after my next business trip.
Are there any tips you can offer before I travel again?