This year, I had my first experience traveling for work. It was the first time that I was away from my husband and kids overnight. I’m a homebody through and through so the thought of being away from my family made me nervous, to say the least. On top of that, I hadn’t been on a plane in about 3 years and it’s been almost 10 years since I traveled alone. Talk about anxiety-inducing. I knew I needed to plan ahead and gather some tips to survive traveling for work.
I expressed my nervousness about traveling and being away from home to some friends and they helped me shift my focus and see the positives. Yes, this trip was a little inconvenient. Yes, I would be away from my family. Yes, I would be alone. Yes, I was anxious. But, my friends reminded me that this trip would also be a great opportunity for some time to myself. As a working mom, I’ve said before that my needs often go unmet as I care for those around me. My friends were right. I needed to take advantage of this time. And truth be told, it was only going to be one night away from home.
I wanted to make sure my family was going to be okay while I was gone, but I also knew that if I wasn’t intentional with my time, then I wouldn’t enjoy being away. Planning ahead was essential as I prepared for this trip.
Do you have to travel for your job? Here are five tips to survive traveling for work.
- Talk to your kids about your travel plans a few days in advance. It’s important to set expectations early. Let them know what you are doing and where you are going so they aren’t surprised on the day of your trip. There’s a great Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood episode on this topic.
- Help your significant other by meal prepping. Precook a few meals or plenty of quick, easy options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Plan time to check in with your family while you are away. Pick some specific times during your trip when you can connect with your kids and significant other. Plan to call, video chat, or send a quick message when it’s most convenient for everyone.
- Plan to do at least one thing nice for yourself while you are away. If you’re like me, it can be hard to make time for yourself in the chaos of mothering. Pick one thing to do for yourself and make it happen. Maybe it’s reading, journaling, working out, going to bed early, or sleeping in. Whatever makes you feel good, make time to do that.
- Do something to let your family know you were thinking of them. Maybe you snap a few cool pictures and share them or purchase a small gift for your kids and significant other. Whatever it is, your family will be happy to know you were thinking about them while you were away.
I survived my first out of town work trip! I hope these tips are helpful if you find yourself having to travel as part of your job. I took advantage of the short amount of time I had to myself and did a few things to refresh my soul. I found the silver lining in the midst of the inconvenience and anxiety of being away from home. What made this trip even better, were the smiles on my kids’ faces and the hugs that ensued when I returned home and walked through the door.