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with Aliza Sherman

If you own a business - home-based or otherwise - this is the blog where you'll find practical tips and smart ideas about entrepreneurship. I've started and run 4 different businesses so "been there, done that." I'll also invite successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice with you.

To learn more about Aliza, check out her profile on Work It, Mom! and her website, www.mediaegg.com.

Business Travel…with Baby?

Categories: Work/Life

15 comments

airplaneI don’t know if I’m in a “modern” family, but when my job requires that I travel out of state for business, it isn’t a given that baby will stay home with my husband. The option of bringing baby - now a toddler - on business trips with me seems daunting, but in this day and age, why can’t it be possible?

Well, I’m about to find out the realities of bringing baby on a business trip. I’ll be speaking on the East Coast - at least 16+ hours of travel to get there from the Far North - and I’m bringing baby along. How will I manage this? I must admit that part of making it work will be based on a wish and a prayer. But the rest is on careful planning….

1. The flight
I haven’t yet mastered the art of flying with a toddler. Although buying an extra seat for her would have been ideal, it just wasn’t in the budget. So she’ll be a lap baby. This is the wish and prayer part - I am praying she’ll decide not to be a wiggly, squiggly, gotta-move-around toddler - just for the flights. (Dream on!)

2. The conference
There are several ways I could have arranged attending a conference with baby in tow. Bringing her along, of course, would not be an option at this age. But here were some reasonable options:

a. Ask the conference to provide childcare. This is no longer a far-fetched concept. I spoke last year at BlogHer in Chicago and they actually provided childcare for their attendees, free to speakers. Most conference planners have good connections where they’re holding the conference and could potentially look into an option for you. As an attendee, you have less “pull,” however, if more and more attendees request childcare at conferences, this service could become the norm instead of the exception.

b. Ask the hotel if they provide childcare. I never thought about the fact that many upscale hotels offer childcare as a service until I had a baby. Now the first thing I ask when I travel with baby is “do you have cribs” and the second is “do you offer or can you arrange childcare?” I am always pleased to hear yes to both questions more often than not. Sometimes, the babysitter is an employee who is looking to make extra cash on the side. Other times, they hotel partners with a local nanny service or babysitters in the area.

c. Locate a local reputable nanny service. I’ve used the Internet and asked hotels to find nanny services locally and arranged babysitters before that way. A professional nanny service may cost a little more, however, you have the added comfort of certifications, background checks, etc.

d. Fly up the Grandma.
This is my tactic for next month. My mother is flying up and staying at our hotel to take care of baby while I’m at the conference. She gets granddaughter time, and I get peace of mind knowing family is on hand.

No matter how you slice it, traveling with baby on business is going to be a challenge, however, setting up the right resources in advance can make all the difference in the world.



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15 comments so far...

  • Just wondering…..why? It’s a lot of hassle and you risk losing your focus on the business that you’re there to do, so there must be a pay-off that out weighs the hassle that I’m just not understanding. Are you nursing and can’t pump?

    Carman  |  January 18th, 2008 at 4:53 am

  • Ah, why bring baby on business travel? Because I live in Alaska and business travel is often the only way I end up down in the Lower 48. For this speaking gig, I’m on the East Coast and can piggyback a trip to see my folks in Florida - something I might not be able to do otherwise.

    Also, we don’t have baby in daycare yet or preschool, so there isn’t any place for her to go during the day when my husband is at work. There isn’t enough time to set this up for a week in February but once she is in school, then it makes more sense to keep her home with her dad.

    Aliza  |  January 18th, 2008 at 6:59 pm

  • Hi Aliza!
    It’s soooo cool you are taking baby along! She’ll get to see so many new things. When my babe was small I jetted about every 3-4 months with him along. He had a blast (except the take-off/landing air pressure changes but drinking helped that a lot). It’s a bit of extra effort to bring along the little ones, but even though it’s work related, we found time to enjoy something. I love the idea of bringing Grandma!!
    Talk to you soon,
    Annemarie

    Annemarie  |  January 19th, 2008 at 7:40 pm

  • Add quality time with Grandma, and this trip sounds great. I understand the distance and combining the visits; my husband’s aunt lives in Anchorage, and she always combined visits to Milwaukee and San Antonio, saying it was a short distance in comparison.

    Daisy  |  January 20th, 2008 at 1:56 am

  • I think it sounds great. My kids seem to go with me everywhere. The only time I left the state without them was to take my board exams, and I was only gone for about 30 hours.

    Kristie  |  January 21st, 2008 at 5:15 am

  • I take my babies with me every time I travel for business. I am lucky enough to live in the same town as my mom, and she just comes along with me. My husband and I work together so sometimes we both need to attend a conference, and just juggle the kids and schedules so that we both can attend the meeting, speaking sessions, etc. that we need to. Business travel is a little more hectic lugging the kids along — but I have never had to leave them. this year my 3 year old made Premier status on United because we travel so much together. I know I am lucky to have my mom be able to come with me and not everyone has that as an option, but for me it works great!

    Sabrina  |  January 31st, 2008 at 4:48 am

  • I have to travel from DC to Asia at the end of the month. I am thinking of brining my 15 mo baby but am not sure what to do and would like to hear from other moms as to what they would do. If I leave her, she will be home during the day with grandpa and in the evenings and nights with her dad. My in laws may visit a few days also. But she won’t be with mom.

    If I take her, she will be with my mom during the day and I will see her in the evenings. But, the time difference, hot weather, the fact that the trip is only for a week, in addition to the long flight back and forth make me hesitant about bringing her along.

    Last week, I came back from a 5 day trip and she didn’t want to come to me for about 10 min and now she does not want to leave me. So I am concerned about leaving her again.

    I am just not sure what will be the best option.

    Eileen  |  July 2nd, 2008 at 12:53 pm

  • I have to say after having traveled with baby to South America and France when she was 3-4 months old, then traveling with her to Baltimore when she was 18 months old, both ended up being manageable in the end but there were pros and cons.

    The older baby traveler is much more in need of constant attention and stimulation so the flight was more exhausting AND I did the Baltimore trip solo.

    But the conference organizers flew my mom up from Florida for me and having my mom there was awesome. I’d stop up in the hotel room between sessions to see my daughter and she and her grandmother had some real bonding time. Then we had dinner together and I was able to put her to bed.

    I wasn’t too distracted having her there although maybe a bit more tired, but got the job done.

    Next week, I go to Seattle for 3 days and the following week to San Francisco for 4 days. She is now 2 and seems happy to spend time away from me and with her Dad.

    Bottom line: From what I have learned these last 2 years, kids are TOTALLY resilient about these things and can handle either scenario as long as YOU handle it well. It seems that we stress out WAY more than they do - but they FEED off of our vibe.

    Do what makes you feel the best in terms of her welfare and NOT in terms of your feelings about how she might feel. At that age, they feel one way one minute and another minute it is something else. She’ll be fine either way!!

    Aliza  |  July 2nd, 2008 at 5:26 pm

  • Just found your site today - via HARO! It’s great-thanks!

    Thanks for your thoughts on this subject. I’m back to work after 10 yrs SAHM. There’s going to be some travel in my future and I’ve been considering my options w my toddler who already misses mom a lot.

    I found this service the other day online. I’d never heard of it and so I posted something in a local moms forum to see if anybody had ever used it. The feedback was very good.

    It’s called “Baby’s Away”. It’s a service that rents baby equipment - by the day - in cities all over the country. Cribs, strollers, carseats, high chairs etc. They deliver and pickup. I’m just thinking that it might be nice not to schlep that stuff around.

    http://www.BabysAway.com is the site. Hope this is helpful to somebody out there.

    Look forward to following your blog. Thanks again!

    Michelle  |  October 3rd, 2008 at 3:11 am

  • Hello! I stumbled upon this great article and thought I would mention my company, Tiny Tots Travel. Being a mom of three young children and traveling with them all over the country, my husband and I soon discovered how difficult it was to take all of the necessary items along with us. Last year we started a baby equipment rental business, Tiny Tots Travel in Seattle, WA. We rent full size cribs, highchairs, car seats, exersaucers, swings, strollers, toddler beds, you name it! We want to make it easier for parents to travel with young children. Feel free to check us out at http://www.TinyTotsTravel.com. We would be absolutely thrilled to provide the comforts of home for you and your family while in the greater Seattle, WA area.
    ~Amie, Founder
    Tiny Tots Travel, LLC.

    Amie Brenner  |  October 18th, 2008 at 4:50 am

  • My husband was offered a “dream job” but it would include up to 20weeks a year of travel. I am 9 months pregnant and could deliver at any time, although the travel wouldn’t start until mid March. Baby and I would go with him on all his trips. Is this foolish to even think about? The contract is only for a year, so my mindset is “we can do anything for a year”. Any thoughts?

    Allegra Hochstetler  |  October 27th, 2008 at 11:10 pm

  • It definitely can be done but it takes a great deal of patience, love and support - on both sides. Surround yourself with a strong support system because you will need it. And on those flights with an infant, make sure you take turns and give one another time to rest. Patience is the key. We took our 3 month old to France just as she was getting a sleep schedule and we were up with her all night long. We were exhausted but tried never to take it out on one another. Once it is all over, you may not remember all of the travel, but together, couples can do anything they put their hearts and minds to.

    Aliza  |  October 28th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

  • Thanks! I think my husband is more hesitant than I am. I think he just doesn’t want me to be “stuck” in a hotel room while he is working. But that gives us a lot to think about. Thank you for your response.

    Allegra Hochstetler  |  October 28th, 2008 at 6:57 pm

  • Allegra - you won’t be stuck in the hotel room with baby! Especially seeing that it will be spring once the travel starts… Your husband will be envious of your new adventures with baby, and will probably want to skip work to join you!

    It would be helpful for you to have a kitchenette or at the very least a fridge in your hotel rooms. Please do check out http://www.havebabywilltravel.com/main/home.htm for lots of info on traveling with a baby!

    Enjoy your baby!

    Corinne  |  December 4th, 2008 at 6:39 pm

  • I have 3 young kids but I refuse to give up air travel–I went on a mission to make the ideal bag for myself for the plane-stylish and functional with 3 easy sections ! Anyway, check out mBretts.com as we have the bags with the sections that will keep all your stuff in the right place.

    Really, after using this bag, I can see sections in every type of bag out there.

    Melanie  |  November 14th, 2009 at 3:13 am

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