By Shannon from zchamu (and other places)
A hotel room. An entire room. All to yourself. Where you can hog the bed and the remote control, and if you get hungry? You can pick up the phone and demand someone bring you food. What is this? Am I suddenly 26 and single again? Ahh. A business trip. It sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
Then why does the thought of going away for a few nights fill us with such anxiety and dread? It’s because often, we’re the ones who keep the well-oiled machine that is Our Family functioning, and going out of town means there’s a high likelihood the entire thing is going to fall apart, leaving us trying to pick up the pieces from half a country away. Head off the insanity: Here’s a few tips to help keep everything running smoothly while you’re out of town.
1. Lists are your friend. Start by taking note of everything you do over the course of a day or week - meals, laundry, chauffeuring, appointments, whatever. Write it all down. Then pour yourself a glass of wine and sit down and relax for a few minutes since, holy crap woman, you so obviously deserve it.
2. Once that’s finished, you need to start thinking about how all of this stuff will get done while you’re gone. (Note: You might need the rest of that bottle of wine.) Write down everything you will need specifically for you for your trip, as well as everything you need to do to leave at home. From dry cleaning to grocery shopping, it all goes on a list. Then you won’t forget it. Plus you get the satisfaction of crossing it off later.
3. Start your actual preparation as early as you can. Early prep will lessen your stress and prevent you from having to run around like a madwoman trying to get everything done at 1am the night before your 6am flight.
4. Review the kids’ routines with the other parent/caregiver. Take particular note of any out-of-the-ordinary commitments like doctor’s appointments. Compare their routines with your spouse/caregiver’s schedule for the time you’re gone. This way you can find conflicts now, so that you can either reschedule or book the sitter nice and early.
5. Ensure you leave any important documents in a safe, accessible place at home. This could mean health or insurance cards, consent forms, or any other official things the family might need.
6. Remember what is important to plan for your absence - and what isn’t. It’s OK if Daddy orders pizza more than you’d like. It isn’t OK for your kid to miss their favorite dance/pottery/whatever class they love. Keeping routines as normal as possible means the kids will adjust to your absence better - but it’s OK to let whoever’s in charge figure out the small things.
7. At the same time, remember the things that Daddy/Caregiver always forgets. Does he never, ever remember the sunscreen bottle or the mittens? Leave extras in the man-friendly diaper bag or in a ziploc bag in the car - or better yet, leave them at daycare or school.
8. Book a specific time every day to call or skype with your child. Being able to connect every day will help them - and you - miss each other less.
9. When it comes to your departure, leave yourself LOTS of extra time when you’re leaving the house. Things could get messy and/or teary, and if you’re in a hurry it’s going to feel worse. Leave yourself time for an extra snuggle if need be.
10. Research a good spa at your destination and book a massage and mani/pedi for when you arrive. After all this, you deserve it. Happy travelling!
What’s your best travel tip?