Staying Connected During Business Travel
The most difficult part of business travel
For many, the most difficult part of business traveler is being away from loved ones. Even the most supportive partner may balk when trips become frequent. And kids are less understanding than a spouse.
While time zones can make phone calls home all but impossible, there are other ways to stay connected.
- E-cards are a great (and inexpensive) way to stay in touch. Most online sources allow you to select cards in advance and arrange to have them sent on the day you choose. Free e-card sites include:,www.bluemountain.com and www.egreetings.com. Some of the new animated cards are perfect for kids.
- Don’t neglect calling home. Email is a convenient way to keep in touch, but it doesn’t have the warmth of a phone call. Plan times to call when you and those back home will have time to relax and talk. Try to make a few “spur of the moment” calls if possible.
- Give loved ones a copy of your itinerary. This information allows family to reach you if they need to and to use your flight number to get information about your flight online. Yahoo has a great flight tracker – all you need is the airline and the flight number.
- Bring along a digital camera and email pictures home. It’s fun for those at home to see where you are. This works especially well if you’re in a great city like London or San Francisco.
- If you travel frequently, consider getting a couple of video cameras. It’s a treat for everyone.
- Leave cards and/or notes where your partner and/or kids will find them unexpectedly. If you’re staying home, sneak cards into the traveler’s suitcase.
- Consider using instant messengers as an inexpensive supplement to phone calls. America Online, MSN and ICQ all have free instant messaging programs.
Bring Home Along
Bringing bits of home (animate or inanimate) with you can make a business trip more enjoyable. Here are a few ideas:
- Turn your trip into a mini- vacation. Add a few days to the front- or back-end of your trip or plan your trip to include a weekend. Bring the family along or have them fly out to meet you. It’s a great way to save airfare and (sometimes) hotel fees.
- Pack your workout clothes, don’t let a business trip break your exercise routine. Exercise is a great stress-buster and there’s nothing like a steam or sauna to relax. Many hotels have gym on site or arrangements with a nearby facility, check when making reservations.
- Consider bringing your pet with you. Many airlines allow smaller pets to travel in the cabin with you, as long as they stay in their carrier. Be sure to check ahead. Most airlines restrict the number of four-legged passengers and may require vaccination paperwork.
- Bring things that say home to you. Pictures, scented candles, your favorite robe can make a big difference when you’re away. Always bring a good book to pass the time during the inevitable travel delays.