How to Keep in Touch While You’re Traveling
The hardest part of business travel isn’t the time out of the office or coping with air travel — it’s the time away from your family. We offer some easy and thoughtful ways to show your loved ones you miss them and how to schedule time for check-in calls, FaceTime appointments and texts.
As an eager young professional, armed with a corporate card and a streamlined wheelie bag, I loved traveling for work. When I became a parent, not so much. Leaving behind a family — especially my kids — created a new kind of stress, one that definitely put a damper on business trips, even though my husband always assured me everything back home was fine. Ultimately, I did my research, racked up some savvy advice from smart travelers and figured out what worked best for my family. Whether you have to spend time away from a new baby, a beloved partner or aging parents, these are some easy yet thoughtful ways to show your loved ones you miss them.
1. Establish a routine. Often, the toughest part of travel is the disruption from the regular routine, especially for young kids. If you’ll be away for more than a day or two, set some easy daily rituals, like scheduling Skype or FaceTime for the same time in the mornings and evenings, and stick to them.
2. Sync your schedules. When you’re in the midst of a busy trip, it’s an added stress to get calls and texts during meetings, or to keep missing your family when you try to get in touch. Share your calendar with loved ones at home so you know each other’s availability and whereabouts when possible.
3. Share your location, if you’re so inclined. Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of geotracking apps, which share your GPS location with specified contacts. But they’re an easy way to let your spouse or other family members know where you are on a trip — and for kids, finding you on a map is geographically educational, too.
4. Play hide and seek. Young kids (and romantic partners) will love to uncover secret love notes and playful surprises that you’ve left for them to find at home. Just a few minutes of planning can make a big impact, especially if the discoveries unfold gradually over the time you’re away. Speaking of which…
5. Enlist some help. If you have children, get your partner in on the action to pack daily notes from you into their lunchboxes or share video messages or photos during the day. A babysitter, preschool teacher or grandparent can be your ally here, too, helping your missives to arrive when they least expect it.
6. Do things together from afar. These days, FaceTime and texting aren’t singular pursuits — they can be a conduit for shared activities. Try online games that let you chat and interact, watch the big game together via Skype, or FaceTime into the family dinner table while you enjoy your in-room dining.
7. Know your audience. Sure, your significant other may enjoy a lengthy email, or a quick two-minute phone call just to check in. But teens probably prefer WhatsApp and texts to calls, and toddlers might get overexcited, or even upset, to hear your voice just before their bedtime. Be thoughtful about how and when to reach out.
8. Slow your scroll. Email, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat make it almost too easy to stay in touch. Remember the lost art of snail mail? A pretty postcard from your locale or a stamped letter is a little more effort, but makes a special impression — and your concierge will be happy to help you with mailing.
9. Don’t forget souvenirs. This goes without saying, but special gifts upon your return will sweeten the sting of absence, especially if they’re thoughtfully chosen and bring back a little piece of your destination.
10. When possible, travel together. When schedules and destinations allow, try to bring the whole family along on the occasional work trip. Consider reserving a suite, which will offer more space for your family to spread out, along with creature comforts — think cozy fireplaces, local artwork and luxury linens — that can help life on the road feel a bit more like life at home.
Whether you’re traveling solo or bringing along the whole family, business travel has unique needs. Discover how The Ritz-Carlton suites and villas can enhance your time away from home.