Business Travel: Tips for the Parent at Home

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Last week, TripAdvisor brought us 10 tips for parents who travel for business. And while it's hard to be the parent on the road, it's no picnic for the parent at home, either.

Here are five tips for the at-home parent that will help make the business trips of their spouse a bit easier, and dare we say, fun.

Tips for the parent at home:

1. Develop a "when Mommy/Daddy's away" routine that includes special treats. One of my friends does pizza and an on-demand movie whenever her husband's on the road. "Breakfast for dinner" and picnics (on the living-room floor in bad weather) work at my house.

2. Don't be afraid to get a sitter. If your book club night is coming up and your spouse has a last-minute business trip, you don't necessarily have to cancel.

3. Send a fax. Find the fax number of the hotel where your spouse is staying, then have the kids write a note or draw a picture and send it via fax. The hotel will deliver it to your spouse's room. It's a great surprise.

4. Stock up on groceries before your spouse's trip. This is especially true if you are not the parent who usually cooks, because it's way too easy to resort to drive-thru fast food if there is nothing in your pantry.

5. Cultivate a safety net-local friends or family who, in a pinch, can pick up your child from school if you get stuck in a meeting you simply can't leave. Make sure you've authorized them with the school or daycare, of course, and that you reciprocate and offer to pick up their kids.

By Lesley Carlin, editor 

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