TAKE YOUR BABY ON A BUSI­NESS TRIP

In this DAY and AGE, WORK and PLAY can mix...

Collective Hub - - NOMAD - WORDS AMY MOLLOY KNOW YOUR RIGHTS STOPOVER SMART BE HON­EST RECOG­NISE YOUR LIM­ITS

When my daugh­ter was eight months old we flew 15,000 miles to Lon­don, where I was due to con­duct an in­ter­view with the founder of a multi-mil­lion dol­lar ecom­merce com­pany. It might sound crazy but I’m cer­tainly not the only par­ent to do it. In our global econ­omy, travel is an im­por­tant part of many peo­ple’s jobs – whether or not you’re a par­ent. If, like me, you don’t want to leave your child be­hind, it is pos­si­ble to take them with you. All it takes is a lit­tle for­ward-plan­ning…

Ask your em­ployer if they can of­fer any perks to sup­port you and your fam­ily. At out­door-cloth­ing com­pany Patag­o­nia, any mums trav­el­ling for work can bring along their baby, as well as a fam­ily mem­ber or care­giver, whose travel and ac­com­mo­da­tion the com­pany pays for. A mother I know re­cently trav­elled to New Zealand for a work con­fer­ence, with her com­pany pay­ing for her baby’s grand­mother to ac­com­pany them. The se­cret to sur­viv­ing long-haul travel with a baby is the lay­over. When fly­ing from Syd­ney to Lon­don, pur­pose­fully choose a stopover that lasts more than eight hours so you can stag­ger jet lag. At Sin­ga­pore Air­port’s Aero­tel (in­side the ter­mi­nal) you can book six-hour blocks in lux­ury rooms, al­low­ing kids to sleep (on real beds!) and you can also use the ho­tel pool and jacuzzi.

Jug­gling your work sched­ule with a nap sched­ule? Don’t keep it a se­cret! When set­ting up my meet­ings, I tell peo­ple ex­actly why I can’t hold meet­ings be­tween 12 and two o’clock (nap time!) and why I need to have my phone on loud in case a babysitter calls me. When I in­ter­viewed Drew Bar­ry­more, she paused our chat to take a call from a with­held num­ber just in case it was about her chil­dren. Ac­cept you won’t be able to travel at the speed you used to. I used to fly to Lon­don for three days, fit in as many meet­ings as pos­si­ble, then fly out again be­fore my jet lag caught up with me. En­joy­able? Not re­ally! Trav­el­ling with kids forces you to slow down, plan ahead and be­come ul­tra clear on your pri­or­i­ties. On the plus side, you also skip a LOT of queues at the air­port.

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