Our trip to Dresden was not simply a vacation trip, but a conference one. Dario had a Physics conference in Dresden and we (Zofia and me) joined him. How to do conference trips with all the family? Here are a few tips from our Love Travelling Family experience.
First of all, I personally don’t know many dads that take their families with them on work related trips. Second of all, people who find out that Dario took us with him, usually answer: Wow, cool. Which somehow proves that one parent usually stays at home with kids, while the other is on a business trip. So here are a few tips how to turn a work-related trip into family vacations (I’m writing from our perspective, so be free to change genders according to your family situation):
- Still Work
Work related trips are not all about having fun. Dad is still “working” all day, even if it means being at the conference or connecting with the scientific society. So, if you are the one who stays in a hotel with a kid, remember that your husband is working, the same applies to you. Therefore, no nagging that he promised to come earlier and you wanted to go sightseeing. Treat this trip as a regular day, both of you have obligations.
- It’s not all about sightseeing
After agreeing, that work related trips are as well work for the one staying with kids, let’s make your life easier. The sooner you realize you don’t have to spend your whole days sightseeing, the more you will enjoy your stay. It’s totally OK to spend all morning playing in a hotel room or simply go to a playground and enjoy a warm afternoon.
That’s probably the most useful tip. Imagine you are living in the city you are staying. So think what would you do at home during this time. Waking up, eating breakfast, playing a little, a snack, going out, etc. If you are the one staying in a hotel with the kids during work-related trips, keeping some of your daily routine helps.
- Pack smart
This time smart packing does not mean pack less but how to pack to make your life easier. If you are staying for one week in a hotel with a kid, pack everything you would be using at home if the hotel does not offer it. Check list:
- For cooking: a kettle, a cooling box / portable fridge, steam cooker, a knife, a plate, etc., anything you need to prepare a quick meal, some oil to add to meals, dish washing liquid, a sponge, a kitchen rug, the supply of anything your kid eats or drinks for at least the first few days, so that you don’t have to run grocery shopping the moment you arrive. TIP: perfect for transporting oil or dishwashing liquid are baby jars
- For playing: DIY set (glue, scissors, stickers, cotton pads, anything to paint and color (or rather anything you can still carry to paint and color), paper, few empty boxes), books, building blocks, puzzles, Playmobil figures (or sth like this) + some new toy. Zosia got a train set, as it was the time she turned 2.5, and could not be happier. We had a big room, where we could built many different constructions out of the set.