10 Tips to Survive an Overnight Business Trip with your Baby or Toddler in Tow

A business trip with your baby? Is that even possible? (Yes). For many, work travel is a reality. Whether your trip is 1 day or 1 week, it’s time spent away from your comfy bed and your family. Pre-kids, I used to love work travel–staying at nice hotels, ordering room service and having the opportunity to explore a new city. After I had my first child, the work travel obligations continued. However, I found ways to get creative on how to travel with my baby as I didn’t trust anyone to watch her overnight. ✈️✈️

Business Trip with your Baby: Be strategic about which hotel you select

Many companies will allow you to select a hotel as long as it meets the guidelines they have in place. These guidelines may include room rate, preferred hotel chain, room type, etc. You want to make sure that the hotel you select is less than a mile away from a grocery store. Also take a (virtual) look around to see if it is nearby any indoor/outdoor playgrounds, libraries or other kid-friendly spaces

Business Trip with your Baby: Request a microwave and a refrigerator in your room

This is a must for preparing food for your little one. If these in-room amenities aren’t available, ask the front desk to refrigerate items for you. Then, head to the cafe/restaurant downstairs for access to a microwave.

Business Trip with your Baby: Pack non-perishable baby food in your suitcase 

Make sure there is a packing cube in your luggage full of food pouches, non-dairy yogurt, teething crackers, and other food items that don’t require refrigeration. Keep all food items in their original packaging so nothing gets crushed in-transit. 

Business Trip with your Baby: Bring your baby’s favorite things

You want to make sure there is some familiarity for your baby. Their routine most likely will be impacted and they will be spending time in an unfamiliar environment. Pack a few of their favorite toys/books, download their favorite songs and include something new that you think they might like!

Business Trip with your Baby: Check into the hotel the night before your meetings

If possible, start your journey the night before your work obligations begin. You’ll be more familiar with your new environment and can work out any kinks before you transition into ‘work-mode’. Avoid traveling day-of if possible. You might arrive before ‘check in’ and the hotel may not have a room ready for you. There are few things in life more stressful than arriving at a hotel with your baby for a work trip and no rooms are available.

Business Trip with your Baby: Go grocery shopping

Now that you are staying at a hotel near the grocery store, put the baby in the stroller and high-tail it there! Your goal is to get fresh produce, dairy, and other items that wouldn’t have survived the trip. Once you get back to your hotel room, stock your fridge and arrange the other items on the counter.

Business Trip with your Baby: Connect with your childcare provider

Whether you decided to travel with your babysitter or made arrangements with a local nanny agency to provide care, check in with them the night before your work conference. You want to double (and triple check!!) to confirm with them the date, time, location, and parking situation of where they will be caring for your child. If they don’t show up on time (or at all), you will be in a very stressful and awkward situation. Avoid that at all costs by aligning on all the details beforehand.  

Business Trip with your Baby: Document your Baby’s Routine

Make sure you have outlined your baby’s routine on a piece of paper and give it to your childcare provider. Better yet, take a picture on your phone and text it to them, in case the paper gets lost. Include meal times, snack times, nap times, and play times. Include frequency, duration, and amounts where applicable. This will give your provider a good idea about what to expect. Be sure to share tips on how you get your baby to sleep; what to do when your baby is fussy, etc.

Business Trip with your Baby: Level-set expectations with your Childcare Provider on approved activities for your baby

Identify if you want your baby to be pushed in the stroller outside of the hotel, if your baby can visit a nearby indoor playground, or if your baby is allowed to be taken to the hotel pool. If admission is required for any activities, align on payment methods in advance (cash, via app, etc).  

Business Trip with your Baby: Keep your Childcare Provider Happy!

Good vibes make a world of difference to both you and your baby. If your childcare provider is looking after your baby for 10+ hours, you know they’re exhausted! Show your appreciation by having a coffee ready for them in the morning, popping up to the hotel room with some lunch you snagged from your conference’s buffet, or providing them with an eGift card. Feeling proactive? You can always pack a souvenir from your hometown, and present it to them as a thank you gift. At the end of the day, they are the key to you having a successful business trip with your baby or toddler in tow.

Pro-tips:

Always request a playpen when making your reservation. Even if your baby doesn’t sleep in it, it is a safe place to put the baby when you’re showering or using the restroom.

Identify the best way to contact you. If text is best, clearly specify that. If you want photos throughout the day, be sure to make that known. If your phone will be off at any point in time or you will be in an area with poor reception, make sure you provide an emergency contact number as a backup. 📲

Click here for more tips on how to manage work trips as a parent.

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