At the best of times, maintaining balance as a working mother is a unique challenge.
For mothers who are required to travel for their role, the challenge is even greater. Finding the time to prepare for your business trip carefully while still taking care of your children and going to work is a lot to take on, and many mothers face a lot of guilt over the issue.
Where possible, mothers shouldn’t shy away from business travel opportunities. In many cases, business travel offers fantastic career opportunities as well as time to focus on personal and professional goals. Plus, there’s the simple pleasure of travelling to a new city and discovering what it has to offer.
Yet for all it’s benefits, it’s easy to see why business travel can be overwhelming for working mums. There’s a lot to organise and worry about when preparing for a business trip, and being apart can cause anxiety both for mothers and children. According to a recent white paper and survey results published by CT Business Travel, a travelling mother’s best friend is time to prepare – and here’s why.
CT Business Travel’s white paper, The World of Female Business Travel, states that planning ahead is vital in ensuring that any woman has a safe and well-organised business trip. As part of the report, female business travellers in the UK were surveyed on their preferences, fears and the challenges of travelling for work. According to the survey, 40% of respondents prefer to arrange their business trip between two weeks and a month in advance. When asked to elaborate on the reasons for this preference, respondents shared reasons like allowing time to organise childcare, time to get ready for the trip and prepare at home and having time to get the best travel deals.
Planning ahead of time allows mothers to ensure that each step of their business trip is laid out clearly, leaving less opportunity for surprises or issues along the way. This can also help to ease anxiety about leaving children at home.
One of the most challenging things for working mothers who must travel is organising childcare. This is particularly true for single mothers who do not have a partner who can help carry the load while they are away. With respondents to the survey listing childcare as one of the reasons they like to have time to plan a business trip ahead of time, it’s easy to see why this aspect is so important. Ensuring that your children are cared for while you’re away with someone reliable who can provide transport to and from school and extracurricular activities can be a huge undertaking.
By getting the jump on things and starting to plan a business trip well in advance, mother’s are better prepared to organise childcare or create a plan with their partner for how the everyday activities will continue while they are travelling for work.
Creating Detailed Contact Sheets and Itineraries
Planning a business trip ahead of time in great detail is also beneficial to working mothers because they can create a detailed contact sheet and itinerary. When a parent is travelling, it’s vital that all emergency numbers and the details of where they will be staying and how to contact them are available to whoever is providing childcare in their absence.
When mothers take the time to plan each detail of their business trip ahead of time, they are able to provide a step-by-step itinerary detailing where they will be and when. In addition to this, they will also know the time and location of all of their meetings or social engagements and can provide those details to the childcare provider or partner as well. Both mother and child can rest assured that, in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong during the duration of the business trip, contact can be established at any time.
While it may feel overwhelming and like there is not enough time to plan ahead, taking the time to do so will actually ensure that mothers travelling for work have a much smoother trip and that everything is properly prepared for the children at home.
CT Business Travel is a specialist business travel management company. To read their full white paper, please click here.
This article first appeared on the Parental Choice blog in 2018. Parental Choice is dedicated to making a difference for working parents by helping to find the perfect childcare solution for their families and assisting with household employee payroll and legal services. We Are The City members can claim a 10 per cent discount against Parental Choice’s services when quoting WATC10. Call the childcare or payroll teams on 020 8979 6453 or email [email protected]. Usual Parental Choice terms and conditions apply see www.parentalchoice.co.uk for details.