Being a parent is not an easy job, and being a parent who travels a lot is even more arduous. Children generally require a lot of care and devotion and so, juggling trips, meetings and giving required attention to the kids can make life seem chaotic, especially since the parent soon realizes that there are never enough hours in the day to plan for trips and also get on with parenting.
While it might be frustrating, parents do not necessarily have to give up job or lose the opportunities the frequent trips might present as there are smart strategies travelling parents can adopt for periods when seems like everything is set to fall apart. Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking site, shares 5 time-saving tips for parents who travel a lot.
Create a feasible schedule
Everything can be handled once planned appropriately. Lay out your work, travel and accommodation itinerary as well as your child’s schedule – which should normally include the times when you need to complete certain errands for and with the child, for example, a trip to the dentist, the child’s recital and more- and merge them. Plan the various activities in such a way that they sync. Doing this helps you manage time and reduces stress.
Most parents, especially moms, do not like to admit that they need help with their children, but if you need to travel on a regular basis, there is no denying that you certainly do. Hire a nanny that, not only cater to the daily needs of the children for the period you are away, but can also drop off and pick up the children from school alongside a driver, or with your personal car. Educate this nanny on certain routines and ensure the nanny is capable of communicating effectively with you as well as you children. This helps you manage your time well and plan your trips as well as manage communication with children while you are away.
For travelling mothers especially, the deep freezer is a treasure. Cook enough food to last the children for the period you are away and store them in the freezer. You can even arrange them in mini-containers and label them with the date and time they are to be consumed, also even including what particular child each container is for. All the children need to do is microwave it and they still have Momma’s cooking even though she is away. You can pack fresh fruits and veggies in Ziploc bags and store in the fridge with mini-labels as well. Doing this not only saves the time spent in calling every day you are away to discuss what meals they are to have, it also caters for the children meal needs for the time you are away, especially if you have a certain child with special dietary needs.
Keep a detailed first aid kit around the house
While you are away, there is a huge chance a child would fall asleep of have a domestic accident. For children who are above 7, it is essential that you educate them on how to handle several accidents such as a bruise or small cut. You also need to equip them with the family medical contact so they can act on their own in the case of emergencies. For children who have allergies of specific health issues, pack their medication separately and label with instructions in the case you are not around and a nanny of help needs to administer them. This not only saves time for the parent but can save the child’s life in situation where the child is alone and cannot access help.
Take advantage of available apps
The world today is different from what it was 20 years ago. There are so many apps to help parents who require assistance with parenting. Parents who travel a lot need to take advantage of this technology to help save time and reduce stress. For instance,hotel booking and banking apps can help parent transfer money from a distant location to a child who needs it urgently. With banking apps, you can deposit checks from your phone, while calendar apps can send alerts that will remind the parent of key family-related appointments and events.
By Ndem Nkem
A ravel/Tech Writer for Jovago Nigeria.