Father's Day is just around the corner, and I can't wait to dedicate that day to my family. For many dads (and moms) like myself, travelling frequently for work can be challenging. While a recent survey suggests travellers like us are at ease staying connected with loved ones while we're away, these trips can cause stress for our significant others at home.
Here are a few ways we can make it easier for our loved ones to feel connected across the miles:
Say goodbye: Before you go, make your farewell count. The survey revealed that 33 per cent of significant others find saying goodbye very stressful, compared to only eight per cent of travellers -- so find a way to close that gap and make it easier. Create a pre-trip tradition like one big family meal or a special outing. Before you leave, make sure things are manageable at home so that your partner isn't left feeling overwhelmed.
Mind the time: Most travelers and significant others (50 per cent and 52 per cent, respectively) communicate with each other anywhere between two and four times a day. Make it easy to talk by reserving time in each other's calendars, and use your world clock to navigate time differences for more spontaneous calls and texts. Planning ahead means you might even be able to tuck your kids in for bed before you set out on a day of meetings.
Face-to-face is best: It turns out that phone calls are still the number one way to stay connected, but almost half (47 per cent) of business travelers opt for video calls, which can create a richer experience. Whenever available, chat face-to-face with your family back home. Use tools like Apple's FaceTime or Microsoft's Skype, which let you video chat for free on a multitude of devices. Plus, when you're travelling internationally, these tools only require WiFi so you can avoid costly roaming fees.
"Bring" the destination to them: Next to phone calls, texting is the second most popular way to stay connected, with 85 per cent of travellers and 78 per cent of significant others sending messages to their loved ones. Though you can't always bring your family on business trips, you can share highlights via text and nurture their love of travel by sending photos and videos. Make it personal by explaining why a certain location makes you think of them: "You'd love this gelato!" or "Can you imagine going to school here?"
Sharing is caring: Give your significant other access to your travel plans through an online travel planner like TripIt, so they can see when you are in meetings, or if you're going to make it home in time for dinner. This will also help prevent worry if your family can't get a hold of you for periods of time.
Today's technology provides more options for travellers to stay in touch with loved ones. Travelling can be easier on the whole family if you make time to let them know that you're thinking of them while you're away. A souvenir for the kids never hurts either!