As an international speaker and consultant, I cover the world from Sydney to Dubai . Here are 10 secrets that have made the difference for me and my family.
Send postcards from everywhere. It makes younger children look forward to your next trip and reminds your spouse that you are thinking of him or her.
Use your frequent flier miles for the family. My family knows that long trips mean many miles to apply to great summer vacations. This helps them see the positive side of my time away.
Be home when you are home. When I had a non-traveling job, I would leave for the office at 6am and return at 11pm . The funny thing is that I called that 'being home'. When I started traveling, I knew a change was needed. I scheduled breakfast with each of my two children each week at our favorite bagel shop. It was great one-on-one time and ensured that they did not get lost in the post-trip paperwork. I actually spend more high-value time with the family now than I did before.
Don't whine! Your family doesn't want to hear about your delayed flights and bad hotels and you don't need to rerun it in your mind. Tell them about the good stuff and you'll all feel better about it, too.
Marry the right person. Gina and I have been married for over 25 years and her friends think she's nuts for 'letting me do all that travel'. Fortunately, Gina is an independent type who enjoys her time alone and takes advantage of my time away.
Bring a little home with you. I have my favorite picture of the family on the background in my laptop. Every time I turn it on, they are there.
Have your children's teacher's email addresses. When there are problems at school, I can keep in touch with the teacher from anywhere with email. The teachers love it and I know my children feel my presence (even when they wish I would disappear).
Keep available. I give the kids my cell phone number so they can call me anytime, anywhere. My daughter once called me in Europe to get directions to a restaurant in Boston . It was great to hear from her!
Help out when you are home. Gina knows that she can count on me to do doctor and dentist runs when I am home. I assume this role and others so that she doesn't feel like a single parent when I am on the road.
Plan some family fun time. When I am home I feel an obligation to encourage fun family time. Whether it's dinner out, a trip to the mall or a movie, we have fun together. You can plan this while you are traveling and give them something to look forward to.
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Stephen Waterhouse is Principal and Founder of Waterhouse Group (www.waterhousegroup.com). They specialize in helping companies increase their sales and profits. He can be reached at 1-800-57-LEARN or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the Author
Stephen Waterhouse is Principal and Founder of Waterhouse Group. They specialize in helping companies increase their sales and profits.