Staying Connected with your Family when you Travel for Work

There are several job roles which may involve traveling for business purposes. These range in nature from simple overnight business trips to week-long or more extended trips.  Business trips are often filled with communication challenges since there are often different time zones to consider, unreliable cell phone service and expensive hotel phone rates.  This means that staying connected with your family when you travel for work may require some advanced planning.  Here are some ideas for overcoming the challenges that may be faced.

Using Skype for phone and video conferencing

Since many hotels offer free or reasonably priced internet access, staying connected to your family may be as simple as setting up a time for a telephone call using Skype.  Skype offers not only free calling using “Skype to Skype” technology but there is also a video conferencing option. This option can be very valuable if there is a concern about the reliability of telephone lines.

Using Facebook and other chat options

Facebook has a wonderful feature that allows for one-on-one chatting.   Those who are traveling for business may want to take advantage of this option if there is one child or a spouse to keep in contact with.  This may require setting up a specific time to meet online for the chat. In addition to Facebook, other chat options may allow for multiple people to sign on at one time. This includes Yahoo! Instant Messenger and Skype as well. These programs will require configuring in order to accommodate additional users.

Cell phone access

Provided that one has been able to confirm that they will have complete access to their cell phone network, simply setting up specific times for a phone call home may work.  While this may be slightly challenging if there are time zone considerations, these things can be worked through ahead of time.

Summary

Being away from home for business can be very challenging on all family members.  Staying connected with your family when you travel for work can make the time away seem less stressful for everyone involved.  While it may require some additional planning, there are many online options for keeping in touch.  Those who are adventurous could even try setting up their own Twitter feed with family members by picking out their own hash-tag before their trip. This would allow everyone in the family to provide updates that could be easily read by other family members.

Today, there are countless ways to keep in touch.  Taking advantage of the technology that is available while traveling can provide everyone with the opportunity to stay connected regardless of the number of miles that are separating them due to traveling.  Setting up a plan for keeping in touch with family before leaving can make the trip far more enjoyable and productive.