Travel advice for working mothers is different than it is for other individuals. Traveling work-at-home moms must make sure to pack for themselves, their children and their business. Don't get caught out of town without the things you need the most. Below is a list of things to pack with you this holiday season that you just might overlook.
Your Business Contacts
Even if you have made it clear that you're not working this holiday season, you never know when something urgent might come up. Whether it's the offer of a big assignment or a problem that needs to be resolved, you could need to contact your employer, coworker or other professional while you're out of town. Type up a list or download the telephone number and email address of important contacts, and either toss it in your bag or upload it onto your PDA. Don't forget the necessary web addresses, either. Content systems and employee-only websites are rarely listed on a regular search engine, making it impossible to look up.
Yes, you're on vacation, and yes, you've taken the time off. This doesn't mean, though, that work doesn't await you when you return. Bring projects or tasks due soon after the holidays with you. Not only do you not know when you might find some extra time to work, but you also can never be sure that you'll arrive home on time to get it done. Can anyone say "snowed in?"
In the event that you are unexpectedly called back to work, you will need to find something to distract the kids. While most moms travel with toys, work-at-home moms benefit when they pack a secret treat for their kids. Pulling this treat out when you're desperate can give you the hour or so of distraction you need to work.
The trick, though, is to make sure that the treat needs no adult supervision. Your children's ages, personalities and temperament will determine the appropriate treat. Don't hesitate, though, to make it simply a much-wanted DVD. While you most likely don't want your kids watching TV all day, sometimes a movie is the perfect entertainment and diversion.
One Work Outfit
Working at home doesn't mean that you spend the whole day in your pajamas. On your holiday trip, make sure to pack one basic work outfit, just in case you need to visit a client. Sudden developments may make it necessary to jump back into work for an hour or two, and it's not very professional to meet a customer in jeans.
Year End Information
Don't overlook the fact that the holiday season also means the end of the year. Bring your year or month end information with you on your trip. This way you will be able to timely submit timesheets, bills and invoices, and hopefully receive timely payment.