As parents, we sometimes think it would just be easier to stay home than to deal with the packing, the whining and those dreaded words ‘are we there yet?’ Don’t put off non-essential trips because it all seems like too much hard work. From pre-trip planning to packing and arrival, these top ten travel tips will ensure busy parents arrive ready for business…

  1. Pre-trip planning Book flights as far in advance as possible to get the cheapest possible fare. Likewise, schedule all your meetings and social catch-ups early so that you hit the ground running. It’s far easier to move early appointments than reschedule late ones.
  2. Packing The simple rule to this is don’t over pack – it makes travel unnecessarily challenging. if you’re going for seven days, take five tops that go with three different bottoms. You’ll have 15 possible outfits for day and night. Pack accessories like scarves and belts that change the look of an outfit. Take items that don’t need ironing – no linen! – and for garments that do need ironing, wrap them in a plastic dry cleaning bag to prevent the friction with other clothes that leads to creasing.
  3. Five things to do The Day Before Online check in if you can. Review your suitcase and take five things out of it. Yes, five. Unless you’re going to the MIR space station, chances are you’ll be able to buy anything you forget anyway. Ensure phones and cameras are charged and have fresh batteries. Remember to pack chargers if going for an extended stay and any necessary adaptors if travelling overseas.
  4. Boarding If travelling with small children, you’ll often be invited to board the plan first. While this sounds wonderful, the reality is you’ll be on the plane trying to keep small children occupied while everyone else is boarding and before the in-flight entertainment starts running. Those twenty minutes can seem like twenty years…
  5. In flight Most modern airlines have entertainment covered but in the case of technical difficulties (it happens) pack entertainment for the kids and the latest blockbuster or an e-book for you. Portable games consoles are fantastic but remember to include the headphones to avoid arguments and a selection of games.
  6. Use the time As tempting as it is to use flight time to catch up on work or a business e-book you’ve been meaning to read, there’s often too much going on around you to concentrate and you’ll just arrive flustered and distracted. So pop the headphones in and relax so that you arrive fresh.
  7. Have car, will travel – If driving to your destination, portable DVD players are a wonderful thing. Some come with two screens that can be fitted to the back of the driver and passenger headrests for children in the back. Remember to take lots of breaks – at least every two hours. Plan before you leave to stop somewhere pleasant with a bit of space so that everyone can stretch their legs.
  8. Upon arrival – Give yourself time to completely unpack.  If you’re staying in the one accommodation for a few days, put clothes away in the robe and toiletries in bathroom drawers. Put the suitcase under the bed. You’ll feel more organized and will be better focused when not ‘living out of a suitcase’. You’ll also find packing to leave easier because you’ll be starting with an empty space.
  9. The things that are ALWAYS handy to have away from home – Mobile phone, even if you’re overseas and don’t have an international or roaming SIM, it has all your contacts in it. Any essential medical supplies for those with special health needs (allergies, diabetes) and a copy of any ongoing prescriptions. Most airlines will also require a letter from a doctor.
  10. Business to attend to Remember your business cards. Having a dedicated business card holder is a great option for frequent travellers because it keeps them from getting lost or damaged and it makes you look more professional than fumbling around in a purse. if you don’t want to travel with a laptop, take copies of files on a USB stick or other memory device.  Or take advantage of online storage systems for non-confidential files that can be accessed through the internet.

What’s your number one travel tip? Add your thoughts below.

More inspiring travel tips can be found in the DYRTM e-book. Purchase a copy here.