Last week was school vacation week in New Hampshire. No longer a member of the educational world, it was not a week of vacation for me. However, with teenage children, I was able to bring them with me for a few days of work/personal travel. Not needing constant entertainment, my husband and I took them on a tour of the mid-Atlantic region, visiting a few hubs and attending a few business appointments. Although it wasn’t a tropical locale, the kids did seem to enjoy seeing historical items of note, museums, and tourist areas.
Having completed this trip, I have a few tips to share:
- Invest in technology. On the 7-hour drive, one of the two adults was able to work while the other drove, thanks to mi-fi, a laptop, and a power inverter. Although we made the drive on a workday, both of us were able to keep our workload under control.
- Allow extra technology time. What do bored kids like to do on a long car drive? Bicker. However, if they get extra time using their iTouch, iPad, laptop, or DVD player, they are less likely to be bored. Some great apps (which were two dollars or less) kept the kids entertained for hours. (Of course, a little human interaction is good, too. A game of the alphabet game can be more entertaining than you’d imagine.)
- Plan a balance of work and fun. My husband and I are early risers, so we were able to complete at least three hours of work before the kids were awake. We then could head out for a few hours of exploration without worrying too much about work obligations.
- Invest in a smartphone. Ok, this may be a ridiculous statement, as it seems hard to find a cell phone that isn’t a smartphone, but for someone who runs their own company, a smartphone is a must. The key to this is that a smartphone isn’t just for Facebook and apps, it is the perfect way to keep abreast of work emails. Even while walking the Inner Harbor of Baltimore, I could deal with work issues. No, it’s not the best way to vacation, but it does make stepping out of the office a little easier.
Reflecting on last week’s trip, I think it was a success. Our business meetings were fruitful; the teens got to visit new places; everyone came home happy and tired. Seems like a winner to me!