I’m heading to Chicago today for a media conference.
It’s safe to say that I travel a lot. As connected as we social media-types are online, we sure do frequent in-person events on a regular basis. I’ve always said that there’s nothing like face-to-face connections.
That said, I’ve scaled back dramatically on the amount of travel that I’ve been doing within the past year. I really try to ask myself 2 things:
1. Will the event/meeting/trip generate revenue?
2. If it won’t generate revenue, will it boost my brand?
Of course, each situation isn’t as black and white as this, but for the most part, these filter questions work.
If I do decide that it’s worth my while to go, my travel prep routine kicks in the day before I’m scheduled to go.
First, I consult the Family Calendar that’s hanging up in the kitchen to get a handle on what’s happening the day before, days during, and the day after my trip so I can plan for things. This time around, for example, I’m flying back home after midnight on Friday and Giggles is walking in a fashion show on Saturday at 8am. So her outfit, accessories and hairstyle were all set and planned this evening because we won’t have a second to think about it on Saturday morning. Also, L’il Buddy has a birthday party on Saturday afternoon so I know that I will need to pick up a gift for the birthday boy right after the fashion show (I forgot to do it today).
Second, and maybe this should be first, I check in with Hubby to make sure we’re on the same page. I bring him up to speed on any unexpected changes to our normal routine (it’s Open Recess and Lunch tomorrow for parents to visit!) and go over what the kids have going on so he’s all the way plugged in. It never ceases to amaze me how un-stressed he remains about the details. Men. Gotta love ‘em.
Third, I try to line up things at home so that there is minimal disruption in everyone’s routine. I set out school clothes for each day that I’ll be gone, prepare meals in advance and leave them to be reheated, and round up library books or permission slips, etc. that need to go in backpacks and just put them in there early. If I’m going to be away for 3 or more days, then I usually write out a schedule on a big poster board for all to consult. Ok, my bet would be that only Chatterbox consults it, because she’s a mini-Type A personality, like me. She keeps the ship running in my absence.
And then, when I’ve done what I can do to leave them prepared, I head out and hope for the best.
Nine times out of 10, they all end up wearing mismatched clothes, buying school lunch and eating dinner at Dave & Buster’s. And shockingly, the world keeps turning.
Off I go!