(Photo Courtesy: Business Travel Show)

Dear Diary,


Recently, I took my third business trip as a first time mom. I didn’t shed a tear at the airport or call home every hour to find out if my daughter was in one piece. Instead, I enjoyed the time away. I slept through the night without waking up to see if my daughter was still breathing. I took a long, hot shower without little arms reaching in and handing me megablocks and books through the curtain. I ate an apricot glazed cedar plank salmon that didn’t get cold while I ensured my daughter  didn’t spit out her vegetables. I drank two cocktails and didn’t count the hours needed for the alcohol to get out of my system like I did back when I breastfed. Although I did miss her dearly, I trusted she was OK without me, well at least for a a few days!


To make sure we had a smooth separation and to lessen my guilt about leaving her, I created a pre-travel to-do list.


1.  Pack Early

The first time I went away as a first time mom, I realized I could no longer wait until the last-minute to pack.  I scrambled around the house, searching for matching socks and her favorite pick elephant blankie with minutes to make my flight. The night before, I picked up her playpen from my parents house and dropped it off at my sister’s house. I also had to stock up on her favorite snacks and organic milk. Now, I write a list of what she needs a week in advance. That way, I have enough time to wash her blankets, locate her favorite teddy bear and run to the grocery store.


2.  Post a Pic

At my daughter’s daycare, the teachers created a family tree and asked parents to submit photos. They  attached the pictures to the branches, which gave the kids a sense of familiarity in the room.  Pack a framed family photo to send with your child. And put one in your own suitcase, so you can place it on your hotel room’s nightstand.


3. Call Ahead

Contact the hotel or meeting location in advance to inquire about telephone and Internet service. If there is not cell service–which was the case at my last meeting, give your caregiver the number of the front desk to use in emergency situations. Notify the hotel manager about your plan and tell him/her the name of the conference room where you can be located.


If you want to check in on your child face-to-face, utilize technology such as Skype and Face Time.


4.  Buy a Souvenir 

Even if your little one is too little to request a present, you can still pick up a souvenir, such as a bear, blanket or onesie. If your child is old enough to talk about the trip, bring back brochures and plan a future trip together to the same city.


Hey DFTM Family–How do you prepare for a trip away from your little one?

About The Author

Vlog Mom/DFTM Creator

Not long ago, Heather Hopson hosted a television show in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's back home writing a different kind of story as a new mom. In her 15 years working as a professional journalist, this by far is her best assignment! Growing up, she dreamed of becoming Oprah Winfrey. She was the features editor for her school’s newspaper and a teen talk show host for her city’s most popular radio station. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Michigan State University. After graduation, she worked as a television producer and reporter at CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates throughout the U.S. Instead of heading to Chicago to join Ms. Winfrey on her set, she bought a plane ticket to the Cayman Islands instead. She arrived five days before a category five hurricane! She lived in paradise for seven years, hosted an award-winning television show and traveled the globe with a government delegation. She also served on the board of directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and spearheaded a Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Then, she relocated to Washington, D.C. to obtain a teaching certification and instruct 8th grade reading at a high needs middle school. She later returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh, PA to raise her daughter Caitlynn, now 4-years-old. During her 10-month-stint as a stay-at-home mom, Caitlynn inspired her to create this blog, and Diary of a First Time Mom was born on Mother’s Day 2012. Two years later, she expanded the family to include 20+ writers. Currently, Heather serves as the communications director at Allies for Children. In addition, she is the owner of Motor Mouth Multimedia, which ranked #49 in Startup Nation’s Home-Based 100 Competition sponsored by Discover Card and Sam’s Club. Recently, The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments selected Heather to receive an Emerging Black Artist award to develop Diary of a First Time Mom.

10 Responses

  1. Janeane Davis

    My favorite tip for taking a trip away from the children is Skype. When my husband traveled for business Skype helped the children feel connected to their dad and eating dinner together was a wonderful experience.

  2. Tomika B

    My hubby travels alot so he talks to the kids every night away on skype or facetime. Before he leaves, we do something fun together and the kids make him pictures or stories to decorate for his welcome home party.

    • newmom0608

      What an awesome idea! I’m sure the pictures make your husband feel so special. I take my daughter somewhere fun before I leave as well. Like to get an some extra quality time, before being apart for a few days.

  3. Christine

    These are all great tips! I took my first long trip away from the family last year when I went to St.Maarten (5 days). I can’t even tell you how thankful I was to be able to utilize FaceTime from my iPad. It really helped me stay connected and the kids enjoyed it as well.

  4. Pammy Pam

    Good tips. I would also add that you really should not worry; you’ve obviously chosen someone very capable to keep your child or you wouldn’t have agreed to go. Trust in that decision.

  5. Uneeka Jay

    Since I have always traveled for business, my children and I have become used to this. One thing I used to do when they were younger is call and read a story with them. Now that they are older, we Facetime, tweet or FB. They love that I check in everywhere on FB and take silly pics of my room and food. They feel like they are there with me.


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