Published on Mommy Tracked (http://www.mommytracked.com)

Travel Working Mom Style: Pack Some Sunscreen in that Briefcase.

By: Tracy B. McGinnis

A recent article in The New York Times [1] suggests women are finding time to enjoy themselves while traveling on business, in some cases, by simply getting away from the noise and everyday responsibilities at home.

The article has sparked a lively debate, with some women agreeing with the suggestion that business travel may actually mean less work for women who can, at least temporarily, forget about science projects, returning phone calls, and bed time routines, and instead focus on themselves at the end of the working day.

Others are not so sure that schlepping your luggage through an airport before the sun rises, catching red-eye flights to make it home in time for that dance recital, and piling on extra work at home with everything from dinners to carpool schedules, could ever be mistaken for a relaxing retreat away.

References to bubble baths, followed by quiet time to read, full control of the remote with permission to watch any ‘chick flick’ you please, and sleep without interruption are the ‘guilty pleasures’ some say women get to enjoy while away.

Hotels are doing their best to ensure women do feel as if they’re on vacation. With everything from larger bathrooms filled with designer shampoos, to fine accoutrements including quality linens, on-site spas and workout facilities, and healthier fare on room service menus.

Defining business travel as a “vacation” for moms may depend on how often you travel and feel comfortable being away from home. It also assumes that your trip is more Ritz Carlton than Motor Lodge and that you have the right support systems in place to leave kids home and cared for in your absence. If you’ve ever had to travel for work and leave a sick child at home you would agree that it feels like the furthest thing from a vacation.

Most women I know wouldn’t turn down the idea of having a few nights of quiet time away with the luxury of unwinding in any way we choose. But if we’re going to talk vacation, let’s make it a real one.

Tracy B. McGinnis has published hundreds of articles on women's issues, parenting, and business, among other topics. Her work has appeared in national print and trade magazines including PINK, Women's Health and Fitness, and American Baby, among others. She has written dozens of features on-line for popular and award wining sites like Babyzone.com, iParenting Media Group, and SheKnows, to name few. Tracy lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two boys, ages 4 and 14 months.

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