With only two days until Mother’s Day, mothers across Africa and the world can look forward to breakfast in bed on Sunday, and, if we’re lucky, a bunch of flowers or a heartfelt card.
Every day as a mom tends to be chaotic and exhausting but also wonderful and amazing. For working moms who often find themselves travelling for business – like most travel agents – life can be even more complicated.
Luckily, there are ways you can be a great mom and still have a busy career that sees you travelling around the world:
1. Ditch the guilt
Mommy guilt is a very real thing, with most working mothers experiencing it at least once during their careers. However, the latest research shows that there’s no need for working moms to feel guilty.
A study by Kathleen McGinn and her colleagues for Harvard Business School purports that working mothers are more likely to raise successful daughters and caring, empathetic sons.
In the study, McGinn reassures working mothers that they’re doing the family a great service as she notes: “There’s a lot of potential guilt about having both parents working outside the home. However, this research says to us, not only are you helping your family economically – and helping yourself professionally and emotionally if you have a job you love – but you’re also helping your kids.”
2. Make sure you stay safe
Worrying about your kids’ emotional wellbeing while you’re away is challenging enough without you having to fear for your own safety.
Research done by the Global Business Travel Association recently revealed a fast-developing irony: awareness of the risks faced by female travellers in general and female business travellers, in particular, has never been higher. However, only 18% of corporate travel policies specifically address matters related to the safety needs of female business travellers.
Andrew Grunewald, Flight Centre Business Travel Brand Leader, explains that active Duty of Care practices are a crucial consideration when managing travel. Says Grunewald: “During their travels, employees may encounter some adverse conditions that could include everything from minor inconvenience such as cancelled flights to more serious health, safety and security concerns. This is where Duty of Care becomes vital.”
Technology can go a long way in ensuring the travellers’ peace of mind. With Amadeus Travel Alerts Notifier– ATAN – travel agents can deliver instant alerts to their travellers via SMS or e-mail for flight changes and flight status updates.
3. Book in advance and put together a family calendar
In a recent UK survey aimed at female business travellers, 40% of women said they preferred to arrange their travel between two weeks and a month in advance. The reason for this is that it allows travelling moms sufficient time to organise childcare and prepare everything at home.
Not only does booking in advance help working mothers arrange things at home, but it also helps the company save money, says Grunewald. He explains: “The company can save up to 21% of its travel spend by simply booking flights in advance. Business travellers can pay up to 200% more for airfares purchased one day out from travel.”
4. Bring the kids along or enjoy some me-time
Although this isn’t possible on every trip, taking the kids along and enjoying a few days’ bleisure after your conference or meetings is a great way to leverage being a working mom.
Even if you can’t take your little ones along, it’s still a great idea to view some of the sights or take time to explore a local restaurant. Parenting is a full-time job and one where moms rarely get time to themselves. If you need to be away from the kids, you might as well make the very best of it.
The best thing is that even if travel agents still need to help a client while they’re taking a few extra days for themselves, technology such as Amadeus Selling Platform Connect, allows them to work from anywhere, at any time and anyhow.
5. It takes a village…
There is an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child… The same goes for having a successful career.
It’s important to be able to lean on family, friends and colleagues for support and advice both for child-rearing and for your career. That is why Amadeus recently launched the Amadeus Live Travel Community, the first international online community of travel agents.
This community is an open, dynamic, and connected forum for our travel channel customers to meet and exchange information on Amadeus products and services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More than 400,000 users of the Amadeus system can ask questions about our solutions and get recommendations from their peers worldwide. This helps them solve their problems in an agile way so they can best use their Amadeus solutions.
The Live Travel Community is a place where agents can talk directly to Amadeus aficionados, give advice, share tips, provide suggestions, and help each other.