Business Travel Made Child-Friendly
Recent reports show that spouses or children travel with a working parent over 40 million times each year while nearly half of all business travelers extend their trips for vacations. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise why so many companies are providing children’s programs that enable employees to travel with their children.
Of course, this is a two-way street where not only do companies need to provide the arrangements, but also a third party needs to offer them. The majority of resorts and hotels have shifted their focus from adult-only activities to family friendly activities so that they can cater to travelers with children.
A Step Up from Babysitting
Onsite childcare programs are expanding their boundaries and offering educational activities. At one point in time, the only type of care provided for working parents were babysitting services. The structure of children’s programs is changing and beginning to offer real substance. Nature programs, art projects, wildlife games, outdoor tours and sports activities are some of the newest additions to be seen with children’s programs.
It can be difficult to meet the needs of children of all ages, which is why working with an onsite children’s program can help fill in the gaps. These programs are available for companies to utilize when their employees go on a business trip. Onsite childcare programs provide childcare for all ages, from infants to teens. Naturally, teens are the hardest challenge, but even they can be entertained and kept safe while their parents work.
Benefits for Companies, Employees and Travel Destinations
For companies, these types of arrangements are a huge asset. They can select a resort that provides child-friendly activities and care while their parent employees are working, and employees are more likely to attend the event and concentrate on the information provided. This is an important aspect in today’s society where many working parents are single parents and have difficulty finding childcare arrangements for overnight and weekend business trips.
With this new demand that companies are facing, children’s programs are becoming a must-have for companies, and they in turn require hotels and resorts to provide these programs. Hotels are doing a good job keeping up with these new demands, and much of this is seen with the expansions that hotels are completing. Instead of focusing solely on five-star restaurants, spas and bars, resorts have been known to include playgrounds, kid-friendly pools and activity centers. It’s a new direction, but one that has many benefits to all parties involved.
Parents who have to attend professional meetings or out-of-town corporate events may typically rely on the help of family or friends to babysit their children while they’re away. Did you know that there’s another option? It’s called “event group child care” and it can make it possible for your employees to bring their children along with them to the destination city!
About Event Child Care
What exactly is event child care and does it work? Event child care consists of professional child care services and programs that keep children safe, entertained and busy during the day while the parents are at your conference or event. Childcare providers such as ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements offer a safe environment for children, complete with craft projects, activities and games that both entertain and educate them.
While younger children receive structured play and fun lessons during the day, older children have the option to visit the destination city through youth tours. These outings give children the chance to see local sights such as historic landmarks, museums, or public parks. Youth tours are typically provided for children who are ages six and older.
Older children may also enjoy spending time in a youth hospitality suite – a play and entertainment area dedicated to children aged eight and older. In this space, kids can play arcade games such as pinball and foosball, as well as make jewelry, play board games, or play on the Wii!
Why Use Event Child Care?
What are the benefits of using event child care for your employees? If you’ve ever allowed your employees’ children to attend a conference or corporate meeting before, you know that your liability costs may increase once young children are onsite. By giving the children a safe environment designed specifically for them, you can make it possible for children to accompany their parents to the destination city without paying the additional insurance costs yourself.
Hiring an event child care company also makes it easier for attendees to actually participate your corporate events. Those that cannot arrange child care at home typically have to skip attending conferences or meetings. However, if you provide event child care options, employees with families are far more likely to come to the event.
Another key advantage of using event child care is that the public image that you represent a family friendly atmosphere.Considering the needs of your employees and their families may also help attract corporate sponsors to your organization or your event.
Are you planning a onsite children’s program for your next business event, conference or meeting? Even the most experienced planners can fall short if they don’t come to the table well prepared. We have simple strategies to make your program a success; all it takes is a bit of careful planning.
Determine who should run the program. You can provide the childcare services yourself or choose to work with an outside company like ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements. Sometimes there may be an established program at a hotel or facility, and you can partner with them as well. Since most planners require some additional assistance, they choose to work with a third party.
Plan age-appropriate activities. When children are kept entertained, they tend to be better behaved, which leads to you having more control. Decide which types of activities to provide based on the ages of the children, the number of children and the length of time they will be there.
Set age limits. Be flexible with the ages of children you will accept, but know that the younger the children, the more care they will need. By establishing an age limit, you can keep the costs of the program down and plan more efficiently for the activities.
Divide groups of children. Be sure to divide the children by age. Older children will need more structure while younger children will require less. This also prevents older children from feeling bored.
Hire qualified supervisors. In order to avoid liability issues, it’s important to hire caregivers that are qualified, licensed and experienced. The easiest way to find these types of caregivers is through onsite childcare programs that provide a reliable base of qualified supervisors.
Tie in activities with local attractions. To make the activities more fun, tie them in with the local attractions in the area. If there are no major attractions like Disney World or Six Flags nearby, consider the weather, the wildlife or local museums other fun facts about the state that the kids will enjoy learning about.
Make the program a mandatory affair. Employees should be allowed to opt in or out of the program based on the needs of their children.
Provide activities that are not family friendly. The goal is to create a family-friendly atmosphere, so providing activities that are not geared toward families will only defeat this purpose.
Believe that you have a more limited selection because of a children’s program. You have just as many opportunities at your fingertips; you’ll just be using them differently.
It’s true that by allowing your employees to bring their children will boost attendance and employee morale, but there are also liability issues to consider. Proper planning will help avoid some issues, but the best way to come prepared is by hiring a third party such as ACCENT on Children’s Arrangements to help with the details. A local DMC can also help assist you in finding the right services for all of your atendees,both young and old!
If you have small children and you’re planning a summer getaway this year, you might be wondering how you can plan a trip that keeps the children happy and your entire family excited about the vacation. The good news is that finding summer vacation ideas for children is fairly simple, if you make accommodations for their interests along the way. You can even make a business trip into a family vacation by taking advantage of event child care.
Road trips are traditional family vacations and they offer plenty of opportunities to have fun along the way. Try playing car games such as I-Spy, watching for out of state license plates, or sing-alongs to songs everyone in the family knows. You’ll also want to bring along coloring books, washable crayons, a deck of cards, and quiet toys. Make sure you take plenty of rest breaks to give the children time to stretch their legs, get something to drink, and see the sights.
If you’re traveling by air or train, you might not have to come up with much to keep the children occupied since the ride will probably be shorter. Games such as word search and coloring books are sure to keep them occupied along the way
Picking a Destination
Settling on a destination city is probably the biggest part of planning a child-friendly vacation. Try selecting an area with plenty of attractions and sightseeing opportunities for the children. Amusement parks, children’s museums, historical sites and beaches are all popular areas for children. An all-inclusive family-friendly resort with supervised children’s activities is another good choice.
Using Event Child Care at a Business Meeting
With event child care, you can even turn a business trip into a family summer vacation. Event child care providers such as Accent on Children’s Arrangements allow you to receive supervised, safe care for your children while you attend a corporate event or conference. During the day, the children will get to engage in craft making, game playing, and playing with children their own age while their parents are able to stay focused on their important meetings.
Parents who often travel for their work are perhaps more familiar with the concept of event childcare than parents who travel very little or not at all. Many corporations are allowing families to accommodate busy corporate moms and dads on business trips. This means the family can normally travel together to the corporate destination and combine work with pleasure.
While moms and dads are working, their children can be cared for by a variety of services. The age of the child will, of course, vary the service. Babies and toddlers will need childcare while older children and teens can participate in workshops and guided field trips with other kids their own age.
Event childcare has become a worldwide service and is utilized by numerous corporations and independent contractors. It is an ideal solution for parents who wish to have their children accommodate them on business but are not certain how they can go about arranging it.
How Does Event Childcare Work?
If you are a traveling professional in need of a childcare solution for your upcoming convention, conference, trade show or meeting, companies such as Accent OCA can help. Accent on Children’s Arrangements is a unique company with years of experience in providing age-appropriate childcare to kids of all ages. Their services range from infant childcare and babysitting services up to and including group tours and daytime field trips for older kids.
Accent on Children’s Arrangements
Accent on Children’s Arrangements provides entertainment and fun in a secure and safe environment. These services can be utilized by any parent, whether traveling for business or as an individual, for any city in the world.
The programs provided to children has been created and custom-designed with fun, safe and educations programs meant to meet the needs of professional parents who have made the choice to travel with their children. They offer complete meeting, conference and convention babysitting services that are well-supervised with age-appropriate curricula. The on-site service is manned by a staff of professional supervisors who are certified in Pediatric First Aid and CPR.
While parents are busy attending events and meetings they can choose to have their infants to teen aged children cared for. While younger children will enjoy the many educational and entertaining on-site services created with them in mind, older kids can enjoy activities such as youth tours, educational tours, group, religious, spiritual and even tourism related tours. Whatever curriculum you choose for your child, let Accent OCA organize it for you.
When parents routinely take their business trips to the same destinations, it can make traveling with small children easier, as they have developed relationships with babysitters or daycare centers that they can trust. When a parent’s business trips are not routinely in the same destination, childcare can become difficult.
Pack Mindfully, and Remember Rules
Whether this is your first time traveling with your child or you’ve done it many times before, the best place to start for successful business travel is with packing. Make sure you understand the airline rules about carry on luggage. This means you will need to have the appropriate amount of items from liquid gels to baby formula. If all your items are packed according to their specifications, you will zip through their airport security without any problems.
Distract the Little Ones
Small children on airplanes can be a handful. This will be the time keeping them focused on activities is crucial. Keeping them entertained while they are awake will not only keep them out of trouble, it also avoids disturbing other passengers who are not tolerant of small children.
To keep them entertained, remember to pack distraction items such as small toys that are colorful, geometric and familiar to them. Having toys they know from home can help to comfort them. Older children should be included in their toy selection. Let them choose an appropriate toy or two to bring along. Buying a few new toys to surprise them with on the plane can also be a great diversion and occupy their time until you land.
Books Are a Charm
Books are always a distraction, especially picture books or coloring books. This is also a perfect opportunity to buy new books that your child has not seen before. When they are introduced on the plane, the books will be novel and of interest, keeping them occupied longer.
Encourage Creative Play
Shopping for creative art activities or any other form of interactive learning will keep their curious minds busy as well. Bring along items such as crayons, blank paper and drawing pads. Including interactive toys and electronic items such as DVD players with their favorite movies to keep them busy will also help to pass the time.
Photo courtesy of Babble
Parents know that traveling with kids of any age takes some planning. Many parents start the planning process long before they even step foot out the door. If summer is your travel time of year, there are many great ideas to keep the kids entertained and parents sane during your family vacation.
The first tip is to remember that younger kids do tend to bore easily so packing electronic entertainment and heaps of snacks is always a lifesaver, regardless of how you’re getting to your destination.
Travel by Train
For something different, consider traveling by train. If you’re heading to the family cottage in the next state or aiming to the coast for a resort retreat, look into getting there via train. Train travel is often overlooked as an option but should be considered because let’s face it, kids love trains. Taking an overnight train ride could make the complicated ‘getting there’ portion of your journey all the easier while providing a fun family experience.
Unique US Destinations
If this year’s family vacation entails staying close to home, there are numerous great spots in the US that are considered unique family vacation destinations. Try Omni Bedford Springs in Pennsylvania, which is a quick two-hour jaunt from DC. Not only is it easy to get to, the service is incredible, the food impeccable and the cost is very affordable for today’s families.
The Hotel Hershey is a resort park in Hershey, Pennsylvania and is another great family choice. Also easy to get to and very affordable, the hotel offers an abundance of activities and amenities on-site to suit all ages.
Escape the Familiar
Other summer travel destinations when traveling with kids are more exotic places such as the Caribbean. Most parents would not consider such a destination for summer travel, but when you have kids, these luxurious and often all-inclusive resorts are extremely affordable during the low season and also offer childcare rates so moms and dads can have a break too.
If your kid is not exactly a kid anymore, perhaps a peek into a more adult vacation is a good start. Begin by taking them to a Broadway show, art galleries, or a white-tablecloth dinner for a little grown-up activity. Afterwards you can balance the vacation by hitting an arcade or beach of their choice to even out the activities.
Photo courtesy of Family Travel Colorado
It’s never easy for moms and dads to leave their children behind as they fly off for another business trip. These days however, it is more and more acceptable for busy corporates to bring their children along on such trips, regardless of the child’s age. With a little planning and travel experience, it’s very easy to turn a business trip into successful family time.
The Changing Face of Family-Friendly Hospitality
The concept of parents bringing along their children accompanied by either their spouses or a nanny has been an enormous success for both corporations and parents. As a matter of fact numerous hotels, including the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York, have added baby-type services to their amenities. Baby Attaches help not only the parents but also their little ones adapt to a new environment with the use of a multitude of practical equipment including baby-soothing chairs.
What it Takes to Succeed
When it comes right down to the success of bringing baby on business, teamwork is vital. Scheduling visiting times with the working spouse is important, especially for nursing mothers. A functioning schedule allows the nursing child to keep to their regular feeding routine while the spouses and older children get to spend some time together.
Having a little travel experience with your children is also vital to the success of incorporating family with business trips. Make sure to pack light yet practical items such as clothes, diapers and toys. Don’t forget the baby’s photo ID in the event you are traveling outside the country.
Accent OCA: Your Partner in Youth Travel
For older children, check-in ahead of time with companies such as Accent OCA where kids can be scheduled into fun activities and group field trips. This allows them to make new friends, check out the area and enjoy a little independent time until their working parent is free for the day. Accent OCA is a great alternative when it comes to corporate childcare services as they are experienced with young children that require daycare up to students that are suited for field trips.
Bringing older adolescents and teens on these business affairs can be the beginning of new life lessons. These trips can be hugely influential by expanding their experiences to other cities and countries in a way they may not have seen otherwise. There is no magic formula to mixing business trips with family time, however there are many options available to parents want to give it a try.
Photo courtesy of Family Vacation Destinations
As the world of business becomes more international, more and more parents are taken away from their daily family lives to tend to the business needs of their jobs. For many parents it can be heartbreaking to leave their kids behind, especially if the children are very young.
Bringing Families on Business Trips
Companies such as Accent OCA have come up with a clever and creative way to have today’s working parents bring their children and spouses with them on these business trips. Not only does it relieve the stress and tension of leaving loved ones behind, it can also be a great way for kids to learn about what their parent’s jobs entail.
Planning for All Ages
When children and spouses are part of a business trip, all involved are aware of it, so there are no surprises. The extracurricular activities are planned with everyone in mind. This means the scheduled events are very diverse and have been chosen to accommodate all age levels of the group, including the families and the single travelers.
One of these relaxed professional setting environments is the Disney Cruise Line. Non-distractive conference rooms have been set up where business can resume and work can be done. Outside the conference room, once meetings have wrapped up, are the numerous entertainment offerings that Disney has for its guests.
This has allowed many time-starved families a way to accomplish business while still spending some much needed family time together as a whole. Planning such a corporate function that involves both families with the single traveler can be tricky, however Accent OCA is well versed in planning such events.
Limiting Complications, Maximizing Rewards
Accent OCA is aware that most corporate workers value the rewards they receive from time spent with their families that these corporate experiences allow them to share with both their spouses and kids. Although bringing along spouses and kids can complicate an already complicated meeting, Accent OCA works with the meeting planner to ensure all the company’s needs are met for complete productivity while, at the same time, they are setting up exciting programs for the kids.
Aside from productivity there are other issues that remain a concern to those on the business trip, one of which is liability. Accent OCA stresses the importance of obtaining a release with a liability clause for each child allowing for emergency medical assistance, for example. Companies such as Accent OCA that participate in setting up the corporate family travel are experienced in these areas and will be more than happy to assist in your company’s needs.
Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Lines