Make Work Trips a Little Easier

It’s hard when one spouse goes on a work trip. It’s hard for the spouse traveling (read: homesickness) and it’s arguably harder for the spouse who stays home (read: 24-hour rockstar solo parent time). I travel for work reasons pretty regularly, and yet – somehow – I am still pretty terrible at prepping for trips.

Are you even a tiny bit like me? If so, here are two ideas to make work trips a little easier on the entire family – zero preparation required:

1. Send delivery food to the house, mid-trip. Because at some point, you’ll be texting or talking to your spouse. And you’ll learn he/she is home for the night and just ate goldfish crackers for dinner. At this point, get on GrubHub and order their favorite delivery food. Pay with a credit card, if possible, to ensure maximum lack of effort for spouse. Voila! You just made their life easier and more delicious.*

2. Send selfie videos. Because your kids – and your spouse – miss you. And a five-second video of you standing on the airport’s moving walkway while making silly faces will delight them infinitely more than a photo or phone call will. It might also make them feel a little closer to you while you’re far away. It was either E.E. Cummings or James Franco who said, “The selfie quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you’re feeling, where you are, what you’re doing.”**

*Please make sure to text your spouse a head’s up about the imminent food delivery. I failed to do this on one trip and – while my husband loved the gesture – he was somewhat alarmed by the unannounced thai food at his door, and almost declined the delivery. A narrowly missed tragedy.

**It was James Franco, you guys.

Okay, now your ideas! I am in constant need of new ones. Comment below, and also find me on Instagram @btwn_the_lines.


You Might Also Like

But We Turned Out Okay
Anna Quindlen
Katherine McMillan

Comments (5)


  1. Posted by: Sarah

    I travel fairly often and I’ve talked to my therapist at length about this dilemma. She’s given me a couple great suggestions:

    – Text your spouse each day during your trip with “Three Things I Love About You” (they do the same in return). It’s so touching/funny to hear what random things come to mind, and it really helps to stay connected from a distance. I’ve found this can also trigger a more substantial conversation at the end of the day vs. the five minute zombified check-in.

    – Pack an item of clothing from your spouse (and children). Our sense of smell is incredibly strong and the familiar scent of our loved ones can be very calming. I wore my husband’s shirt to bed on a recent trip and it actually worked! You can do this in reverse too, i.e. tucking one of your shirts under your child’s pillow while you’re out of town.

    Great topic – thanks for sharing!

    • These are such sweet suggestions. Thanks, Sarah!

  2. Posted by: Joe H.

    Hi, Maggie! Really enjoying the travel section of your blog. I love your idea about sending selfies and short videos home. So much more memorable than a call (or even, you could argue, than a small souvenir).

    Sarah – great idea to text your spouse! My wife and I have made a habit out of simply saying “I appreciate you.” whenever one of us is having a bad day – it’s the same idea and a terrific way to acknowledge your significant other and let him/her know that you care.

  3. Posted by: Rose

    I love the video selfies! Another one of our faves is sexy selfies ;).

  4. Posted by: Laura

    Hey Maggie! We have a family tradition of always taking a gift home from wherever you are. Sometimes my husband forgets and brings the kids shower caps and mini shampoos from the hotel bathroom (they love them!!) and other times he brings back a magazine he just saw, a tiny toy, some chocolate, just something small. My grandparents used to bring back dolls in national dress for my mother when they travelled…OK we’re not as cute as them but it’s our way of saying we missed each other and are glad to be home again.

Leave a Reply

Yor email address will not be published.
Required fields are marked *

Sign Up

Email Sign Up
We promise not to bug you -
it'll only be good stuff, pinky swear.