Many people have to attend business conferences, often at faraway locations. While it is true some people like to spend this time away from their family to focus on work and make business connections, others would prefer not to be away from their family for a long period of time. If you are of the latter group and your spouse has a flexible schedule, why not create a family vacation around a conference instead? Tag along to your spouse’s business conference and you have the makings of a frugal vacation. There are several advantages to doing so:
Large conferences are often held at tourist-friendly destinations, which can often make for a nice family vacation locale. I attended a conference in Colorado this past summer, and my family went with me and enjoyed seeing the sites while I was at the conference during the day. We arrived at the conference two days before it actually started, so we visited the sites I wanted to see on those days and the family saved the rest for the days I was busy with the conference.
If you are already committed to the conference, chances are your place of employment will reimburse you for the gas and mileage if you are driving or airfare if you are flying, hotel, food and conference fees. If your spouse comes along, you will only have to pay for their expenses. In my previous place of employment, one of my coworkers attended a conference every January held in the Florida Keys. Of course, she took her whole family (what a yearly treat for Northerners), and she only had to pay out of pocket for her family’s airfare and food. There was no other way she could take a family vacation to the Florida Keys for so little money.
Some people truly dislike being away from their famiy for long periods of time. Taking them with you to a conference eliminates the disruption of being away from your family for 4 to 7 days. It may also make some employees who are reticent to travel to conferences more likely to go, and, subsequently, learn new skills and fresh ideas at the conference.
History lessons for kids
Many conference locales are steeped in rich history and would be great for children to visit in person. My husband is going to attend a conference in Washington D.C. in a few weeks, and I and our three children will be going with him. I don’t usually pull my son out of school for travel, but because of all the historic places we will have the opportunity to visit, I felt it was well worth it. He will bring schoolwork with him, of course, but visiting places like the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the National Museum of American History will also be real-life learning experiences for him. Since we are driving, we will only have to pay for food and admission for the four of us.
Whether you are someone who doesn’t like to be away from your family for a lengthy amount of time or you are looking for ways to afford a family vacation, taking your family with you to your next business conference might be the perfect solution.
In fact, you might actually start to look forward to attending business conferences on a regular basis.