From Associated Press
By Candice Choi
On a recent business trip to San Diego, Kurt Barrett took his family to Sea World. Between the banquet dinners and panel discussions on agricultural policy, he also took his 5-month-old daughter swimming for the first time in the hotel pool. Another day, they strolled through the humid botanical gardens in Balboa Park.
"It was like being at home. I got done with work, then enjoyed spending time with my wife and child," said Barrett, a 30-year-old general manager for a rice distributor in Williams, Calif.
"Work is very important, but there has to be a balance," Barrett said.
Traveling for work once meant sacrificing precious time away from home. But as the American workplace becomes more flexible about letting employees juggle their duties with family life, people like Barrett are finding it easier to bring their spouse and kids wherever their jobs may take them.
According to the National Business Travel Association, 62 percent of U.S. business travelers said they add a leisure component to at least one business trip per year. Among those travelers, two-thirds say they bring a family member or friend with them.
This trend seems a little counter-intuitive. Aren’t we supposed to be able to video-conference now? Aren’t airline ticket prices supposed to be out-of-control?
Some joking aside, this is a good trend. Why not add a weekend to the back-end of a business trip and bring along the family? Even the convention Mecca Las Vegas has become more kid-friendly. And if you play your cards right, this saves the cost of a night or two of lodging AND at least one roundtrip ticket. You would be doing your family a disservice by not bringing them with the close the big Peterson account in sunny Cheyenne, Wyoming. The only problem is if your teenage son falls in love with your overprotective client’s daughter. That could be the plot of a movie, where’s Hilary Duff?