Leaving your family for work is sometimes inevitable, particularly if you are a traveling nurse. Being away from your loved ones for prolonged periods can cause stress, anxiety, and sadness for everyone involved. If you travel for work and are looking for ways to spend quality time with your family when you are home, here are some fun ideas to try.
Family Quality Time Ideas for Travel Nurses:
Take a Family Trip
If time permits, take a trip with your family to get some stress-free bonding time. Family cruises are a great choice because they offer myriad activities to satisfy even the pickiest traveler. You also typically pay for the majority of the cruise upfront, so you aren’t hit with unexpected expenses while you travel.
Yet, it doesn’t matter how you choose to vacation — even a fun staycation close to home can be a great way to bond with your loved ones. Taking time off of work has health benefits as well as being fun, so be sure to take the time every so often.
Disconnect From Technology
Having your phone or iPad nearby isn’t always necessary, but many people are joined at the hip with their devices. When you are lucky enough to be home with your family, take the time to disconnect and live in the moment. Even if there are lulls in the conversation, everyone will appreciate your willingness to give them your undivided attention. You never know what interesting things you might hear and learn if you are free of distractions.
Have Dinner Together
Sit down at the dinner table and have a family meal. If anyone in your family likes to cook, help them in the kitchen or at least spend time with them while they prepare the food if cooking is not your forte. Having a meal together (disconnected from phones and technology, of course) is a great way to reconnect with everyone and keep the family interacting. Ask each person at the table about what is happening in their life, and share stories about your life on the road as well.
Have a Game Night
Having a family game night is a great — and inexpensive — way to have some fun with your loved ones. Let each person in the family choose a game that they want to play. If you run out of time to play every game chosen, schedule a second game night so everyone’s choices can be included. A little bit of friendly competition is a great way to bring some normalcy back into your life, particularly if you are traveling more frequently than usual or have recently started traveling for work.
Purchasing little souvenirs for your family when you are away is a fun way to show them that you are always thinking of them. You need not break the bank and choose expensive gifts — something unique to the area where you are traveling (food, inexpensive jewelry, etc.) is all that is needed. Even if you are not anywhere fabulous or exciting, grab gifts anyway. Your family will appreciate the fun little collection of items from around the country or globe that you have chosen for them.
Make an Itinerary
Unless you are forbidden to share your location, always ensure that your family knows where you are going before you travel. This is important for your safety, but it also keeps your loved ones in the loop and makes them feel connected to you while you are away. If you are traveling to multiple spots in one trip, create an itinerary and share it with everyone, so they know where you will be each day. Consider also adding hotel contact information in case you are unreachable by cellphone.
Traveling for work can be enriching and fun, but leaving the people you love can also be sad. Use some of these fun tips to keep connected and spend quality time with the ones you care about between assignments.