Advice for Moms

9 Travel Tips for Working Moms

Me Ra Koh

In five weeks, I traveled to Florida, New York, Vegas, Nashville, Dallas and somewhere else that I can’t remember.  Talk about a whirlwind of travel for work.  You could say I’ve learned a few travel tips along the way, especially for those of us who are working moms!  Whether you travel a lot or a little, these are my favorite travel tips for working moms that I’ve learned the hard way.  May these travel tips for working moms make the journey home that much more rewarding!

travel tips for working moms

1.  Pack Love
A few years ago, I was speaking at a women’s conference in southern Texas.  They had a bag full of goodies waiting for me in my hotel room, and one was a framed photo of me and Brian.  It was the BEST gift ever!  I now pack that framed photo with me whenever I’m traveling for work.  It sits next to my bed and is the first and last thing I see.

2.  Buy Anything Fresh
Once I’m checked in to my hotel, I often grab a taxi or walk to the nearest grocery store.  I buy fresh fruit, bottles of water and flowers for my hotel room.  I spent to many years rushing into a city and rushing out with my head down and focused.  What did it gain me?  It only made it that much harder to be in the moment.  By taking the time to buy fresh fruit or vegetables, like cucumbers, blueberries and even a small bouquet of fresh flowers, I feel like my physical and mental energy shift.  I become much more present.  It’s as if I allow my spirit to land.

3.  Don’t Rush Home
When I first started traveling, I would try to rush home to the kids.  I just wanted to get back as fast as possible because 1. I felt so guilty for leaving in the first place 2. I wanted to make up for lost time.  But, I’d go home on the earliest flight to find myself exhausted and overwhelmed with no time to make the emotional shift of my trip to figuring out dinner.  Will the kids survive if I come home after bedtime?  YES!  In fact, not only will they live, but you will get a full night’s sleep, have quiet time to catch up with husband, and be ready to embrace them in the morning with much more energy!

4. Don’t Buy Gifts for the Kids

Why?  Because YOU are the gift.  You coming home is the gift your kids get.  I know it’s hard.  If you can’t stand it, buy them a gift but save it for their birthday or Christmas.  Brian and I made a commitment from the very beginning to help train the kids to be happy to see US when we got home and not fixated on what we brought home them.  I may pick up a pack of gum or mints for them, but that’s the limit.  Trust me, it makes all the difference.

5.  Pay for Priority Boarding (if you have your camera gear)

Let me start by saying NEVER-EVER-EVER check your camera gear.  Always carry it on.  But how many of you have boarded the plane to find out there is no more room, and you are being asked to check your carry on?  Yep, that’s happened to me and I’ve literally handed them my Michael Kors purse and said “Check this instead”.  I can buy a new purse but replacing 20K dollars of camera gear because my bag is going to be TOSSED around…I don’t think so.  Skip the risk all together and pay a little extra Priority Boarding.  This way you get on the plane early and ensure having room to get your carry on bag put away. 

6. Hydrate Like a Crazy Woman!

Resist the Gin & Tonic at the bar before your flight leaves.  Resist the Starbucks.  Both drinks are going to dehydrate you, and girl, when you combine that dehydration with flying–ouch!  Have you ever landed in a new city only to feel feverish, sluggish and incredibly tired?  Those are all dehydration symptoms.  After I get through security, I buy two bottles of water.  I drink the first one before we even take off.  And I try to finish the second one within the first two hours of our flight (repeating this if the flight is longer).  I can’t tell you what a difference water makes.  It’s insane!  My mom also set me up a couple years ago with a drink product that has massive anti-oxidants.  And I’ve also got my favorite essential oils for travel that help with not getting bloated or motion sickness.  With how much we travel, I can’t believe how healthy we stay by taking supplements as kratom capsules and others. Here´s An Introduction to Home Care Services in Manitoba, they honestly help me so much while I´m traveling, they help me take care of my mom who can´t take care of herself so I can be relaxed while I´m gone.  If you want to know more about the drink product, you can ping my mama on Facebook.  Her name is Cherri Hong. She would be tickled to death!

7. Prep Dinner Before Leaving

Sometimes I make a double batch of dinner and put one in the freezer.  After traveling this much, I know that I’m more tired the second night I’m home than the first night.  It’s like I have a boost of energy when I see the kids but by the second day I crash hard.  That’s when I pull out that dinner in the freezer.  No brainer.  Done!  But now that Pascaline is older, she often volunteers to make dinner that night.  She and I have practiced making a few different dinners together so that she now has confidence to make them on her own. And she is a rock star at it!  Plus, she knows what an incredible blessing it is to mama.

8.  Set Your “Out of Office” to end 2 Days After You are Home

So many of us feel guilty for being gone in the first place that we often make the mistake of telling people in our “Out of Office” reply that we will be available the day after we get home.  If you are a mama, don’t do that to yourself.  Whenever I get home from a trip, I need two days to reconnect with my kids.  If I happen to get online during those two days and answer a couple emails, that’s just an added bonus because they weren’t expecting a reply.  But to come home and feel the pressure of responding to emails when I need to focus on responding to my kids, that can be fixed by simply extending my availability date (now you all know my secret and better not expect me to email two days before. :))

9. Stay at the Airport an Extra Hour

If you have Great Broadband Deals on your internet on the plane, you are set for doing work and its not a problem.  (LOVE internet on the planes these days!  I sometimes feel like my work address should be Seat 7D!)

travel tips for working moms from a mom who gets the guilt, pain and need for balance...Me Ra Koh

But if I don’t, I sometimes have Brian pick me up one or two hours later at the airport.  I know, insane, right!  Who wants to stay at the airport when you’ve finally come home from a trip?!  BUT…the last thing I want to do the first day I’m home is blog or answer time sensitive emails.  I want to be able to give ALL my attention to the kids and Brian.  Even though I’m dog tired, it’s worth staying at the airport and getting some work done so I can be free the next day or two at home.

*Southwest Airlines has no idea I’m doing this post, but I wanted to end by thanking them for supporting my mission to empower women through our 2-Day Confidence Photography Workshop for Women (only three spots left!).  They are amazing!  (Thank you Southwest for empowering women with me but also bringing your signature ease to travel!)

What are your favorite travel tips for working moms?!  I want to hear!



*See All Upcoming Photography Workshops or Speaking Engagements Here!




  1. Such great advice and from someone who certainly knows it. Enjoy your home time!! You deserve it!

  2. nancypantsgirl commented on Me Ra Koh Photography Blog:

    Such great advice and from someone who certainly knows it. Enjoy your home time!! You deserve it!

  3. Thx for the tips. I’m booking a flight today for a wedding shoot in LA. I made the early flight mistake on my trip home from vegas.

  4. Loved this post. Thank you for the tips!

  5. Idie says:

    What a great idea! I love your photography tips, but the travel tips are SO practical, too! I especially like that you and I are on the same page about not bringing gifts home for the kids. WE ARE THE GIFT! And I am SO impressed that Pascaline is helping cook dinner. She is awesome!

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