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5 Ways to Stay in Touch with Family While Travelling for Work

Feb 4, 2015

In my work as a musician, I find myself away from home quite often while on tour. We tour across Canada, never for longer than two weeks at a time, but with two young daughters it can be hard (hardest mostly on my wife!) People often ask me "how do you do it"? Well here are five ways I make my life as a touring musician work for me and my family:

1. Prepare your kids before you go.

Kids like surprises, but not when that surprise is that you are no longer there! I always start talking to my 4.5 year old about a week before I go away. I explain what I’ll be doing and why I need to be away to do it. Also, and more importantly, I talk to them about the things they can look forward to doing while I’m away (special days at preschool, visits with grandparents, fun activities with mom…) If kids understand that you need to go away, sometimes they might still not like it, however, they will get used to it and it will get easier.

2. Skype or Facetime.

I find that talking on the phone with my 4.5 year old doesn’t work too well. She knows it’s me, but it can be very hard to get any kind of conversation going. She is usually a very talkative kid, but only, it seems, if she can actually see me. Seeing each other while talking from afar is also a great way to compare funny faces. Here are some ideas you can try while using Skype or Facetime with your kids:

  1. Extreme close-ups!
  2. Popping into the screen from the side with your head sideways (you can then also make it look like your head is sliding up and down the side of the screen.)
  3. Funny face competitions.
  4. Mirroring games where you try to copy what the other person is doing.

3. Send a postcard.

My preschooler loves getting mail. Depending on how long I’m away, I can usually send one or even two postcards home to the family before I get back. Not only is this a nice and old-fashioned way to keep in touch, but it’s also a cool way for your kids to have an idea about where you are. And kids love getting their own mail!

4. Keep your smartphone loaded with pictures of your kids.

When I’m on tour my smartphone is my most important tool. It helps me know my schedule, contact names, GPS to find venues, email, social media… All indispensible while on tour! All this understood, my favourite reason to have a smartphone on tour is that I also have hundreds of pictures of my kids just a button and a swipe away.

5. Plan a special day with the kids for when you get home.

Your kids will be dying to hang out with you when you get home (and your spouse will be dying for some time to her/himself.) Plan a special day to reconnect with your kids at the beach, pool, museum, park, favourite restaurant… Plan a day for your spouse to disconnect with your kids! This day is something you can talk about with them while you’re away to build the excitement. *Please note: It is also a very good idea to plan a date for you and your spouse when you get home!

Will’s touring in Alberta this month with Family Day weekend concerts on Feb. 15 and 16. Check out details here.

And be sure to check out his newest video, Rockin' in the Rockies, on YouTube! 

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