3 Tips for making a work trip WITH a toddler enjoyable
You know you are a mother when a family vacation feels like work and a solo trip to the grocery store feels like a vacation. But when both M and I had some work to do in Chicago we thought it sounded like a great idea to try to make it a fun getaway for the whole family.
And it worked.
Although I had been to Chicago before, I had always thought that it was called the Windy City because of the busy airport. Turns out that it actually got that nick name because its’ politicians were (are?) full of hot air. So, of course it seemed like a natural place for PWL to explore.
1. Location, Location, LOCATION
We stayed in an amazing hotel. If we hadn’t stayed at the Hyatt McCormick Place, my “take your toddler to work with you” adventure could have been a disaster. But the rooms, service and grounds at Hyatt McCormick Place kept both working parents happy and our child safe.
The Hyatt McCormick Place is attached to the McCormick Centre—the largest conference centre in North America. Naturally there were conferences going on at the time we were there. The hotel staff did such a great job making both business people travelling for work and families on vacation feel at home—the conference attendees actually seemed to enjoy my blonde toddler dancing barefoot through the lobby singing “the wheels on the bus.”
When we walked into our hotel room, M claimed that it was the most beautiful room he had ever stayed in—and this is saying a lot from someone who spends more time travelling than at home. I had to agree with him.
2. Service Extraordinaire
We had a small crisis when our babysitter cancelled. But the Hyatt had that under control too and recommended a babysitting agency. And wow, did they ever send us Mary Poppins (well, if Mary Poppins had been first aid certified, police checked, a super model and an engineering student).
Actually, I don’t even think Mary Poppins could have played dolls for four straight days. I popped back to the room to check on AG and her sitter between meetings and AG told me that she wanted me to go back to work so she could keep playing. As a parent, that is always a (bittersweet) sign that the babysitter is awesome. The morning we left Chicago, AG was sad that she couldn’t bring her new babysitter home with us. Parenting Life Hack: when travelling, try to book your meetings at the hotel you are staying in. That way if you end up having a new babysitter, it isn’t a big deal to take them with you.
3. Monster Hunting
It turns out that the Hyatt McCormick Place is also the mecca for Pokemon. Before you think I am a crazy 11 year old, let me explain. As it turns out, one of my clients’ restaurants happens to be a Poke Stop. So I HAVE to play PokemonGo to see how I can best incorporate it into my marketing plans. At least that is my story and I am sticking to it.
Anyways, AG and I had a lot of fun running around the campus and catching Pokemon. There were about 8 Pokestops within a few minutes walk of the main entrance of the hotel, so all of my monster hunting supplies were within arms reach. Chicago has had an increase in violence this year. But McCormick Place has such great grounds and beautiful gardens that AG and I were able to explore the grounds (aka catch Pokemon) even in the evening and feel safe. It doesn’t matter if we are travelling for business or pleasure, I will definitely be staying at the Hyatt McCormick place the next time we go to Chicago.
It was even more fun than going to the grocery store alone. And as a mom, that’s saying something.
The Hyatt did not pay me to write this piece. I love how social media savvy they are—I could even text concierge. They love social media so if you want to check them out for yourself, use this link and you can get a discount!