by Elaine M. Hunter

When traveling takes you away from your kids, it’s natural to worry about their well-being. You may also have second thoughts about your trip or the job that keeps you on the go. With proper preparations, you can have peace of mind about your children and your travels. Here are 10 actions to take.

• Communicate – Help your child understand the purpose and importance of your trip.

• Choose a responsible child-care provider – Get referrals from family and friends, interview several candidates, check out references, and listen to your parental instincts.

• Plan meals in advance – Prepare and store meals for each day you’ll be away. Get ideas from websites that suggest dishes for a week or more.

• Organize baby supplies – Place your baby’s bottles, food, diapers, wipes and other necessities in areas where they will be easily seen by your child-care provider.

• Make personal grooming easy – Give your child a hairstyle or cut he or she can easily manage.

• Organize toys and books – Set your child’s favorite toys and books where they can be easily seen and used. If any toys are battery-operated, stock extra batteries.

• Give written instructions for healthcare – Make a list for your child-care provider of any food allergies, medications, and special medical needs your child has.

• Plan outfits in advance – Select clothes for your child to wear each day you’ll be away. Have older kids choose their own outfits.

• Stock personal care items – Make sure your child has toothpaste, mouthwash, shampoo, and other hygienic products.

• Provide contact information – Give your child-care provider several phone numbers where you can be reached.

Elaine M. Hunter is a mother of two and author of Parenting Away From Home: 301 Preparations, Tips, and Reminders.