For some business owners, taking the progeny on business trips is a way to achieve work-life balance. But splitting attention between demanding children and demanding clients, vendors, or investors can be its own balancing act. Now it's getting a little easier, with hotels adding services to keep the youngest frequent fliers (generally, kids between 3 and 12) entertained when business calls.
At 90% of Westin's properties, children can have a day of supervised recreation for $35 to $60. Some 20 Hilton resorts have programs in which kids can play games and engage in activities with local flair (like hula dancing and salsa making) for about $50 to $70 a day. At 17 Hyatt hotels kids can learn about local geography and crafts, typically for about $40 per morning or afternoon session. At 21 Ritz hotels, it's around $65 for a full day of diversions like etiquette lessons, nature walks, and scavenger hunts. Typically, hotels in areas frequented by tourists offer more daycare options, but most hotels can at least arrange for a babysitter.
Thanks to services like these, Mike Abt, president of Glenview, Ill., retailer Abt Electronics, likes to have one of his three children accompany him when he travels to meet with vendors. It's a rare opportunity for one-on-one time, homework help, and a lesson about what daddy does.