Where will you be? The importance of a leave-behind document

I’m headed to Montreal tomorrow and I just finished compiling my leave-behind itinerary. You see, as a parent, I’m accountable to the kids (and by proxy, my mother since she’s the one who cares for them when I’m away). A new addition to this circle of accountability is my boyfriend. I can’t say that I’ve ever dated anyone who was so protective of me. And when I say protective, I don’t mean possessive as in, “will you be partying and will there be men around” I mean, “I need to know where you’re staying so that if heaven forbid you don’t come back I know where to start looking… I need to know who you rented the flat from.”

I have to admit his insistence was unsettling at first, but his concerns aren’t illogical. It’s the responsibility of a man to make sure the people important to him are provided for and protected. I know this and it was my fault that I didn’t tell him about the extremely detailed leave-behind that I create every single time I travel. The first time I created this document was sometime in 2011, when I went on a business trip. It was mostly instructions for my brother as he took the kids through their daily schedule while I was gone, but since I intended to copy my mom on the message, I included relevant flight, lodging, and neighbor contact information. Honestly, it’s a pretty awesome document to have and it’s detailed enough to let your family feel informed without micromanaging. Needless to say, my boyfriend will receive this info going forward when I’m traveling without him!

Feel free to download and use mine and/or put a spin on it for yourself. It’s a point of safety and courtesy to leave a document like this with someone you trust when you’re traveling – especially if you have children.

Date Activity Notes
9/11/12 I depart Dallas at 8am. Arrive in Santa Barbara at 10.50am.
Sitter goes to my house after work.
AA 2413 DFW to LAX
AA 3033 LAX to SBA
9/12/12 Daughter has volleyball practice in the morning & must be dropped @ school by 7.10am. Daughter cheering @ football game at 5.30pm. She will ride the bus to the game & carpool home with neighbor friend. Football game is at:
High School Stadium
100, Chelsea Rd.,  Anytown, TX
9/13/12 Daughter has volleyball practice in the morning & must be dropped @ school by 7.10am
9/14/12 Daughter has volleyball practice in the morning & must be dropped @ school by 7.10am. Sitter does not need to return to house in the evening. I depart Santa Barbara at 11.20am, arrive in Dallas at 1.30pm. AA 3097 SBA to LAX
AA 2448 LAX to DFW

Notes

  • Wake the children up no later than 6.30am.
  • Both of the children have access to ride the school bus to/from school each day. They must leave the house no later than 7.10am. Son rides the bus to/from school daily. Daughter has volleyball practice in the mornings so she needs to be dropped off at Middle School by 7.10am. Son locks up the house and waits at the bus stop independently. You are free to go after dropping off daughter.
  • Kids arrive home from school around 4.30pm and I will have one of them notify you when they arrive. Son is not allowed to go visit friends during the week. He will ask, tell him no.
  • The kids eat dinner around 7pm. If you will not be at the house at this time, call daughter to make dinner.
  • I am staying at the Bacara Resort & Spa 8301 Hollister Ave., Santa Barbara, CA 805-968-0100

Additional info

  • Middle School 3805 Main St., Anytown, TX 469-555-1212
  • Jane Black (neighbor friend’s mom): 214-555-1212; emailaddress@hotmail.com
  • Tom Page (colleague I’m traveling with): 972-555-1212; emailaddress@corporate.com

Download my Word document for your own use.

Author: Quia Querisma

Quia Querisma is a designer shoe-wearing digital diva, jetsetting boulevardierre, and freelance writer who's teaching you how to pack like a freaking ninja.

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