If you do decide to take part or all of your family with you, then consider traveling a day earlier or staying a day longer and having a mini-vacation. If you get your own airline ticket and the hotel room reimbursed and other tickets are creatively or inexpensively paid for, you can make an inexpensive family vacation. When you check in to the hotel, ask to see the floor plan. This can be helpful because some corner rooms have bathrooms big enough to house a portable crib so the kids aren’t avoiding sleep by making eye contact with you over the edge of their cribs. Alternatively, investigate different accommodations than the actual conference hotel such as a local bed-and-breakfast. Sometimes nearby accommodations are cheaper and more fun for your family. Pools are a big hit with the kids. Eat-in-kitchens save lots of dining out money. Suites can preserve sanity. Whether you are actually staying in the conference hotel or not, be sure to ride the hotel elevators with your kids. Children usually love it (especially the glass ones, which are like rocket ships to a three-year-old). This activity can double as valuable networking time for you, especially on the first day of a conference when every one is arriving. Your cute kid can introduce you to a lot of new, potentially important people.