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Road Rules - Rule 7

Phone Home - Often

Who: Tom Wainman, consumer presenter, Harris/PBS DTV Express
Home Base: Orlando, Florida
Mileage: 85,000 miles per year
Favorite Destination: Boston
Don't Leave Home Without It: A nationwide pager

"Most business travelers call their families at the end of the day — in other words, when they're tired. A call home is much more rewarding when you're awake and aware. It's not hard to find time to check in during the day. I always carry a cell-phone and a pager. I encourage my kids to call me, and I promise to return pages from them within seven minutes."

"Depending on what time zone I'm in, I might also ask my kids to give me a wake-up call — instead of asking the hotel to do it. They really get a kick out of that. My seven-year-old daughter, Lyndsay, pages me when she gets home from school. I bought a fax machine for our house, and we fax math homework back and forth. On Father's Day, my family ordered breakfast in bed for me and sent along a fax."

"I try to call our children when the baby-sitter is putting them to bed. I say good night right after they get out of the bath, and my four-year-old son, Lucas, hugs the phone and says, 'I'm squeezing you.' I say, 'Don't squeeze so hard!' Generally, I follow their schedules, and I know when they're going to be home. In our garage, we've got a map with pushpins in it — so they can keep tabs on me and know when I'm coming home too."

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