A few months ago, I made the decision to travel with my kids, without my husband. There was no booze involved in the decision, it was made with a completely conscious mind. After the plane tickets were purchased, I was committed, and a feeling of complete and utter panic set in…this was happening. If you have ever traveled with your kids, traveling with both parents present is a big production. Just the sheer amount of stuff you need to lug through the airport requires a team of Sherpas, then there is the crankiness that ensues, and more often than not, there will be a spill on the plane which requires a two person clean-up. After experiencing travel just like this, I actually made the decision to do this on my own…and lived to tell about it. Here are a few things I learned that made the journey relatively, ‘painless’.
- Get to the airport early. If you think you are at the airport early, when travelling alone with your kids, early is not early enough. I learned this the hard way. Try running through the airport pushing a stroller, dragging a piece of luggage, two car seats, a diaper bag, a backpack and a four year old. It is not a pretty sight, but if this happens to you, keep a smile on your face and don’t show your inner panic…you will look like Super Mom. I recommend avoiding this situation…get there really super early.
- Pay whatever it costs and select your seats in advance. For some bizarre reason, airlines think it is okay to separate children from their parents. Believe it or not, I was separated from my kids in both directions of our journey. Luckily some passengers volunteered their seats so I can sit with my kids. I regretted the move about half way though the flight, when the spill occurred and I spent the remainder of the flight in orange juice soaked pants.
- You bring it, you lug it. Bring a variety of entertainment for the kids, but as little as possible. They will get bored of everything you bring in 15 minutes anyway, so might as well make your life easier.
- If you are going to bring something, bring food. If they are eating, they are not complaining.
- Relax. There are many things about travel that are out of your control, especially how your kids behave. Know that you will eventually get to where you are going; there is a light at the end of the recycled air sardine can you are in, and if someone loves you, there will be a very strong cocktail waiting for you at the other end.
If you are embarking on a journey alone with your kids…or not, safe travels. Happy March Breaking. Would love to hear any other advice you have for traveling parents. Leave a comment 🙂