Traveling Alone With Children - The Survival Guide
The thought of going on a voyage alone with your baby or toddler can feel like a mammoth task and fill any mom full of fear, dread and apprehension.
Let’s face it: a trip to the shopping mall can leave us gasping for air, never mind the thought of actually leaving the country. At one time trains, boats and planes were nothing more than modes of transport but now they conjure up nightmare images of buggies, bottles, nappy bags, runaway toddlers and crying babies.
Don’t panic there is light at the end of the tunnel. Remember, no one conquered Everest without facing their fear, packing a bag and making the climb! Here are some helpful tips on how to survive from a very well-travelled mom of two:
Don’t over pack! Remember you’ve only got two hands and unless you’ve been pushing weights five days a week in the gym, there’s only a certain amount of luggage you can carry before your arms fall off. Keep it simple and compact, the kitchen sink and those extra cute outfits for your baby are totally unnecessary.
Only take what you and your little ones need to survive the trip - water, milk, food, wipes and an emergency change of clothes for accidents (onesies and PJ’s are lightweight and easy to pack into a travel bag.) For everything else, you can restock and replenish at your destination.
A sensible back-pack might not have the panache of a designer shopper but it does free up both hands and is the most practical way to go. Remember, fail to prepare and prepare to fail.
2. Travel Anxiety
The fear of traveling with young children can be debilitating and has been known to keep many a mom grounded instead of out seeing the world and visiting friends and family. In the wise words of Yoda, we must remember that “fear is the path to the dark side.” Moms don’t hate traveling, they just hate the idea of it.
But the best way to get over that is to just do it! Firstly, take a deep breath, banish all negative thoughts and flex your mom muscles. Fear is nothing more than an obstacle that stands in the way of progress (or in this case, getting to your destination.) You can do it!
3. The Irritated Business Traveler
This particular breed of traveller has the ability to make a mom feel extremely uncomfortable and conspicuous. While you’re being subjected to dirty looks, loud sighs and various other noises, designed to make you aware of their irritation at you and your baby's existence on their journey.
Remember these people used to cry for their soothers, throw up all over their moms and deposit evil-smelling excrement in their nappies. DON’T let them get to you. Smile, ignore and enjoy your journey. The suit sitting next to you is nothing more than a sulky toddler.
4. Budget Airlines and Baggage Allowance
There’s two ways to tackle this and unfortunately it’s all down to you budget. If money’s not a problem, book on as much luggage as you need, take the load off and save yourself the heavy lifting. But if on the other hand you like to keep a tight budget (which also allows you to take more trips without breaking the bank), it’s all about keeping it to a minimum and packing necessities only.
Budget airlines allow you to take your buggy right to the gate without charge, it should also be waiting for you on the tarmac once you land. This is great for keeping kids strapped in and carrying extra bags over the buggy (just be sure not to overload and tip it over!)
5. Take Help Offered (And Ask If Needed)
This is a no brainer. When someone offers to help carry your bag onto the plane or put it in the overhead locker, take them up on it. Also don’t be shy to ask for help if you need it. There are a lot of nice people out there and you’re a brave mom traveling with kids - you deserve it!