Travelling as a single parent isn’t impossible, although it requires patience and planning so you can make it through. And above all, have a blast.
Let’s talk about few tips so you can get started on that trip you’ve long been dreaming.
Get there early.
Avoid long queues.
Get on the airport ahead of time so you will not have a hard time boarding.
This is also your chance to request people on the counter reserve seats for you that are nearby the washroom. Tell them you have a child in tow. This is easier to negotiate when you’re an early bird, and the staffs are not that occupied yet.
You also will not have to rush and still have time to take care of last minute interruptions.
Smile and stay pleasant so people around would feel more willing to lend a hand.
Plan with the kids.
Kids would throw tantrums or feel grumpy during the trip because they do not like the activities lined-up for the day. They would insist doing something else, which, unfortunately, was not listed on your itinerary.
Prevent this from happening. Plan the trip with the kids. Ask them what they want to do, or where they want to go. Walk them through interesting sites or attractions you can visit, as well as list of activities that they can engage in.
Let them choose, and note their preferences. This will help make the trip more exciting for everyone. And you can as well ensure that they would not bug you to change plans. They were, after all, part of the planning process.
Print out itinerary copies.
Teach kids a sense of responsibility.
Provide them copies of the itinerary, which includes the time you expect to leave the house and reach your destination. Explain to them the consequences if you will run late for your schedule so it will be easier to have them cooperate throughout the trip.
This is the perfect timing as well to educate them about observing time. Be cautious though. You do not want to sound over-imposing or the little ones will be conscious only about the time, and fail enjoy the travel.
Teach strategies dealing with emergency.
This is common fear among single parents when travelling with their kids. When a child gets separated from you and you still have their sibling or siblings to look after. What would you do?
Beforehand, discuss these scenarios with the kids and agree on strategies you do. Since they still do not have their own cell phones, the most that you can do is have them memorize your full name and cell phone number so they can ask help from anyone to contact you.
You can as well assign a meeting place where one should wait in case they’re lost.
Approaching police officers, company staff or fellow moms are also good alternatives. You know how a mom like you wouldn’t be able to ignore a child asking for assistance as they have gone lost.
At home before I go over my books or on my online slot machine, I see to it that kids have taken their meals and are occupied.
You would not want to deal with hungry kids.
Pack snacks such as pretzels, granola bars, almonds, nuts and candies.
Food in flights isn’t always delighting for kids. Mix healthy snacks with some they’d love to chow down on in a heartbeat. This can save you from troubles.
Place in your carry-on anything they can get busy with such as a good book or their favourite toy.
Finally, ensure that you have brought a medicine kit with you. Medical facilities aren’t always easily accessible so it’s best to be prepared.
Nettie Gray is always amazed with her single parent friends who always find time to travel with their kids. They inspired her write this list for other parents on the same page.