Before having kids, you always hear advice from people saying to travel the world before kids or that travel adventures will be over once they arrive. For me, the travel bug didn’t really bite until after I had my first child. In fact, I even enjoy traveling solo with young kids. I feel as though my adventures are even sweeter now that I get to experience them with my little ones. Now that’s not to say that traveling with kids doesn’t come with challenges, but there are so many tips and tricks from seasoned moms to help. Check out these other DC Area Moms’ articles:
6 Tips for Traveling Solo with Young Kids
Traveling as a family becomes even a little more challenging when solo parenting. Over the past four years, I’ve travelled almost a couple dozen times with one or two kids solo. I have compiled a quick list of six tips on top of the ones above!
1. Travel light
Bring only the necessities. When you only have two hands, it is important to not add more burdensome items. It is also important to make sure you are using the most logistical luggage. A weekender tote may be cute for non-family travel, but not practical when you are juggling newborns and toddlers. If I need to pack a full-size suitcase, I make sure I can push a stroller with one hand and drag a rolling suitcase with the other – and nothing more! We are super moms, but we were only made with two hands!
2. Baby Wear for Travel
This is pretty common advice, but I am going to switch it up – literally. I started carrying my toddler on my back with my multi-positioned carrier when I was pregnant and my belly started to grow. But I found that I really enjoyed and felt more comfortable baby wearing on my back. Not only did it free up both hands, it also gave me more free space to get things done without little arms and legs kicking in front of me.
3. Practice for Travel
Practice using your baby carrier or wrap. Learn how to take it on and off by yourself. Learn how to collapse your stroller or bag it as checked luggage (while baby wearing if necessary). If you have older kids, have them practice standing close by and waiting patiently while you take care of strollers, luggage, etc.
4. Arrive Early and Have a Plan
Build in some extra time for the airport since you are solo parenting. Rushing with kids is never fun! Have a plan for everything and think of any obstacles that may arise. This is not to build anxiety, but so that you can have a back-up plan to the plan! With the extra time that you have at the gate, make sure to get a gate-check tag for your stroller (if needed) so it doesn’t slow down your boarding process. Use the restroom and change diapers right before boarding. Also, with a baby, make sure to have a change of clothes and several diapers on hand with wipes just in case. And, most importantly, don’t forget to a plan on how to keep kids entertained: snacks, books, stickers, iPad, nursing, etc. It’s okay to throw out your screen-time rules for a little extra sanity during travel!
5. Ask & Utilize the Help Around You
My heart has been so warmed by how willing people are to help. TSA agents (oftentimes) are more cheerful when they see cute little faces. They usually offer to make things smoother when they see I am juggling things alone. Strangers in the travel screening line offer to help me put my bags on the belt or keep my older one entertained while I handle business! And airline stewards are rockstars! If you need help, don’t hesitate to ask.
6. Have Fun Traveling
Traveling solo with young kids can be fun and it all depends on your outlook. Don’t be discouraged when things don’t go as planned. Remember you are creating core memories for yourself and your kids, so live in the moment! I truly hope this article inspires and encourages you to travel with your kids even when you have to do it alone.