It’s hard enough travelling with children when you have both parents to help juggle the load. Take one parent away from the equation and it sounds like a nightmare!
So what can you do to help lessen the pain?
Tips for travelling with children on a plane as a sole parent.
- When booking your flights check to see if your airline offer a Meet and Assist Service.
- Some airlines offer assistance from the moment you check-in until you arrive at your destination and clear customs.
- Others will offer nothing.
- Then some whilst not willing to carry baggage or babies will help with pushing prams and trolleys – so when speaking to the ticket officer choose your words carefully to get the most help.
- Whilst it is better to pre-book the assistance, if you have received a negative response when booking your ticket arrive at the airport early and ask again for help.
- If travelling with an infant and toddler consider baby slings and an umbrella stroller to take all the way to the cabin door. Some strollers are so compact you can even take them on board – shop around.
- When packing your carry on luggage consider how you will manage. Instead of a nappy bag a large backpack might be easier keeping both hands free. Consider a pull along bag for each child (whether they are a toddler, pre-schooler or older child) young kids will think it’s fun and older kids learn responsibility. For tickets and passports use a small pouch that can be hung over your shoulder – making these documents easy to access at each stage of the journey (don’t forget to pack a pen).
- Visit the airport websites. Each airport is run slightly differently and will allow different things. Make sure you are up-to-date with the airports that you will be passing through.
- Make sure you have all the correct documentation authorising you to travel with your child alone.
- For all our tips on aeroplane travel visit Flying with kids
Tips for travelling by car with children as a sole parent.
Travelling by road poses different challenges than flying. Now you are behind the wheel and responsible for getting everyone to your destination safely. You cannot take your eyes off the road and bury your head in a bag looking for a lost item. Nor can you sit next to your children and help entertain them.
Preparation is the key!
- Ensure you have all the correct child restraints fitted and your car has been serviced.
- Place you packed bag of goodies on the passenger seat beside you so they are in easy reach when you kids start demanding.
- If your kids are old enough have them pack there own goodies bag that can be kept at their feet or perhaps on a spare seat next to them.
- Have a selection of road trip games ready to play.
- Have music ready at your fingertips – that is in the CD player ready to push in.
- Plan your itinerary.
- If you have an infant on a feeding schedule this will determine your driving and stopping times.
- If travelling with toddlers and older children schedule the stops near a playground to burn off energy.
- Be sure to have food for these stops. Take enough for everyone including you.
For more advice on road travel with kids visit Tips for Travelling by Car with Kids