I have taken a few trips to visit family alone and and I always get the question, how do you do it? So I thought I’d share my tips here for mamas who are nervous to take the plunge and go alone.
- Buy the right travel stroller. I did a lot of research on the best strollers to get for traveling and came across this one. The ZOE is amazing. It is the lightest double umbrella stroller you can get and it is super easy to push through the airports with two in it. It also has a decent size storage basket underneath for bags. Love it.
- Bring a baby carrier like an Ergobaby or Bjorn. Since Owen is bigger now and I need waist support, this is my favorite Baby Bjorn. When he was an infant I liked this Bjorn or the K’tan. But, I always put him in the carrier right before we walk down the ramp to the airplane so that I can have extra hands to fold the stroller and for our bags.
- Bring a blanket for the plane ride especially if you have a napper and bring sweaters for the kids. We love our stroller blanket, which is made to be a little skinnier and longer specifically for strollers. It may be hot when you first get on the plane, but once the motor is running and your are flying they will turn the air on and it does get chilly.
- Have plenty of NEW activities for your toddlers to do every 15-20 minutes. The best activities I’ve found that Ella Rose has enjoyed since she was about 20 months include: the Melissa and Doug puffy stickers, the Magic markers, and Water Wows. With these activities, I always save them until the day of the flight and surprise her with NEW fun ones.
- Get a kids backpack for all of these activities. That way the kids feel special with their “own” bag. Our three favorite backpacks are: American Girl Butterfly, Skip Hop Butterfly , and Stephen Joseph Cupcake backpacks. Those are the girly ones we love. While these are some fun boy ones I now need to purchase for our little man: Skip Hop Dinosaur and Stephen Joseph Camping backpacks.
- These are the best kids’ headphones for the iPad. They are great headphones because they can actually plug into one another so your kids can watch the same show without an additional adapter. I started with these headphones on the kids when they were just one year old.
- These are the best games/apps on the iPad that we have discovered: “Tiny Hands Town Center, Christmas, Sorting, Lotto,” any matching games, movies/shows, and music. The “Tiny Hands” apps cost around $6, but they are completely worth it and educational. Ella Rose will play them for 30 minutes at a time.
- Bring lollipops for bribes and tons of snack options. I like to keep all of our snacks in a big ziplock baggie so the crumbs don’t get all over my diaper bag. When flying alone with a child who has a double ear infection, you resort to this! (Yes, those are two suckers, one in each hand Ha!)
- Bring a backpack as a diaper bag. I switched to this backpack a while back and found it to be much more convenient than my nice diaper bag. At first I thought I’d use it just for trips, but I use it daily now. I pack snacks, dum dums lollipops, m&ms, diapers, one pull up, wipes, creams, extra pair of pants and undies for both kids, hand sanitizer, and sippy cups with water (if I’m in a rush, I’ll dump the water before security, so I don’t have to get it scanned and tested).
- Wear a T-shirt or something light because, Mamas, you will be getting a work out in for the entire flight. It is a lot of work making sure everyone is quiet and happy for 2+ hours ;-).
- Lastly, don’t make eye contact with anyone, just focus on the kids. I know this sounds so silly but it’s necessary unless you want to feel guilty and sweat even more because you’re secretly praying nobody throws a tantrum. The reason I say this is because you WILL get several dirty looks if your child makes a peep on the airplane and many comments like, “you’re brave,” “you have your hands full,” and you don’t need to worry how others are feeling about it. You’re a super mama for braving a flight alone and it’s not like you are asking your child to cry. I tried this on my last flight alone, not making eye contact, and I felt so much better at the end of the flight; BECAUSE, I did what’s best for myself and my kids, not worrying what other people might think.
- You got this!
Hope this helps anyone looking to travel anytime soon whether it’s alone or with your hubby! Either way, these tips have saved us! Good luck.