While traveling solo with kids can be extremely rewarding, it also comes with unique challenges. Fortunately, there are multiple ways for solo parent travelers to make the entire trip a fun and unforgettable adventure for everyone. Here are seven tips to help you travel solo with your children.
Do Your Research
Once you decide to travel solo with your little ones, you must conduct thorough research. Choose a child-friendly and safe destination to explore. Even if you’re a seasoned traveler, avoiding remote places with an unbeaten path would be best. Remember that the safety of your kids always comes first, so find a moderately adventurous destination that offers sufficient travel security. Read up on the local news and learn the modes of transportation you can safely take around the area. Some countries require additional documents when traveling solo with children, so check your destination’s travel guidelines.
One crucial thing you need to do when traveling with kids is to pack light. You need to be highly mobile and keep your hands free as much as possible. Pack only what you need as you can buy most items once you arrive. There are companies that rent out baby gear so you can leave your bulky strollers, car seats, and cribs at home. If traveling with a baby, use car seat fans for baby to ensure that your little one is cool and comfortable, especially when exploring crowded places. Avoid heavy suitcases and use a backpack or a duffel bag for your plane necessities. Bring enough snacks and only pack a few toys to save luggage space.
Devise An Emergency Plan
Solo travel with children can be full of surprises and risks. No matter how carefully you prepare, crises can still happen. Have an emergency plan in place, and rehearse it with your kids before your trip. Teach your children what to do if they get lost or separated, and ensure that they each carry an ‘emergency bag’ with your contact information, cash, and a few snacks. You can also use a GPS tracking device for kids to keep track of their locations. Make sure you are mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared to handle the worst-case scenarios when traveling with your children.
Take Advantage Of Travel Rewards
Traveling solo with kids can be expensive, so taking advantage of travel rewards is essential. If possible, search for flights a year or few months in advance to make the most of seat sales. Making travel arrangements ahead of time also increases your chances of getting reasonable rates on hotel accommodations, car rentals, activities, and other travel elements. If you’re on a tight schedule and have an active frequent-flyer program, consider redeeming your miles to cut costs on your plane tickets. Moreover, if you have a credit card with travel benefits, call your provider and check if you can use your points for free travel.
Utilize Mobile Applications
Nowadays, you can use several mobile applications to make your travel journey more manageable. You can make all your bookings on one platform, reducing the hassle of going back and forth to different channels. Some platforms also enable you to compare different prices of airfares and hotels. Travel mobile applications can significantly help you plan your trip so you can provide your kids with the best travel experience possible.
Choose Your Flight Seats Carefully
Kids running around the plane can distract some adults and become a source of unnecessary in-flight arguments. Pre-select your seats so that you can all sit together and prevent your kids from disturbing other passengers. Call the airline in advance to make arrangements and ask for window seats as they provide some privacy, and you can also use the window to distract your little ones. If this is your first solo parent trip, avoid countries with long-haul flights, multiple layovers, and changing time zones. Try to book evening flights so that your little ones’ sleep schedule will not be greatly affected.
Choose A Family-Friendly Accommodation
Not all hotels and other accommodations are designed for kids, so remember to do your research intensively. Find a hotel with the necessary facilities such as a clinic or in-demand doctor, a play area, a pool, and other child-friendly amenities. Book a hotel near tourist attractions to save money on transportation.
Traveling solo with your kids can be overwhelming, especially when flying to an unfamiliar destination. With proper planning and these tips, you can create precious and lasting memories with your little ones.