You might be a solo parent and have no idea what to do. You’ll find yourself stuck, not knowing where your child goes after school or how they spend their free time when you aren’t around for these things (not even considering all those late-night conversations).
While traveling can seem daunting at first glance there’s hope! Keep reading this list of 13 helpful tips that will make life easier as well- teaching kids good communication skills while abroad including gestures in sign language; making sure everyone has enough water throughout the day so fatigue doesn’t wear down body systems – saves energy during long flights too; making sure they know what to do if their needs aren’t met (like hunger, thirst, fatigue) and how to respond; helping them feel safe when separated from you; keeping your cool when kids act out; keeping things in perspective by living in the moment – doing what is necessary (and not over-reacting).
Tips for Traveling as a Solo Parent
1. Make a plan
One thing that all solo parents need to do is planning. Planning keeps things in perspective and lets you know what has to happen before you go, while there, and when you get home. Make sure everyone gets enough sleep on trips so they are refreshed for new adventures, don’t forget your sense of humor-it helps!
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2. Set up a schedule
Work out all the details of child care before you leave so there are no surprises or dramas after you arrive. Whether it’s with family, friends, or daycare, whose coming when and who is responsible for what. What happens if someone is sick? Don’t leave your kids with strangers unless you are sure they can handle any emergency that arises, including the possibility of their own.
3. Bring your supplies
Bring extra clothes, snacks, and water bottles to make sure everyone stays hydrated and fed on trips. Carry a small first aid kit just in case, and don’t forget the kids’ favorite pillow or blanket so they feel safe and secure – it can be a real toddler security blanket.
4. Let them have some autonomy
Let your kids explore on their own- within reason of course! This way everyone gets some alone time and the kids feel like they have some independence. It’s an amazing confidence builder!
5. Talk with your children about what is happening
Make sure everyone knows all the details of where you are going and how long you will be there (for). Let them know if there is a change in plans – maybe there is a delay or something unexpected. Explain why you are going and what the trip entails (the history and culture of where you are going).
6. Learn about the country before you go
If this is your first time traveling alone with the kids, think about how your child will react to new foods or new surroundings. Maybe you can do a little research beforehand to see what unusual sights might be there. You can even introduce them to some new sounds that they’ll get to hear while on the plane or train, like announcements in a different language.
7. Come prepared with games and activities
If your plans have been derailed unexpectedly, have some games and experiences to keep everyone occupied. You could even come up with some unique activities like a scavenger hunt or collecting photos of interesting things the kids see at the airport or train station (before they pass through security).
8. Plan special outings
Make sure you make time for fun-filled activities on your trip; whether it’s a special meal out or an attraction you can’t live without! If there are museums, zoos, or fairs where you are going, plan to spend some time at these places. It’s important to have balance because although everyone loves lounging by the pool, it will be much harder if your kids don’t know what to do if they get bored.
9. Don’t over plan your days
Give yourself some time to just relax and unwind – even the adults need it! Everyone must get their downtime so you can take a break, get away from the crowds, and get refreshed for more.
10. Have a backup plan
No matter how much you prepare for something to go wrong, always have a backup plan just in case. It’s also good to keep some emergency cash on hand in case of any unexpected costs that might come up while you are away from home.
11. Make sure someone at home knows your itinerary
Always let someone know where you are going and what time you will be back. If this isn’t possible, make sure your hotel or host can take a message and track you down if it is an emergency – don’t leave them in the dark worrying about where you are!
12. Stay safe
This should be a no-brainer, but always have some idea of where the exits are in case there is a fire or you need to evacuate. Don’t stray too far from your area if there is a medical emergency and use good judgment when taking small children out at night. This can be difficult but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
13. Relax and have fun!
Let go of some of the stress you might feel from being a bit on-edge – everyone needs to relax and have a good time. And don’t forget to take photos so you can remember this wonderful experience with your family forever.
Travel can be a stressful experience for parents. It is important to have some great tips in your back pocket that will help you enjoy the trip with kids and not worry about all of the “what ifs” they might create. We hope these 13 parenting travel hacks give you some ideas on how to balance fun-filled activities, relaxation time, and everything else it takes to make this family vacation as easy as possible. If there are any other strategies or tips we missed out on please share them with us.
Take a deep breath and have an awesome trip!