Holidaying solo with kids. I won’t sugar coat it, the thought makes me want to reach for the gin. But, there's no escaping it, I'm embarking on it very soon. After speaking to other parents who have done it, I’ve gained some valuable advice. So whether you’re a single parent or just brave and considering a holiday with you and your mini ones, here’s some priceless tips that may just help you out. Good luck troopers…
1. Pick your accommodation wisely
When you’re riding solo, pick a hotel that’s child friendly. It means if one of them gets sick, you'll always have staff on hand to help. A kids’ club can also be a lifesaver when running around after two gets too much. #itsnotmeanitssensible. Night time entertainment options are also a consideration. Even if it’s just a kids' disco, it means you’ll be downstairs talking to other guests while your tots enjoy themselves. Let's face it, it beats being stuck in a room at 7pm wondering what to do while they sleep.
2. Manage airport mayhem
With the British weather being so unpredictable, I’m taking the plunge and going abroad. First on the tips list? Make sure you have everything you need to hand when you’re in the airport. Print your travel documents or download the airline app so you won’t be faffing trying to find stuff. And if you can, try and go handsfree. My baby won’t sit in a carrier, but if your kid is more compliant, mums swear by these for that busy airport run. Concerned about carrying lots of bags? Rope in older ones. A kids’ ride on bag, like this Zinc Flyte Midi Scooter Suitcase is a great way to sneakily do this. It also fits in overhead lockers. Winning.
3. Pick your timings
For me, the easiest way to travel with my twosome is by car. The older one gets a craft toy and the 22 month old has her abundance of food all laid out in a little lunch box. Others find trains, boats and planes easier. However you get to your destination, there's one rule to always abide by. Plan around their sleep. Whether it’s a flight or road trip to coincide with a babe’s nap, or night flight for both sleep thieves, there’s less chance of meltdowns. You may just get five minutes to chill too.
4. Organisation is the key
If you’re flying you’re going to want to keep their Calpol, Dioralyte (please travel gods don’t let us need this one) and milk to hand. However, getting all the liquids out at security when you’re on your own with kids isn’t easy. Best tip EVER? Boots offer a click and collect service to their airside stores at most major airports. It means you can order all your kit, collect it and have it on the plane without the security stress… we can’t even… And here’s another one. If you’re going abroad book transfers - they may be a bit more costly than a local cab but it’ll be worth it when you’re not having to stand in the taxi queue in the heat with grumpy kids.
5. Take some kit
Ok, we’re not talking everything but the kitchen sink, but a few toys may just keep them happy. With space tight, think out of the box and pick a couple of lightweight toys that you can easily fit in your bag. One of our KIDLY Parents, took this Donkey My First Tape on the plane and made a track on the tray to keep her kids amused. Other faves of ours include the Eat Sleep Doodle Doodle Backpack, which will let them doodle ‘til their hearts content, while this Sunnylife Bath Squirters Set, is great for pretend play in transit and water fun in the pool. Oh, and don’t forget their fave teddy….
So there you go guys, a few tips to help with travelling solo with kids. At times it’ll be tough but remember, it’s a bit like labour. When it’s all over, you forget how hard it was and all you’ll have are the great photos and awesome memories. Well, that’s what I’m telling myself anyway…