The Tips, Tricks and Joys of Flying Solo with Kids
Well, two out of three ain’t bad, right?
I apologize, but as you probably guessed, there’s nothing joyful about flying alone with small children. My thinly veiled sarcasm does bring me to my first point, however, so let’s jump right in. Will your experience be stressful? Yes. Filled with heaps of joy? Not even close. But if you keep a sense of humor about your situation, you WILL survive.
I’ll be flying alone with my little darlings soon while Husband holds down the fort at home. We’ll be visiting my parents, and while a visit to Grammy and Granddaddy is filled with playing in the back yard sprinkler and trips to the barn to visit the goats (translation: city kid bliss), Mama is already starting to feel anxious about the travel.
As I force myself to breathe deeply and remain calm, I want to share a few tips and tricks for traveling alone with your children (I’ve done a little research for all of us):
Snacks, Snacks and More Snacks: My children have this bizarre knack for eating a full meal at home, yet when we head out the door, they suddenly become ravenous. Thus, I am always armed with snacks when we are out and about. Goldfish, grapes, carrots… you name it. Never are these items more crucial than when you are at the airport. Obviously there will be food available, but if you get delayed you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg feeding them (AND you’re prepared for the actual flight). We all know children get cranky when they’re even the slightest bit hungry, so do yourself a favor and come prepared.
Organization is Key: Pack your diaper bag wisely and keep everything in its place. The more pockets you have access to, the better! When you’re chasing your toddler down the aisle (been there!) you don’t want to have to go searching for a wipe when she decides to eat pretzels off the floor.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise: Along with a stash of activities to occupy your child (we love High Five Magazine, our Kindle Fire tablet, and coloring books), bring a surprise toy/game/doll along for your child. You can milk the “surprise” element if a temper tantrum is imminent, or pop it out as a reward for good behavior on the flight (we’re thinking positively here!)
Accept Help from Strangers: Unless they’re a pirate or carrying a machete, I can’t stress this one enough. On one particular flight with my first child (while I was pregnant with #2), the crying was so bad that I was crying myself. A lady in the seat behind me held my diaper bag for me while I exited the plane. I cannot tell you how much she came to my rescue in that moment. Sure, some people will scoff when they see kids coming their way, but MOST will offer to lend a hand if they see you struggling. It takes a village!
Sense of Humor Required: What can I say, you just have to laugh sometimes. Children can detect stress a mile away, and if they see you’re frustrated, their mood will likely change as well. If all else fails, the flight is cancelled and you’ve been stuck on the runway for an hour, laugh at the craziness of it all and remember, “this too shall pass.”
What are your tips and tricks for flying alone with your kids?
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