Travelling anywhere with children can be incredibly challenging – and doubly so if you’re a single parent. But as difficult as travel can be when there are little mouths to feed and small bladders to think about, taking your child abroad can be incredibly rewarding. From navigating the airport to keeping the little ones entertained throughout the entire trip, we've come up with a quick and easy guide to flying solo with children.
At every point in your trip, from checking in at the airport to exploring and sightseeing when you reach your destination, you need to make sure you have enough time. Tantrums can occur at any time, and can easily eat twenty minutes from your schedule. Frequent toilet stops will also be a feature of your trip, especially if you’re travelling with a child that’s only just out of nappies and hasn't quite grasped the concept of ‘holding it in’! Leave plenty of time for all of your activities, rather than trying to do everything at the last minute.
Get the kids involved.
When it comes to public transport and airports, children can easily become bored and grumpy, especially if they feel they’re being dragged around with no real understanding of what’s going on. Try to get your little ones involved – ask them for help finding the gate number at the airport, or tell them that whoever spots the correct bus first gets to choose where they sit when they’re on the bus.
Keep snack packs to hand.
On the first day of your trip, make a pit-stop at a supermarket or local shop and stock up on snacks that will reasonably last you the entire holiday. Granola bars, crackers and pretzels make ideal snacks, and bags of seeds and nuts are also great (as long as your little one isn't allergic!). You should also stock up on fresh fruit each day, to avoid children becoming grumpy if they’re hungry before dinner.
Research child-friendly destinations beforehand.
Many hotels offer child-friendly facilities, and it’s worth doing your research to ensure you find one that caters to your needs. The same goes for local attractions – take the time before your trip to scope out the pushchair-friendly museums, or the botanical gardens where kids go free.
Tell everyone you have kids.
Okay, we don’t necessarily mean start telling strangers on the street that you’re on holiday with your children – but you should tell the team on your plane or train, and the staff in your hotel right from the off. They’ll most likely be able to offer an extra pair of hands (especially if you’re travelling with more than one child) and can suggest other child-friendly activities or places that you could visit.
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