Most of the time, it is both mom and dad taking to the skies with the kids to experience vacations of a lifetime internationally. However, there are times when dads get stuck at work, or they have other obligations, and moms get to do the international traveling with the kids all on their own. This can be a scary thing for some moms, especially if they are not used to it, but that doesn’t mean that they should skip their trips altogether. There are plenty of things that moms can do to survive an international trip with kids!
Here are 8 things moms should do to stay sane while traveling internationally alone with kids:
1. Fly at Night
Most moms will not think anything of booking a flight for the afternoon hours, but that could be the worst thing that they can do if they are the only parent on board. Flying during the afternoon means that moms need to entertain the kids for the entire flight, which is going to be super long!
Therefore, I recommend that as a mom, you always book nighttime flights, so that you have a better chance of your kids sleeping for most of it. This ensures that you get a good night’s rest and that your kids do too. And helps you manage jet lag for your babies, kids, as well as you.
2. Bring Plenty of Activity Options
There will be some time on the plane, as well as in the airport and hotel room, where your kids are going to be awake and bored.
To avoid being their go-to person to bug, you will want to be prepared with kids travel accessories including books, coloring books and crayons, activity books, a few toys, travel games, and even a deck of cards. They can use these items on their own and you can join them in the fun when you are ready.
3. Take Entertainment Options
Okay, so some moms may be against taking those portable gaming systems or tablets for watching movies with them when they are traveling internationally.
However, you need to consider the fact that these types of electronics can give you a few moments of peace and quiet every once in a while. And that will be very welcomed, especially for the return trip home!
4. Plan Ahead
It is nice to simply go with the flow and figure it out while on vacation, but when a mom is traveling internationally alone with her kids, its not going to work out too well. Therefore, moms should create a plan of what they want to do each day and when everyone will have some downtime.
Now, this itinerary can change a little once you get to your destination, but you at least have a game plan for when you get there. And be sure to have the essential tools you need to make your international travel easier.
5. Set Expectations but Don’t Go Overboard
Yes, I know you want your kids to act like perfect angels but let’s get real! It’s not going to happen! Every kid is going to act up and misbehave once in a while! Moms need to set their expectations and share them with the kids prior to leaving for their trip.
This will allow the kids to know what is expected of them and they can then make their own choices. You may want to take this a step further and tell them what the consequences will be if they do not meet your expectations. It is important to note that you are not going to want to go overboard when creating your expectations, as you will never be able to keep up with everyone!
6. Create Some Downtime
Downtime is going to be important to everyone while traveling internationally, because it will give you all some time to do something that you want to do. Your kids can take a nap, play a game, swim in the hotel’s pool, or something else that looks fun and exciting.
If your kids are napping or doing an activity that doesn’t require your supervision in the hotel room, you can read a book or listen to some music. Your goal is to have a little quiet time to indulge yourself for all the hard work you have been doing and to celebrate the fact that you are still sane and surviving. And if you’ve remembered what to do and what to bring on your vacation with the kids, you’re probably going to overprepared and read to handle any meltdowns.
7. Never Overpack
Moms are always prepared, but one of the worst things that you can do while traveling alone with kids is overpack. By packing too many things that you do not need, and will never use, you are making it difficult on yourself. After all, you are the one who is going to need to keep an eye on all the luggage, as well as the kids, and figure out how to get to your hotel when you land.
Make it easy and only pack what you need, and you will be amazed at how much calmer you feel throughout the trip. Especially since you won’t need to rummage through eight suitcases to find the one shirt that your youngest absolutely needs to wear one day! And of course, make sure to pick the right suitcase for your family based on our ultimate guide to picking the best luggage for travel.
8. Consider Your Mindset Each Day
You are going to have good and bad days when you are traveling alone with your kids, so you should wake up each day and see where you are at. If you struggled with a child the day before, or someone was up, off and on, all night long, then you may be crankier than you would like to be. On those days, you may want to adjust your itinerary a little, so that you all have a few more breaks.
Those are not the days when you will want to tackle half of what is on your must-see list! Of course, if you wake up ready to conquer the world, and your kids are happy and cheerful upon waking, then seize the day and do as much as you can before you start to see signs of tiredness. You need to be flexible when you are traveling internationally alone with kids, while still seeing and doing as much as you can while you are there.
Do not be intimidated, as a mom, to travel internationally alone with your children. You can do it and stay sane at the same time if you follow the eight tips above. It won’t go perfectly, especially the first time, but the more you do it, the easier it will be for everyone in the future.