Guest post by Ambre Brewster
It’s that time of year. The kids are out of school, my husband’s at work and I’m looking for ways to entertain all three children.
If you’re like me, you like to head home to visit family and friends. The extra sets of hands from grandma, grandpa, aunts, and uncles is helpful for maintaining your summer sanity. However, getting to your hometown isn’t always easy.
For me, that means traveling to Canada alone with three kids. I often get the question, “How do you do it?”
Here are a few tips I have to help you fly alone with your children and make it there with dignity and grace (and in just enough time to be able to pass off your kids as soon as you are picked up from the airport without losing your mind!).
- A must-have is a good baby carrier that can hold your baby or toddler. I prefer a carrier I can use easily by myself that carries my child on my back. I need my arms to be able to help with the other kids, carry the bags, and take care of any business I need to while going on or off the plane and throughout the airport.
- I also take a stroller. I actually use this to carry a kid (or two) and pile my bags on there. Note that a double stroller is not necessary. They are really bulky for airplane travel and are, at times, hard to manage on your own with your hands full. I use a single stroller and recline the seat back, which allows for two kids to sit in it together. With two kids in the stroller, my bags on the handle, and a baby on my back, I’m able to run though the airport if I need to to make a quick connection. Just know you’ll get a few comments and stares along the way but, that is better than missing your plane and being stuck in an airport longer than necessary!
- Always travel with an extra set of clothes for the kids and yourself. There is something about the pressure in the air that makes for “blow outs” in diapers. And if your children are like mine, one of them will throw up at some point in our travels. I hate to say that I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.
- Look around for a friendly face on the way to your seat. If you’re lucky, you will sit next to someone who loves kids, engages in conversation with your children, and you would feel comfortable asking them to help with your kids in an emergency. However, this is rarely the case. So, what I do when I sit down, is look around for someone who looks “friendly”. Know who you will ask to help if you need it and trust me, you’ll be glad you did. There have been many times I’ve just handed off my baby to a stranger as I helped a toddler in need! There is no time to think it through when you are reaching for the barf bag and really, that stranger won’t say “No” when they see what is about to happen!
- The last thing I would suggest is have your children carry their own things as early as possible. Invest in a cute little backpack for your child to carry his/her own things in. If it is theirs and you make a big deal about it, they are more than likely to carry it. 1) This helps me cut down on over-packing toys for them (their backpack is small) AND 2) It helps reduce the load I have to carry.
One last thing to remember: you’ll never see these people again so just do what you need to do to get the job done! Ask for help if you need it, pass off your baby in an emergency, act silly to console a child, and anything else necessary to make it to your destination! The people you see along the way won’t remember you tomorrow… they may talk about you to a friend but, they don’t know your name. So your story will live on, but you’ll forever remain anonymous and arrive at your destination a little more peacefully.
More about Ambre: Our family recently purchased a RV and have been on the road quite a bit with our three little ones this summer. Feel free to follow me on our blog to find out about our latest adventure. Also, if you have any questions about traveling with little ones feel free to ask! For now: sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!!!