It’s not easy being a single mom. It’s not easy being a mother full stop, but when you’re on your own, things get a lot more difficult! We all know how much of a handful even the most angelic of children can be, and it’s a stressful an experience as you will ever enjoy when you have a child who is just not doing what you want them to!
When it comes to travelling, whether for an essential trip or for a fun day out, things become even more stressful. A long journey can be a chore for an adult, but when a child – or more than one – is involved, it can be a nightmare. To help you with this, we’ve put together a few handy tips that should help make your life a lot easier when travelling with children, so let’s get going!
Before becoming a mother, you probably did what most people do: wake up, see that the weather is fine, and set out somewhere for a fun day on a whim. That can’t happen with children – believe us, no matter how much you think it can be done, it can’t.
Even if you are relying on the weather to be good, you need to plan your trip. Plan what to pack, and pack light as you won’t want to be lugging heavy luggage everywhere, make sure you have transport organised, and be ready.
If you have a set date to travel, things are a little easier, but you still need to make careful plans to ensure you meet all the connections. There’s nothing worse than a fractious child delaying you, with the result that you miss the train or bus. Plan, and you’ll take a few potential troublesome elements away.
Bring a Friend
During our lives, we all do things to help our friends. Now it’s time to call in the debts! You want to take the kids out for a day; why not take a friend with you? They won’t be expected to be the hands-on mother that you are, but they will be a great help with little things that can get in the way.
Choose a friend who you know the children get on with – or a relative, an auntie or uncle for example – and get them roped into the day. They will enjoy it, too, and you can perhaps enjoy a glass of wine at a riverside pub while the kids play in the garden! It’s a nice thought, and a great way of enjoying some time with your friend too.
One of the biggest problems with travelling, especially when it comes to air travel where you are restricted as to what you can and can not take on board, is that the things the kids want to help make the journey go quicker may not be within easy reach.
This is why you should invest in the best cabin luggage you can afford. There are some excellent choices around, and not expensive either, of rugged, attractive and practical luggage that is within the regulation size and weight for the popular airlines. This is handy for keeping those colouring books, tablets and other items the kids may want, close at hand and easy to reach.
You’ll also find the best cabin luggage has pockets on the outside so you can fit things away within simple reaching distance, and that it will neatly stack in the limited space you have with no obstruction to your fellow passengers. Have a look at cabin luggage now and buy the best you can afford – you will find it to be a worthwhile investment!
Pack Plenty Food
OK, so this may sound like something you would do automatically, but how many people have considered packing a picnic, then thought ‘we’ll buy something when we get there’? And then found that the destination they are heading for is full of very expensive food and drink vendors, and ended up paying a small fortune for some very unappetising snacks?
It happens to us all; seaside towns or destinations like Manhattan all take advantage of the influx of people in good weather, so if you are buying on site, expect to pay over the odds for simple stuff.
It’s best to pack some sandwiches, juice and other essentials, and you’ll find you save a lot of money in the process. Also, that way you can make sure you have what the kids like, so no tantrums when they can’t find their favourite lunch!
Lower Your Expectations
Our final tip is one that might take some getting used to. So, you’ve planned a great day out or a lengthy trip with the kids, you’ve got everything packed, you know where you need to be and when, and you’re ready for a wonderful and enjoyable day where everything goes to plan.
It won’t; rest assured we guarantee something, somewhere, will go wrong! One of the children will fall over and hurt their knee; a bus will be late and throw everything off the timetable; the attraction you most wanted to visit will be closed or too busy; your orange juice will be hot and sticky, and you will undoubtedly forget something important.
The kids will have tantrums, they will play up, they will make life difficult, but less so than if you don’t plan, don’t pack and don’t use the best cabin luggage if you are travelling by air. It’s part of being a single mom, and you know it is!
But when all is said and done, the trials and tribulations of a day out or long journey with kids are part of the deal. If you don’t expect things to go absolutely to plan, and if you do expect that there will be problems along the way, you will find your day to be as stress-free as possible, and as enjoyable as you make it.
Follow the above tips, and you’ll make travelling with kids easier!