Traveling with children can be exhausting at the best of times—but when you’re flying solo as a parent, the trip to and through the airport, and the subsequent flight, can leave you tearing your hair out.
It’s constantly at the back of your mind: the boredom-induced tantrum that builds slowly and climaxes in a shower of snot, tears and a throng of unhelpful onlookers tutting at your usually placid and generally lovely child.
We’ve all been there.
Typically, however, you’d have your partner to rely on. Someone to share the embarrassment. But as a solo mom or dad, the stress of dealing with a grumpy child at an airport can be enough to have you turning the car around for home.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
To help keep your sanity in check, we’ve put together three travel hacks for the next time you’re flying solo as a parent. We can’t promise it’ll keep your kids in check, but we can promise it’ll make your life a little easier.
Take a look …
1. Take your own car to the airport
Packing you, your luggage and your child on to public transport headed for the airport can be a nightmare, even if you’re the most organized or placid parent in the US. To avoid hiking up your blood pressure, we would always recommend taking your own car to the airport.
If it feels like it’ll be stressful, it’s actually not, but we advise booking your airport parking online before you go. Try to find the best airport parking deals at Looking4.com — you’ll be glad you did.
2. Ear popping help
The altitude change and the associated ear pain can be difficult for adults to deal with, so spare a thought for your young child. While you may chew gum to help alleviate the symptoms, your kid may be a bit too young to follow suit.
If your child is especially young, try to have them drink a bottle of milk or water as you take off or come in to land. For toddlers or young children, try giving them a chewy snack to prevent ear popping pain and tears.
3. Fork out for direct flights
When you’re traveling solo with an irritable crop of kids, especially babies or toddlers, it can often be much easier (and better for your sanity) if you fork out a few more dollars—easier said than done when you’re already on a budget—for a direct flight to your destination.
Rather than grabbing your youngsters and racing to catch a connection, you can kick back and relax (as much as possible) without having to worry about cancellations, stopovers, and the associated hassle that those scenarios bring.
What do you think?
Do you have any top travel hacks you can share with travel shy lone parents? Please let us know in the comments section, we’d love to hear from you.