I know how tricky traveling as a single parent can be. You want to visit family for the holidays, or go on vacation, but the thought of doing it solo with kids probably makes you want to run for the hills. Don't worry! I've got plenty of experience, and I've compiled a list of my top 10 travel tips!
1. Make a list. Write down your packing list at least a week ahead of time. This way, if there's something you use regularly, that you forgot to write down, you have time to add it.
2. If you're flying, Make sure you have everyone's passports/IDs, tickets, etc. in an easily accessible place. You don't want to be searching for it in the security line, with cranky kids.
3. If you're driving, plan on taking frequent breaks. I map out our route ahead of time, and look for a few fun stops along the way. My kids get excited about the next stop, and it breaks up the boredom & driving. (Plus, regular bathroom/driving breaks helps everyone!)
4. Pack a "Boredom Bag". Fill a carry on bag with small, inexpensive activities for your kids. (Coloring books & crayons, word puzzles, Rubix cube, travel games, etc)
5. Let your kids help with the planning. My kids always get more excited about a trip if they've had a hand in planning it. When they're excited, they don't complain as much!
6. Allow for extra time. Whether you're driving, or flying, you need to give yourself extra time to get where you're going. Kids have one speed- SLOW.
7. Get your car checked out, before you go. This is a great tip for any traveler, but take it from me- you don't want to be broke down with whiny kids, in a hurry... by yourself. (Can you tell, I'm speaking from experience?!)
8. Eat before you leave. This will help you get a good start if you're driving, and save you lots of money if you're flying. Airport food is crazy expensive!
9. Play games. There are tons of fun road trip games out there! You can even tweak some of them, to be played in an airport.
10. Pack your patience. This is always important, but even more so when you're a single parent. Be patient with your kids, but also with other travelers.