The first real vacation I took my kids on as a single mom was a Disney cruise.
My kids were 5 and 7 at the time.
The thought “can I do this on my own?” never crossed my mind.
In fact, that thought never crosses my mind. (Except maybe when planning to pull a fifth-wheel across the country for my national tour, but I’m still working that out. How hard can it be?)
Sitting poolside during the cruise and chatting up with another mom whose kids were the same age when she realizes I’m traveling solo…
She looks at me bewildered and says:
“Wait. You’re here with your kids ALONE?!”
As if I had just told her about my sixth toe.
Me: “Uh yep.”
Her: “HOW DO YOU DO THAT?!”
Okay but how do I NOT? I just didn’t understand her question. What do you mean HOW? Like actually how? It’s pretty easy you just go online and book travel plans and then you pack a bag and you tell your kids to pack a bag and then you arrive at the airport and then you take a bus to the port and then you walk on a cruise ship and you walk into your state room and… 🤔🤷🏼♀️
Traveling alone with my kids doesn’t phase me. In fact doing anything alone doesn’t phase me. Because WHAT other choice would I WANT to have?
Certainly not be limited by my circumstances or depend on someone else to enjoy life or motherhood.
There are however things that come up when traveling solo with kids that require just a teensy bit of extra planning. Here are some of my best traveling-with-kids tips that have helped on our journey’s:
✈️ Research research research. The more I know about a place before I go, the better prepared I am for the unexpected. I keep my kids in the loop about our travel details and what they can expect. Communication with them is SO important so no one is surprised (unless you’re going for that) it seriously helps things run smoothly.
📸 Who’s gonna take your pic? Okay this sounds silly but seriously…when it’s just you and your kids, aside from handing a stranger your camera… it’s hard to get in all those pics. I bought this awesome portable bendable tripod with camera remote. Set it up, click the pic! #nothanksigotthis
🥕 Snacks! PLAN YOIR MEALS AND SNACKS. Things will escalate QUICKLY when kids (ehhhh or Mom) is hangry and with only one adult (sometimes 0 adults if Mom is hangry) to manage the chaos, this is an unnecessary occurrence. You can pretty much count on me having a snack of some sort anywhere, anytime. #crisisaverted Now getting said hungry kid to eat said snack is a different story, but that’s on them. #eatitorstarve
🎒 Packing. I sometimes feel bad for requiring my kids to probably take on more responsibility than other kids their age. Then I remember I’m raising HUMANS and the earlier they learn this skill, the BETTER. At home, they are in charge of their own laundry (yep washing, drying, folding, the whole bit) cleaning, organizing, etc. And when it comes to traveling, they pack their own dang bags. If it’s a long trip (as opposed to an overnight) I make them little check lists so they know what to pack. Does this backfire on me? YES. One time we went to a cabin for the weekend and my daughter forgot SHOES. Yep I felt like a horrible mom BUT. Guess what?! She never forgot shoes again 🤣 (and I also learned not to let her wear slippers on a road trip #momlessons). So yes if they forget something, they suffer the natural consequences, but 99% of the time, their packing is 👌🏻✅🙌🏻.
😁 Frankie says relax. But seriously chill out. Learning to not sweat the small stuff, embrace uncertainty and live life with less worry, stress and fear makes for a far more enjoyable ride. ✌️
To all the single parents out there —or all parents rather— questioning whether they can do something or not, or wondering if their solo-parenting is enough, or struggling to make it all work. You’re doing an amazing job, be BOLD, be BRAVE, be YOU AND KEEP GOING. ❤️