Travelling with a hyperactive toddler, much more alone, is a real handful. I have my fair share of horrific (forgive the intentional exaggeration, just trying to emphasize a point here..) experiences while flying with my restless 3 year old boy, who gets really restless and excited when he is in a new and unfamiliar place like an airport.The longest flight I have been with him was 9 hours and that excludes the time for luggage check in, immigration check and the wait for boarding the aircraft!
I am married to someone who is from a different country, which makes traveling even more frequent so I learned my way to survive ? I first traveled alone with my son when he was 7 months old, considering that he was still unable to walk at that time, it was a piece of cake as compared to my trip from the Philippines to U.A.E. last June…but I can’t say I was not exhausted. Believe me I was totally beat. I know a lot has been written about tips and pointers on what to do and what to bring with you when you are travelling alone with your toddler, nonetheless, I want to share my own ways and means to make it less tiring and oh well, I can say less scary for anyone who dares to try this kind of adventure.
First things first, I want to enumerate all the stuffs that you should not forget to do and things you should not forget to bring in your hand carry bag:
- Travel light – I know that this would not be very easy to do especially when you are also packing for your child but lose as much clutter as you can. Just leave all the clothes or shoes you think you can do without.
- Book a late night flight – Do not even dare to get on a daytime flight if you want to get through the whole journey without going nuts. Departure time should more or less coincide with your kid’s sleep so he will hopefully be sleeping most of the time and you can relax and get ready for the next hurdle.
- Tire him/her out – During the day, or a few hours before the flight, let your kid run and play all he want, definitely no nap for him so that he will be less hyperactive ( just cross your fingers and pray) when you get to the airport.
- Wear comfortable clothes and shoes – as much as you want to flaunt your new, sexy travel outfit and dress up, you can’t do that. Remember, your toddler may throw an inconsolable temper tantrum anytime. You may have to pick him up, sit on the floor with him, he may pull your skirt if you are wearing one, you may have to run after him..the possibilities are endless so you have to be ready for it, outfit-wise at least.
- Request for a window seat and near the plane’s lavatory – when I traveled with my baby at 7 months old, I really did not know what to do when I needed to go to the loo. It was a relief that I was seated near the toilet, but I have to call the stewardess and asked her to hold my baby for me. They provide bassinets for infants of certain age by the way but my kid is way too heavy for his age so I need to carry him in my arms the entire flight!
- Pack extra clothes for your child – when you’re at it, pack one for you too. Some unexpected falls, spills, splash, squirt, or stain may come along the way.
- Tablets, I-phone, I-pad, I-touch may come in handy – I don’t know about you, but these gadgets has been a lot of help to me. This is the time you will need them the most. Do not forget to fully charge them.
Aside from those “don’t forget” list I mentioned above, there are also things that you really need to forget about:
- Forget about your poise – you may try to be awesome and have admirable grace under pressure however, remember that you are travelling with a cute little rug rat who would be bouncing off the walls, so you have to keep up with all the running sometimes.
- Forget about being on a “tourist mode” – you may be travelling for a vacation long over due, but when flying with a toddler, the trip would not be that pleasurable. I use to enjoy plane rides before I became a mom. I love flying so much but not anymore, I dread it now with my little tot around, all I want is for the plane to land and reach my destination.
- Forget about embarrassment – be prepared to for all the annoying stare from co-passengers especially when you are unable to stop your kid from crying during the flight.
- Forget about hunger – no matter how tempting the flight meals looks, more often than not, you will barely touch your food. Better get yourself stuffed before the flight.
It is very tough, so at the end of the trip, congratulate yourself for a job well done, well, if you managed to arrive with your wits intact ? It is quite distressing and frightful to fly with your toddler but I would not want it any other way. It it something we all need to experience and get through alive, hahaha! The kids will grow up anyway and so flying with them when they are still toddlers, I think you would not want to miss that for the world!
Do you have some more tips and pointers you want to add up to my list? Please share it and leave a comment!
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