The months of November and December are two of the busiest travel months of the entire year. Even in an era where technology allows us to connect with people in numerous ways, many families make the choice to travel home for the holidays each year. However, traveling with children is never easy, especially if you’re flying or driving a great distance as a single mom with multiple kids.
If holiday travel plans have you stressed out as a single mom, then consider these five-holiday travel tips that just may make this year’s journey home for the holidays a little bit easier.
Order Items For Delivery To Your Destination
Traveling with infants and toddlers requires lots of bulky, disposable items like diapers and wipes or pullups. Unfortunately, these items take up tons of room in your luggage. If you’re flying, this either leaves you with little room for other necessities or may cost you money in extra luggage.
However, during a recent Thankful for Mom virtual meetup hosted by La Quinta by Wyndham, actress, and mother Katie Lowes shared that she actually orders diapers and wipes to arrive at the hotel she’s staying in when she travels so she doesn’t have to pack these items.
According to Lowes, this is a great plan because, “We have them for when we arrive, and it leaves more room in [my] suitcase or diaper bag for whatever else the kids may need.”
Use Your Stroller To Your Advantage
During the Thankful for Mom virtual meetup, Lowes also pointed out something really important that not all moms know about: strollers don’t count as checked luggage! This not only means you can use the stroller to help you navigate through the airport with your kids then gate check it, but it also means you can bag up your stroller at the gate and use that bag to hold extra items.
Lowes shared, “We’re going to New York to see family, so I need to pack winter coats and gloves and all of that stuff for the kids. The stroller bag is my best friend for trips like this.” If you haven’t tried this hack yet, it may be worth doing during your holiday travels this year.
Select Where You Stay Very Carefully
While staying with family is sometimes an option, not everyone has that luxury — especially if you’re traveling with your children. If you’re not staying with family members, you then have to select a nearby hotel or find an Airbnb that has enough space for you and the kids.
Unfortunately, not all hotels or Airbnb rentals are made the same, and not all of them are family-friendly. Therefore, the team at Parenting Magazine recommends single moms do their research before selecting a place to stay. If you can, look for websites that offer real reviews and photos by guests so you can get an accurate picture of the accommodations in advance.
Also, some people say it’s worthwhile to contact the hotel before booking and see how kid-friendly the hotel is. Believe it or not, some offer perks for kids like goodie bags and items for kids to check out like books and games. You may also be able to request a room with a fridge or a room that allows for easy access to things like the pool. These small “perks” can make a world of difference for you as a single mom, so they’re definitely worth looking into!
Let People Help You
Unfortunately, we live in a world where we’re taught to constantly be on guard and avoid talking to strangers because we may not be able to trust them. This can leave single moms feeling overwhelmed as they try to make it through security and get everyone settled on the plane if you’re traveling by air or it can make for a stressful bathroom and lunch break at a fast-food joint if you’re driving to your destination.
Believe it or not, though, there are lots of people who are willing and able to help you out — they just need you to be okay with it. If an older woman offers to help hold something for you or entertain the baby while you get your older child settled, let her! If a cashier offers a sticker or other item to your kid if they promise to behave for you, bring it on! Help can make the trip so much better for everyone, so let people help you if they offer.
Carve Out A Moment For Yourself
I think most single moms will agree that traveling with little ones by themselves is exhausting, especially during the holidays. However, Evie Farrell of Kidspot says moms can recharge by carving out just a bit of time for themselves each day during the holiday travels. To do this, Farrell recommends either reserving screen time for a very specific point in the day when you need a break or finding little ways to enjoy yourself for a moment after the kids go to bed. By making this little bit of time for yourself each day during the trip, you’ll find yourself better equipped to deal with the busy moments the rest of the time.
Traveling as a single mom is never easy, but traveling during the holidays can be especially stressful. Hopefully, though, these five tips will make it at least a little easier on you. At the end of the day, just remember that the holidays are a magical time that’s all about family, and that’s all that really matters.
Sources: Katie Lowes, Parenting Magazine, Kidspot
Friendsgiving is a modern Thanksgiving that involves your friends instead of family for a holiday feast, which makes it perfect for single moms.
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