I love to travel, and when I had kids, I wanted my kids to
love it just as much as I did. While I’ve traveled near and far with the kids,
I usually do it with my husband by my side. But this summer, I’m going on a new
adventure — taking a road trip on the East Coast with just myself and the three
kids. I’ve traveled alone with them before, but never this long by myself. The
trip has been memorable, and I’ve tried to make it as easy and stress-free as
possible. Here are some tips I’ve learned along the way.
1. Take advantage of
people’s willingness to help you out.
This is probably the most important and helpful thing you
can do. With three kids, I know I can’t do it all. Especially when it comes to
traveling. Whether we are in the car, on an airplane, or staying in a hotel
room, I always make sure to ask others around me for help. Most people are more
than willing to help you. If you are checking into a hotel, tell the people at
the front desk you are traveling alone with kids. I’ve done this, and they were
willing to go out of their way to make my stay much more comfortable for both
me and the kids. If I’m at the airport, I tell the attendant as I step on the
airplane, and they always come up to me during the flight to see how I’m doing
and ask if the kids or I need anything.
2. Be prepared for
those moments when you can’t get to them as easily.
First, make sure you have plenty of snacks and a change of
clothes handy while traveling. (That’s a given, even when traveling with an
adult!) But also be prepared for those moments when you can’t easily get to the
kids in the back of the car, or on an airplane. I’ve found that having toys
that are easy to pack, like these Melissa and Doug wooden toys, can help keep a
couple of the kids occupied while focusing the attention on the little one that
needs me. They’re also great to keep kids entertained in a hotel room while you
put all of the clothes away and get organized in the room.
3. Manage the kids’
I went into the trip with a little bit of a reality check. I
knew without my husband or extended family with me, there were going to be
certain things I couldn’t do with all three kids and just me. For example, it’s
much easier for me to take all three kids to the pool, than to the beach. So
although they wanted to go to the beach, I prepped my older kids ahead of time
and let them know why we couldn’t do all that they are used to. While they are
still a bit too young to fully understand, they did somewhat, and had fun on
our more laid-back adventures.
4. Relish the quiet
time so you can regroup.
As soon as all three kids fall asleep in the car or in our
hotel room, I make sure to soak in every bit of the silence. The day has most
likely been full of ups and downs and just a little bit hectic. The quiet times
at night help me prepare for the next day’s adventure. It’s always a bit
overwhelming for me with all three kids, especially when I am somewhere that I
am unfamiliar with, so by finding a time to focus on me and to regroup, I was
able to help make the trip more special for all of us.