Solo mum & kids travel and holidaying is something incredibly commendable. It can be a scary prospect, especially if your kids are little, but it is totally doable. Here are some things you can do to make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Plan plan plan
Check your route before you travel and make sure you know where all of the rest stops and service stations are if you’re driving. Even if you don’t need to use them, it’ll make you feel better knowing that there’s somewhere you can stop if you need to make an emergency pitstop.
If you’re travelling via public transport then check all of the amenities at the bus or train stations before you travel. Make sure everything is going to be accessible for you and your kids if you’ve got a buggy with you, and ring ahead to see if assistance will be available at the train station if you think you’ll need it. There’s nothing worse than arriving and realising that a station isn’t accessible.
Once you get to your destination, make sure you’ve got a plan, no matter how vague, for things to do and places to eat. Unlike travelling as an adult where you can happily just wonder without a plan, travelling with kids means it always pays to have activities and food ready to go. If you’re travelling at a busy time then consider making food reservations for you and your kids and explain on the phone that you are indeed a solo mum & kids. Most of the time, restaurants and eateries are go out of their way to help solo mums, but don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Supporting local businesses is always a great way to go, but if you are in any doubt, tried and tested chains are always great for kids – try M&S Café, Pizza Express, or Wagamama.
2. Pack all of the snacks you possibly can
Snacks can be a total Godsend when you’re on the go somewhere new. Young kids especially can get a bit agitated when they’re somewhere unfamiliar, but by handing them their favourite snack, you’re giving them a bit of normality. Just make sure you pack things that are easy for your kids to eat when you’re out and about. Don’t forget to pack drinks for the kids and a few snacks for you too!
Snacks can be an amazing way of killing time on public transport too – giving toddlers something like a box of raisins will keep them entertained for longer than other snacks!
3. Choose your accommodation wisely
Accommodation is often the key to a successful trip and holiday alone with your kids. Choose somewhere that’s smack bang in the middle of the place you want to explore so you won’t have to travel far to get to attractions. Another tip here is to pick somewhere that’s larger than the average hotel room – this is great as it means you can bring a few favourite toys and use your accommodation for playing between activities and exploring without feeling claustrophobic.
Before you arrive, make sure you know exactly what your accommodation will be providing. If you need cots, sofa beds, high chairs, or anything else, just double check it’ll be available before you travel!