Last Updated on November 6, 2023
Traveling Solo With Kids
Traveling with young children can be challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. As my kids have rapidly grown (they always grow WAY too fast!), I’ve continually realized over and over how important it is to enjoy time with them as much as possible.
I do not want the years to slip away and look back with regret. That’s why I make a conscious effort to travel with my kids, even if it means doing so without my husband sometimes. I enjoy exploring the world with them and soaking up what I call the ‘stolen moments’ that I would not get otherwise with busy home schedules.
Yet, no matter how many times we’ve traveled together, it never fails that someone will make a comment about me traveling with my children without my husband.
Here are some of the most common things people say to Mom’s taking quality time with their kids, and why they need to stop.
“It must be nice that he pays, and you have the fun!”
This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In our situation, Darcy is an electrician by trade (and loves his job), and I’ve had my own business for years. Working in travel writing and content creation, my kids get to come along for the ride and have amazing adventures, because as they say…. “Mom has the best job EVER!”
While it may seem like I am constantly on vacation, the truth is that every trip involves careful planning, budgeting, and sacrificing other luxuries in order to make it happen. As parents, we make sacrifices for our children and we do whatever it takes to create memorable experiences for them.
Also, it’s not fair to assume that the husband (or partner) is always at ‘home’ working and missing out on all the fun. In fact, my children and I often plan trips during school breaks or weekends when we can all be together. And even if my husband is not able to join us due to work, it doesn’t mean he’s not supportive of our travels and that we don’t make time for family vacations as well. Every family has their own dynamic and unique circumstances.
“You must not have a strong marriage if he lets you leave him behind and doesn’t care.”
Just because my husband isn’t physically with us on a trip doesn’t mean our marriage is weak. In fact, quite the opposite – we support each other’s passions and desire for solo time with our children. It’s important for both parents to have individual relationships with their kids, not just as a family unit. Plus, traveling with young children can be a lot of work and my husband trusts me to handle it on my own. That’s true love and partnership, not weakness.
“Wow, you’re so brave!”
This is often said with a hint of surprise and admiration as if it’s some incredible feat for a woman to travel alone with her children. But why should it be considered brave? Are we not capable of handling our kids and navigating the world without a man by our side? It’s time to break the stereotype that women need a man for support and protection.
“Are you sure you can handle it?”
Maybe it is because I have four kids, but yes, I am sure. I am a mother and I know how to take care of my children. Just because I’m traveling without my husband doesn’t mean I suddenly forget all of my parenting skills. Plus, if I can handle the chaos of everyday life with kids, I’m pretty sure I can handle a trip.
“You should wait until your husband can come with you. It’s not safe for you to take the kids traveling without him.”
This is another common misconception that I often hear as a traveling mom. While it’s true that having an extra set of hands can be helpful, it’s not necessary for a safe and enjoyable trip with my kids. In fact, traveling with my kids has taught me how capable and resilient they are, and has also allowed me to teach them important life skills. Plus, with the advancement of technology and resources available for travelers, safety concerns can easily be addressed.
“What if something goes wrong?”
This one always makes me laugh because things can go wrong whether you’re traveling with or without your partner. The key is to be prepared and adaptable. Of course, having an extra set of hands would be nice, but as mothers, we are used to being the one who handles any issues that arise.
“You must be exhausted!”
Yes, traveling with kids can be tiring, but so is being a parent in general. I may have some extra responsibilities when traveling alone with my kids, but it’s also an opportunity for quality bonding time and making unforgettable memories.
“I could never do that!”
This one always bothers me the most. Every mother has her own unique set of strengths and challenges, but we are all capable of doing what’s best for our families. Just because it may not be someone else’s preference or comfort level doesn’t mean it can’t work for others. We should support each other’s choices and not judge or compare.
Let’s celebrate and empower each other instead of tearing each other down. Because at the end of the day, the experiences and memories we create along the way are irreplaceable. And as long as my children are happy, safe, and loved, that’s all that matters to me.
“Your children won’t remember anything from these trips.”
This is a common misconception and one that I have personally proven wrong time and time again. My children may not remember every single detail of each trip, but they do have lasting memories and experiences that have shaped them in positive ways. Traveling with children not only exposes them to new cultures, languages, and environments, but also teaches them important life skills such as problem-solving, adaptability, and empathy. These experiences can have a significant impact on their development and future perspectives. Additionally, even if they don’t remember everything from each trip, I have the joy of reliving those memories with them through photos and videos, strengthening our bond as a family.
Furthermore, the idea that children won’t remember anything from trips discounts the value of present experience and enjoyment. Just because something may not be remembered in the future does not mean it is not worth doing or experiencing in the moment. As parents, we should prioritize creating unforgettable moments with our children, rather than solely focusing on what they will remember in the future.
Instead of judging or doubting other families’ travel choices, let’s celebrate and support each other in creating meaningful experiences for our children. Let’s embrace the idea that traveling with kids can be a valuable and rewarding experience for both parents and children. After all, isn’t that what parenting is all about? Creating unforgettable memories with our loved ones and shaping them into well-rounded individuals.
Additional Tips for Solo Traveling Moms
Traveling with kids without your other half can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some additional tips for fellow moms who may be considering taking a trip alone with their little ones:
- Plan ahead and pack accordingly – Being prepared is key when traveling with children, especially when you’re the only adult in charge. Make sure to create a packing list and gather all necessary documents before your trip.
- Research family-friendly destinations – Some destinations are more kid-friendly than others, so it’s important to do your research and choose a destination that will cater to your children’s needs.
- Have a backup plan – Unexpected situations may arise when traveling, so it’s always good to have a backup plan in case things don’t go as planned.
- Involve your kids in the planning process – Get your children excited about the trip by involving them in the planning process. Let them choose some activities or attractions to visit during your trip.
- Utilize technology – Traveling with kids can be made easier with the help of technology. Download kid-friendly apps, games, and movies to keep your children entertained during long flights or car rides.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help – It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, whether it’s from hotel staff, other travelers, or even strangers. Most people are willing to lend a hand and make your trip a little easier.
- Take breaks and rest when needed – Traveling can be exhausting for both parents and children, so it’s important to take breaks and rest when needed. Don’t feel pressured to stick to a strict itinerary, and remember to prioritize your family’s well-being. This is especially crucial for young children who may get tired easily. Plan some downtime into your itinerary to avoid burnout.
- Make safety a top priority – Prioritize safety at all times. From keeping an eye on your children in crowded areas to teaching them about stranger danger, make sure to take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
- Pack smart – When traveling with kids, packing efficiently is key. Make a list of essentials and try to pack light to avoid lugging around heavy suitcases. It’s also a good idea to bring along snacks and activities for the journey in case of delays or long waits.
- Have fun and be flexible – Above all, remember that family trips are meant to be enjoyable and memorable experiences. Embrace the unexpected and try not to sweat the small stuff. Be flexible with your plans and have fun making new memories with your loved ones.
- Involve your children in cultural experiences – Traveling is a great opportunity for kids to learn about different cultures and customs. Involve them in activities such as trying local food, visiting museums or attending cultural events to broaden their perspectives.
- Plan kid-friendly activities – While it’s important to include some educational and cultural experiences, don’t forget to plan some fun and age-appropriate activities for your kids. This could include visits to theme parks, playgrounds, or even just exploring the local area.
- Involve kids in planning – Depending on their age, involve your children in the planning process. Let them choose some activities or destinations they are interested in and give them a sense of ownership over the trip. This will make them more excited and engaged during the actual trip.
- Document the memories – Make sure to capture all the special moments of your family trip by taking lots of photos and videos. This will not only help you remember the trip, but also serve as a special keepsake for your children to look back on in the future.
- If you’re uneasy about traveling solo – See if your sibling or a friend wants to come along for extra time with the kids!
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