Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Traveling Solo with Kids

The theme for April seems to be travel. I wrote about transportation here, the trip that changed my life, and the trip one year ago.  I guess all writing about transportation caused me to think about traveling  solo with kids.

One of the first times I remember traveling solo was when Miss K was about 2 so she had her own seat. It was a short flight and one that I had flown many times on my own. It was international but then again where we lived any flight was international. I think the biggest challenge was lugging the carseat through the airport. Thankfully we were in Asia and there people are very service orientated (you would get a meal on even an hour long flight). I accepted the help carrying the carseat and getting it on the plane.

Sometimes you know what to do. It helped that I had flown that route numerous times.

Another time I flew with Miss K all the way from Asia to the East Coast USA. We were flying to visit family and using our frequent flyer miles. We had a long, too long layover in O'Hare. A friend met me and we chatted for a few hours but I still had time to kill. I think about lost it going through security for the last flight.

Sometimes you just have to grin and bear it and you might have a few tears as well.

Miss K, J and I flew from the East Coast USA all the way to Asia -- it was a direct flight. At this point my kids were older and experienced travellers. They don't need much to entertain them on the flight as long as they have "screens" as Miss K calls them. I do try to have some back-up just in case the screens don't work. I usually take gummy bears for take off and landing. That was a tip that I learned when Miss K was young and now it is part of our travel ritual. I don't remember any problems with that trip.

Sometimes things are smooth when you travel and uneventful. 

Not a flight solo but this does qualify as traveling solo. The kids and I were in Shanghai and we were taking the train to Hangzhou (I have not done that trip before.) We were traveling with some friends and needed two taxis to get to the train station. Luke was in the taxi with us but he needed to find his parents and brother at the train station so I had the tickets for the kids and I so he said, just meet us on the train. Sounds simple doesn't it. You probably can tell that there is a but in this story and here it comes. But they didn't make it on the train. The kids and I did. We got off the train in Hangzhou late on a Saturday evening. There I was with two kids, one in a stroller, two suitcases, and our backpacks. I needed to get to the hotel. I remember standing in a taxi line for a long time so long that I think Miss K feel asleep. I honestly don't remember how I got to the hotel. My Chinese is limited. Somehow we made it. Two days later my husband arrived and after making that trip he was impressed that I did it alone with the kids.

Sometimes you do what you have to do and earn a medal for doing it or maybe a pearl necklace after all it was a trip in China.

My longest car trip with the kids was a five hour trip to visit a friend. We stayed for two nights. I think I made that with the help of Starbucks and the DVD player.

Sometimes you needs Starbucks and a DVD player to help along the way. 

Then a year ago the kids and I flew from the West Coast all the way to England. We did have a layover in Iceland. I think the biggest challenge was actually the packing before leaving. I had a wonderful friend who helped pick up the pieces and packed the last boxes and shipped them to me.

Sometimes the trip is easy compared to what you have to do before the trip. 

I know there were a few other trips that I took alone with the kids but these are the highlights. We flew to Seattle last autumn.

Sometimes you do what you have to do and pray for God's help along the way.

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