This post is going to be a little different than some others I’ve written before so bear with me.
I am going to talk about how to overcome your fears of traveling with your child/children alone. I will be speaking from experience rather than off of research, I can’t say what exactly will work for you, but these tips have worked for me and traveling with my baby starting when she was a wee infant to now.
My daughter and I have been truly blessed! I am not a single parent, wanted to clarify that, however my husband is rarely able to join our travel adventures because he is an active military member and his schedule is very restrictive.
This hasn’t stopped us from traveling though. Her first flight was when she was barely 6 weeks old from Idaho to Tennessee.
Story time: before our first flight together, I was SO nervous! At the time there was a lot of viral videos on social media about women who were nursing in public and being shamed and harassed. At this point in her life she hadn’t been to many places and most of her feeding times were done at the house in the privacy of our own home. I didn’t have much experience nursing in public and I was so worried about traveling because of this.
I was a mess before I boarded the flight, though I was leaving out of a small airport it didn’t make the anxiety any less for me. Though I am a seasoned traveler I still had fear like it was the first time I had even boarded a plane! It sounds silly I know, but these are the fears that can overcome a mother or father when traveling with a child for the first time. In the end the flights were so smooth, she never cried during any of the take offs or landings for all three flights
How did I overcome my fear of getting on that first flight?
- Pep talking: Like out load pep talking myself through every single step. You might look crazy but it helped me so much.
- Taking every step of the journey in stride: Don’t get overwhelmed thinking about the entire trip, one step at a time. Checking in, going through security (this is always a big one for me – even now), finding your gate, boarding the plane – literally taking everything in stride!
- Give yourself grace: traveling with a baby or child of ANY age takes extra levels of grace and patience.
- Pack Snacks: These aren’t just for the baby, these are for you too. When you get stressed and overwhelmed it is easy to forget to eat and you always you’re hungry at the worst time. Pack a favorite snack for you so that way you have something for yourself when you remember you’re hungry.
- Bring Your Tough Face: Remember before you had a baby, sitting on the plane waiting for everyone to take off and you see a family with a baby boarding, everyone thinks “oh please don’t sit near me”. FORGET THEM! Don’t care about what other people think, they don’t matter! You are a strong parent and you are going to do your best for you and your child. Nothing else matters. If people give you rude faces, F*$# THEM! Only you and your child matter.
Traveling with a child isn’t always easy – but I will say in my, now, 3 years of travel with my daughter, it is always worth it!
My daughter and I have now traveled (to date) to 8 countries and 17 states in the U.S. We have made international flights, +12 hour road trips up and down coasts and cross country.
Now let me be FULLY transparent…not every flight and road trip has been awesome. Some of these trips it is a miracle we both came out alive…and sane – mostly sane. I used every trick in my bag and every snack in the car and every bribe I could think of and yet we still barely made it.
How do overcome your fear of traveling alone with your child?
Countless evidence shows that the only way to overcome your fear is to face it. My recommendation is to take it SLOW, do a day trip, weekend road trip, go to visit a family member. Whatever it is, start small and give yourself time and grace throughout the process. You will see that it starts to get easier and then harder then easier again. It is a never ending process but as I said before…it is worth it!
The moments I’ve shared around the globe with my daughter, good and bad, are not ones I’d trade for anything. So how do you do it? How do I do it…alone?
YOU JUST DO IT!
I believe in you! And if you have one person who believes in you – then you can do it!