Whether you are travelling without your partner or planning a solo trip with you and your little ones, flying as a single parent can be a stressful experience. Here are some top tips to help you get through your flight as a single parent.
Have All the Right Travel Documents
This goes a lot further than just passports and boarding passes, although they are obvious key items. When you are flying with your children, you should take documentation with you to prove that you are their parent. One thing which is very useful to have is a letter of consent from their other parent; especially if you are taking the children out of the country. Such a letter, signed and dated recently, will prove to any overly thorough border agent that you are not fleeing with the children. If you have a different surname than your children, you may also need to travel with their birth certificates. Due to ever-increasing safety checks, it is recommended by the Home Office that you bring parental proof like a birth certificate to help get you through the passport checks.
Enlist an Older Child
If you have a teenager or a pre-teen travelling with you, enlist their help in the airport to look after their younger brothers and sisters. Sit down with them before you travel and talk through the various responsibilities you expect them to have when you are on the move. You could even offer a reward after the fact for a job well-done.
Having one of your other children help you out gives you a little more space to move about with. If you encounter a problem and need to talk to an official about it, you can do so knowing that your helper will be looking after your children even if you do not have eyes on them.
Park at the Airport
Flying from somewhere busy like Birmingham? You can easily book parking at Birmingham airport at the following site: https://www.birminghamparking.com/. There are so many options available to you to make the journey easier, and there are options to suit all kinds of budgets and requirements.
Why drive round and round the airport carpark when you can have a space already waiting for you? Taking a taxi might not be an option if you have car seats or a long way to travel, and public transport might not be useable either if you are flying in the middle of the day or night. Instead, simply pre-book and you know that you will be able to park and head into the terminal in a flash.
Pack Flight Kits
In the weeks running up to the flight, gather together some new colouring books, games, and toys to entertain your children during the flight. Nothing has to be particularly expensive, it all just has to be new. You should also look to getting each child their own piece of child-sized carry-on luggage. Pack it up with the new things, and a few old favourites can make their way in there too!
Now comes the tricky part, don’t let your children see what is inside the bags until they are on the plane. This is a great trick to keep them focused on the coming flight and also gives them a confidence boost and a feeling of independence. If you treat them with respect and give them an incentive to behave well in the airport then you will hopefully be able to minimise meltdowns. Plus, you will be able to grab a few minutes peace on the plane while they explore everything in the bag.
Kids get hungry, and sometimes waiting for the in-flight food just isn’t good enough. To make sure that there are minimal complaints when in the air where there are limitations as to what you can do – be prepared and bring snacks. There are lots of shops at the airport where you can purchase some goodies, but it might be a better option to pack in advance.
That way you know that you have their favourite items – and there is less room for argument. It’s not uncommon for ears to pop during take-off and landing – so you might want to think about something that your child can sook to ease this.
A tip would be to avoid too many sugary snacks if possible, the last thing you want is hyper-active children during a flight. It’s also a good idea to limit their sugar intake prior to the flight too.
If you are a single parent travelling with little ones, do what you can to prepare as much as you possibly can. If they are fed, watered and have things to do – hopefully you will have some happy flyers.