“Say yes to new adventures.”
Yep. You heard it right. Traveling solo with a baby. I know most mamas cringe at the thought of flying for long hours without any help with a baby.
I was one of those mamas. My anxiety was through the roof and I was honestly just thinking about cancelling the whole trip.
So last September, I went back to the Philippines to attend one of my closest friend’s wedding. At the time, my husband couldn’t come with me since he couldn’t really get out of work. So I traveled for approximately 30 hours with 2 stop overs alone with my baby girl who was 9 months old then.
During the trip, I learned a few tricks to make it easier for mamas traveling alone with their babies. It’s not an easy task and I learned that the hard way. So here’s my take on how to make this new adventure less painful.
1. Direct flights
As much as possible, try to book flights that fly directly to your destination. There might be stop overs along the way but at least you don’t need to pick up any luggages anymore. Just your carry on and your baby with you.
I flew with Singapore Airlines at the time since they are the only one who have direct flights to Davao, Philippines from the US. We stopped by Korea for an hour and Singapore for 5 hours (good for those mamas who love to shop). The trip was probably longer than other flights but it made it easier for me since I had an infant. I just brought my baby bag and a small roller luggage with me.
2. Baby-friendly airlines
Research airlines when looking into direct flights as well. There are actually a lot of airlines that are great when you travel with your children.
Singapore Airlines have really good service for those mamas who have babies. They can actually care for your baby while you eat or go to the toilet. Although it wasn’t too helpful for me since my baby is very clingy and doesn’t want other people to hold her, but it might be great for other mamas. Also, they have a special assistance program for those traveling alone. This is when they’ll assign someone to help you with carrying your things when you board and leave the plane.
Here are some airlines that you can check out: Emirates, Lufthansa, Korea Air, EVA Air, Cathay Pacific.
3. Pack light
I know it’s hard for us ladies to pack lightly especially with all the baby stuff we want to bring. But what I mean is to pack only the essentials. If there are things that you can just buy somewhere else, then just leave it behind. This is in reference to your carry on. Like I said, I kept my baby bag very light since it’s the one I would be using inside the plane. The roller keeps all of the refills (like more diapers and baby food).
For example, I only brought the amount of diapers and baby food I thought Aria would use during the travel. No need to bring the whole pack with you. Remember, you will be the one carrying your things. Some people might offer help but sometimes it’s hard to give your trust to a complete stranger.
Speaking of rollers, make sure you get those very light ones and that the wheels rotate 160 degrees. I swear it makes such a difference. I realized this when I used my rollers at Changi Airport. It was so difficult to roll on a carpeted floor. So you can add this feature to look for when your purchasing luggages.
4. Baby carriers
You need both of your hands free. So a baby carrier is your best friend during trips. This little trick has made it so much easier for me to go to the bathroom at airports. I mean, you wouldn’t leave your child with anyone else right? And you also can’t just put the baby on the floor.
So I just brought my carry on with me inside the bathroom stall and put my baby on my lap with the carrier. It sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Trust me, it made life so much easier.
I think the most tiring times during traveling alone are the moments when your baby is awake during the plane ride. They get bored and irritated so easily. That’s why you don’t forget to bring entertainment for your child.
Lots of airlines also give out free toys or coloring books to children. I’ve learned the hard way to just let my child loose for a bit rather than keeping her strapped in the whole flight. Let them entertain themselves cause after a while they’ll sleep anyway. (My own opinion only though. You can do whatever works best for your baby).
And I don’t mean the baby bag. Let’s face it, it’s a wormhole in there. What I mean is to put all the important things in one place like your boarding passes, passports, and IDs. This tip really helps you being more efficient.
What I did was place everything important in a passport holder (the big ones) so that’s the only thing I needed to take out during check-in and boarding. And it’s one way to make sure you don’t lose your documents.
“Life is an adventure.”
So that’s that! Some tips to help fellow mamas have a better travel experience. But honestly, I don’t think I would fly by myself again. At least not until Aria can sit by herself and listen more. Lol.