Flying solo .. with two kids

My husband and I have always travelled together for family visits and vacations around the world. Once we had kids, we continued to fly together (including multiple trips between Australia and the Netherlands). The four of us travelled together as a family unit. Always.

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However, we were then faced with a dilemma which forced me question my ‘we-should-do-everything-together’ kind of attitude. Due to work circumstances, it looks as though my husband will not be able to travel back to Australia this Christmas. I then had to choose; wait another year (making it four years since we’ve been back to Australia), or go alone with our two children.

This also poses the problem that if I go, we will be spending our first ever Christmas apart from each other, which I do not like the sound of. Christmas is about family and being together. So the idea of us being apart for Christmas upsets me. However, at the same time, the idea of being together with my family in Australia for Christmas excites me. What to do?

Typically, I have had the mind set of ‘we all go, or we don’t go’. However, I have recently noticed that quite a few of my international friends here in Holland have made multiple trips home without their husbands, kid(s) in tow. Granted their journey is not quite as long, but I have been surprised to see that flying solo with kids is more common than I had assumed. I am well aware that in order for me to be happy here in the Netherlands, I need to fly back to see my family at least every three years (obviously every two years is preferred, but due to the cost this is challenging). In addition, my family are dying to see the kids.

So I have decided to take the plunge and have booked our tickets! For the first time, I am going to travel 24 hours to the other side of the world, on my own with two kids. Am I crazy? Maybe. But a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do.

This time I will not have that extra pair of hands to help out. So I have taken a few steps in order to make the trip a little more manageable. Firstly, I have reserved our three seats together with a child on either side of me for all four of our long-haul flights (for two reasons really; so that I can assist them both when needed, and to avoid any of the annoying sibling taunting and bickering which seems oh so frequent lately!). I have booked with an airline that I am comfortable with, and our layover in each direction is at an airport that I am familiar with. I have found flights that offer a short (less than two hour) layover in order to minimise our total travel time. Each of our kids will carry their own backpacks, full of activities and snacks to keep them busy. I have accepted the challenge and am confident that I can make this experience a fairly stress-free one. Hopefully.

If you have any other tips that you can give me to make this journey a smooth one for us all, I’d be happy to hear them. To all my family and friends in Victoria, Australia — we very much look forward to seeing you all in December!

Kristen

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5 thoughts on “Flying solo .. with two kids

  1. I can completely relate!! It’s a huge journey…so far I have done it twice with one kid (Melbourne to New York). To be completely honest I’m delaying the next kid until my oldest is a little more independent (and so she can help) on long trips. I tell myself that it’s not conventional but it’s the life I chose. Get as many flights in as you can before they start school I say. 😉

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  2. I wish you all the best! I’m not sure what your kids are like, but my 1st born is all over the place! He’s the type that runs off in the shopping mall and knocks displays over and pulls things off shelves. I had to travel solo with him a couple of times last year (one was an emergency trip was from Adelaide to Malaysia included 2 stopovers each way as it was booked out) and let me tell you, I vowed never to set foot on a plane with him til he was primary school age!

    But I don’t mean to scare you – I’m sure that with ample preparation, you’ll handle fine. Just remember that you don’t have to do it alone – ask the air hostesses for help and some can be very obliging. On my trip back from Malaysia (it was a direct overnight flight this time), I’d finally gotten my toddler to sleep when I realised I was really busting to go to the loo. He had really screamed the plane down earlier and I was just too afraid to set him down somewhere, so I called a flight attendant. This lovely slightly older flight attendant said she would sit down in the seat beside me (lucky it was a relatively empty flight) and she’d carry him for a while so I could run to the loo and back. Successful transfer!

    All the best!

    Like

    1. Hello ‘Mummy of Dragon’ – Love the name! 🙂 When there is a tv in front of my kids, I can’t even distract them away from it until I mention food so I’m sure it will be fine. They will be able to watch non stop tv on the screens in front of them and eat til their bellies are full, so I’m not too worried about the actual flight. It’s getting through security, customs and the two hour stopover in Singapore that I’m nervous about. I even bought ID bracelets for them lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s definitely the airports that worry me. Perhaps a ride-on Trunki for the younger one? I bought a “leash” for my toddler the last time I travelled but it ended up like “walking the cat” i.e. toddler lying on the floor being dragged, so that did not work! Wishing you all the best!

        Liked by 1 person

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