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The Top 5 Tips for Traveling With Kids As a Single Mom

By Candice Shaffer of  The Lindley, 555TEN, 21 East 12, The Kent, 70 Charlton

Ask anyone who’s ever traveled with children and they’ll readily inform you that it’s no easy feat. However, as difficult as it is for two parents to wrangle little ones as they’re trying to get through security checks or comforting a crying baby on an hours-long train ride, doing the same as a single parent is exponentially more difficult. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that can make traveling with your children, even if you’re the sole adult on hand, a breeze:

5 tips for traveling as a single mom- Making traveling a joy as a parent

Bring Snacks

A hungry child is an unhappy child, so it’s essential to keep snacks on hand if you’re traveling with your little ones, especially as a single parent. Fortunately, you can generally bring packaged snacks through airport security without a problem.

Just make sure that you pack things that won’t crumble in your bag, like cookies or veggie straws, and opt for ones that won’t make a mess on the plane, like cherries or other messy fruits. Instead, choose things like squeeze packs full of yogurt or applesauce, clementines, sandwiches, and trail mix, all of which are easy to carry and low-mess.

Ditch your traditional screen time rules:

While you may have strict rules about screen time at home, when you’re traveling, you’d be wise to forget them—at least temporarily. Long trips are hard on little kids, but letting them do something they normally can’t at home, like watch three movies in a row, can make the travel experience feel like a treat. Just make sure to bring your kids’ own headphones: the ones on planes are often ill-fitting for smaller heads.

Wear your kids whenever possible:


 If your child is young enough to be worn in a carrier, do so whenever possible while you’re traveling. Having your kid in a carrier means that you can enjoy the use of both hands, something that will undeniably come in handy when you’re handing over boarding passes, pulling a suitcase, or just grabbing a bottle of water at the airport.

Bring water painting kits:

While no parent wants to deal with the inevitable mess (and apologetic clean-up) that might stem from a child being given crayons or markers on a plane, train, or in the back seat of a car, there’s a way to keep your kids distracted for hours without the mess: water painting.

These simple kits use pre-colored pages that your kids simply fill in with a paint brush or water-filled marker. They’re easily portable, no chance of a paint-covered seat or airplane window, and no clean-up when you’re done.

Ask for help:

Though it’s nice to imagine that you can do everything alone as a single parent, that won’t always be the case. When you’re trying to travel with your kids, it’s important to be willing to ask for help. Let baggage handlers gate-check things for you, agree to pay a few extra bucks for a luggage cart, or accept a hand when you’re trying to get your luggage into an overhead bin while managing your kids at the same time. These little assistances can make all the difference when it comes to how much you and your children enjoy the trip.

The Top 5 Tips for Traveling With Kids As a Single Mom


While being a single parent is never easy, that doesn’t mean things like travel have to be off-limits just because you’ve got little ones in tow. With a few changes to your usual travel routine, you’ll be breezing through airports, train stations, and generally enjoying the relaxing vacation you all deserve.

Candice Schaffer works at Knightsbridge Park, a leading digital marketing firm for luxury real estate brands such as 277 Fifth Avenue and One Manhattan Square.

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