Whether you are attempting a trip without your partner or you are a single parent, travelling with your children on your own can be a bit of a daunting prospect. Here are some top tips to help you make travelling with children on your own a little less stressful.
Organise that paperwork
Not only will you need the passports of you and your children, you will also need travel permits or visas for all of you plus copies of all paperwork. Keep one set of the copies on you and scatter the others amongst your baggage. You should also prepare a rough itinerary of your trip with all the contact details of the places you intend to stay. Leave this at home with someone you trust.
If your children have a different surname than you, you should get a letter of consent from their other parent which states that they are allowed to travel with you. This is important even if you are still in a relationship with the other parent because any law enforcement officers you encounter will not know that. To avoid any complicated hold-ups, a recently signed and dated letter of consent is all that is necessary.
Sort out as much as you can in advance
Thanks to the internet and booking sites, you can sort out most of what you need on your holiday online and in advance. From finding the perfect hotel to advance booking an attraction you want to visit; it is all there for you to take advantage of.
You can even book valet parking at Heathrow Airport online thanks to sites like heathrowparking.com. All you do is pre-book your parking space, drop your car off, and head into the airport ready for your flight. There is even a service for Meet And Greet at Heathrow Airport, where you drive right up to the terminal and hand over your car to a qualified driver to store in a secure compound. After your trip, the car will be returned to you just as you left it.
Speak to your children about the trip
One of the best ways to ensure that the trip goes smoothly is to speak to your children beforehand so that they fully know what is expected of them on the journey. If they know what to do and how to behave, you will have a much easier time while navigating a smooth trip.
With small children, it is important that they know some of the potential dangers of strange places. Teaching them to hang onto you in busy crowds and to look for a police officer or some other responsible individual if they become separated from you. If you have older children travelling with you, consider giving them a little bit more responsibility. Ask them to keep an eye on the younger children and help you out a little with the trip as a whole.
Most amusement parks have a free map available for visitors. If you visit one of these places, make sure each of your children has one of these maps and agree on a place where you will meet up if you become separated. The same principles could also be applied to if you are visiting a museum.
Split clothes between bags
Everyone likes to take their own suitcase along but, as a parent, you should dictate what goes inside the suitcase. You never know when a bag might become lost. This will result in someone being left without clothes if you aren’t careful and that just isn’t an option.