How to travel safely with kids as a single mum
Are you a single mum who wants to see more of the world but doesn't know how to travel with kids? Let me give you some advice on how to travel with your kids and enjoy it.
I know a lot of mums who get nervous just thinking about going on a family holiday as a single mum. What if something happens and I don't know how to fix it? Will my kids be safe travelling with just me? What if one of them has a tantrum and runs off? I've heard these questions and many more - in my own head! Many times! And then I thought of the alternative - sitting at home, doing nothing. And that's when I decided that enough was enough, and I booked a family holiday - just for me and my son.
Travelling safely with kids as a single mum
I've already written a blog post about travelling with kids but as a single mum, there are other things to think about as well. Like the safety of your family. The last thing you want to happen is to be driving to Ayres Rock and have your car break down or get a flat tyre and have no knowledge of how to fix it, or no reception to be able to call for help or to not have enough water available until help arrives. Or to be camping with your kids in whoop whoop (like wolf creek for example) where there's no-one around and have a creepy guy come up and start harassing you.. and i don't even want to think of the rest of that sentence.
When it comes to the safety of your children, they are relying on you to handle whatever situation pops up. So you must be as prepared as possible! Have a first aid kit with you if you're travelling. And have some idea of where you're going and what you need for a safe trip. Tell someone where you're off to and remember to ring them when you arrive, and when you get home.
I have put together some top tips from single parents that travel regularly with their kids, that I want to share with other single parents who want to travel, but think it's too hard for them. I want to show you that you shouldn't be afraid of travelling alone with your kids - just be prepared! Follow these tips and have a fun time connecting with your kids, on a deeper level thank you could sitting at home.
Roadside Assistance is a must!
Renee from Rainbow the Van is a single mum who is renovating a vintage caravan and she recommends being an RACQ member if you're travelling alone with your kids. Also, do heaps of research before you go. Sites like YouCamp or WikiCamps are great resources.
Always look for recommendations or reviews. If you can't find any, then skip that location and find something else. Be part of online communities and ask people questions. Ask for recommendations and opinions from people who have been there before and don't be ashamed to ask for help. It's much better to be safe than sorry.
Always have food available
Lucy from The World of Dancing Daughters is also a single mum who camps with her 3 daughters every school holidays. She recommends always having food available or know where you can get it. Kids don't cope with hunger very well and if you have happy kids, you will be less stressed out, if something happens.
Playgrounds are also really useful for keeping kids happy too. Always trust your gut when travelling. There is safety in numbers, so camp in designated areas where other families are camping as well.
Camping in remote places can be awesome, but when you have kids that you need to look after by yourself, it's always best to stay in campgrounds or caravan parks with other people around. That way, if something happens, you can always shout for help from a friendly stranger, rather than trying to deal with a situation by yourself.
Pack a first aid kit
Lee from Be Free With Lee suggests packing a first aid kit for your travels. Some of the general ones that you can buy off the shelf aren't very good and don't include everything that you might need, so she suggests packing a special one for your trip.
As Lee camps a lot, she also suggests finding safe campsites for your family holiday. Campermate is a great app that she recommends to find suitable campsites that are family friendly.
Be sun safe
Anna from Girl and the Deep Blue Sea says to always check the U.V. levels at your destination. In Australia you can use the SunSmart App, and most of the other countries have U.V information online. Try to keep your kids out of the sun during peak times (level 3 or higher) and if you are outdoors, remember a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and clothing that covers up that young skin.
Also, if you are using a hire car at your destination, Anna recommends taking your own car seat instead of booking one. Check your airline's luggage policy, as most airlines will allow you to carry a car seat free of charge. Not only will this save you money, most importantly, you will have peace of mind that your car seat is safe for your kids.
Autumn Williams from Single Mum Travels recommends preparing for your trip ahead of time. She always googles budget friendly activities wherever she goes. She suggests mapping out all the expenses and paying ahead of time. This eliminates any surprise expenses along the way. This happened to them when visiting Hawaii. Unfortunately she didn't do her research and found out that Hawaii was very expensive and they couldn't do a lot of the activities because they didn't have the money in their budget.
She also suggests arriving at the airport early to avoid any delays. Things like toilet breaks and hungry kids can delay you and cause you to possibly miss a flight.
Stay near other people
Whether you're at a campsite or at the beach with your kids, don't go off with people that you don't know. It sounds like common sense, but if someone asks you for help, don't play good samaritan and try to help them, especially if they ask you to go with them somewhere. The last thing you want to do is be distracted by someone, while someone else approaches your kids. Tell them you're sorry, but they will have to ask someone else.
If something does go wrong, just remember to stay calm. If you're running around worrying and stressing, you're not going to be able to think properly to be able to fix the situation. Don't be afraid to ring someone to ask for help or advice. Two heads are always better than one.
I hope that this blog post has helped you to become more confident when travelling with your kids. It really is such a great experience begin out and about and travelling the country with someone you love. Kids learn so much from travelling and being outside in nature as well.
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If you do decide to travel with your kids, please look me up on Instagram or Facebook and connect with me. I'd love to meet you as you're travelling past Brisbane, or #abackpackandaboy and I may feature one of your images. Let me know the best places you've visited and what you recommend doing, so maybe I can travel there with my son too. Happy travels! :-)