Tips For Traveling With Children Alone

It’s been a while since we took a big trip with our family.  So, I’m excited that we have officially decided to leave this PNG paradise for a family vacation in June.  We love this place, but it’ll be nice to get away for a short holiday.  

The exciting part?  We will be taking a vacation to Sydney, Australia and the surrounding area.  We’ve been to Australia a number of times, but we have yet to explore Sydney.  Apparently, we’ll be taking our tropical children there in the winter.  Hopefully they’ll survive.  They are excited about getting to wear long pants, long sleeved shirts, and something other than flip-flops on their feet.

The scary part?  I will be traveling with my 3 small children – alone.  Craig will be flying back from North America and will meet us in Sydney.  I traveled alone when I only had one child.  But, 3??  This will be a first for me.

I will be traveling with a very responsible 4 1/2 year old, a talkative 2 1/2 year old, and a crawling 11 month old from Alotau, PNG to Port Moresby, PNG; Port Moresby to Brisbane, Australia; Brisbane to Sydney.  I’m guessing I’ll be playing lots of games on the airplane and doing everything I can to survive the flights

I am already dreading visits to the restroom.  Aaaaaaaaugh!  Or trying to help the kids with their complimentary drinks and snack on the plane – while I hold my lap baby.  Anyone have an extra pair of hands I can borrow for this challenge?

During this planning process, I’ve really had to consider carefully what to do since I know I’ll be alone. 

Considerations for Traveling with Children Alone

Accommodations and Flights: I was trying to decide if I ought to stay the night in Brisbane and then catch a flight out to Sydney the following day. 

I realized that would mean getting all 3 children plus our luggage out of the airport, into transport of some kind, to the hotel, into the hotel room, try to get some sleep, then wake up and do it all in reverse.  Yikes!  I’ve decided that it would be easier instead to just take a flight out of Brisbane on the same day – even if that means entertaining my children in the airport terminal for a few hours.

Transport: We’re trying to decide whether to take public transport or rent our own vehicle.  Car seats will definitely be a concern, considering the age of our kiddos.  Renting 3 car seats for 10 days will get expensive.  Hauling 3 car seats in and out of airports by myself doesn’t sound too appealing, either!  Hmmmmm….

Luggage: I’m hoping to take a minimal amount of luggage.  Hopefully we can make it with one big suitcase and a small carryon or two.  It doesn’t take much to entertain kids on an airplane, so I don’t want to take too much in our carryon.  Car seats are definitely an issue. 

Strollers: My two oldest can walk a fair distance.  I think I’ll take my Baby Bjorn for the littlest one.  Then I’ll have my hands free to handle luggage and the other kids.  I’m considering checking an umbrella stroller for use in Sydney after we arrive, but I don’t intend to push it around the airports.  I can hear myself already, “C’mon.  You can do it.  Just a few more steps…”

That’s where we are with our planning.  Stay tuned for more posts on our travel to Sydney.  Hopefully I’ll learn some lessons along the way to share with you.  I’m sure I’ll have a few stories to tell after we complete our travel!

Any tips for someone planning to travel alone with young children?

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