Two weeks ago Tiger girl and I went on our first Mom and Daughter bonding trip. Ever since I read the book We always have Paris I have been wanting to go on a trip with her without the boys.
I was glad that I had the opportunity recently to travel with her to Taipei, Taiwan. We were there for about a week visiting friends and relatives.
Our snack while waiting to depart from Changi Airport
Even though it is not the first time that Tiger girl is travelling on an aeroplane it was a exciting experience for her as she had me to herself for the whole duration of the trip. There was no need to have to jostle with her elder brothers for my attention like our last trip to Hong Kong.
I chose to flight on a full service carrier instead of budget with her. I compared the prices for full service and budget flights to the same location across different airlines and was surprising to note that it was more costly flying budget then full service carriers and there wasn’t any savings at all. In fact there were more inconveniences flying budget due to their weird flight timing and lack of amenities on board.
For those that haven’t traveled solo with your kids here are some tips for you to make your trip enjoyable for both.
1. Plan your trip with your child. Let your child know where you are visiting and what there is in store for them when they get to the venue. For my 4 yr old I told her that we were going to a city and she could try out various activities and visit places of attractions when we get there. She wanted to go shopping and visit various kid friendly places which we added onto our itinerary . We also had a wet day itinerary just in case the weather changed and we couldn’t go along with our original plans.
Tiger girl enjoying her snack and doing some coloring before we boarded the plane
2. Make sure that the child is well fed and rested
I ensured that Tiger girl was not hungry and grouchy before we took off. I checked in early so that I did not have to rush her through the immigration. We even had some time for her to play at the indoor play structure in Terminal One while we waited to board our flight.
3. Travel light and minimise the number of hand carried bags.
I had to handle both Tiger girl and the luggage this time without extra hands and it was important that I was able to manage both the luggage and her weight together if she happens to fall asleep when we arrive at our destination. I had a backpack with me where I packed our important documents, extra set of clothes for her, coloring book, story books and pencil case and jackets for both of us besides the essential toiletries. It freed up my hands so that I could have one hand on her while the other pulled out luggage.
The things that I had in the backpack also came in handy when we were caught up in traffic or had to wait for our lunch when we were on holiday.
4. Fly during the daytime when possible.
It is always easier to put a kid to sleep then to keep her awake while travelling. Tiger girl only fell asleep during our journey to Taiwan and she didn’t even sleep on our return flight back to Singapore. During the flight she busied herself reading her story books, doing coloring and watching the cartoons and movies that were available as part of our in flight entertainment.
5. Dress your child in comfortable attire.
I bet you didn’t noticed from the pictures of Tiger girl shown above that she was wearing her pajamas at the airport. Even though our flight lasted on 4.5 hrs it was essential that she was wearing something that didn’t restrict her movement.
6. Book your seats and check in online if possible.
Nowadays I book all my air tickets online. I find it is great that you can choose your seat and even your meal preference online. This ensures me that we get seats together and she gets a child meal instead of an adult meal.
7. Bring along a favourite/ comfort toy.
Tiger girl was allowed to bring along her favourite Eeyore which she calls “Moo-Moo” in my backpack . It made her more comfortable during the flight and throughout our trip with it’s presence and she got adjusted to her new surroundings rather easily.