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“Traveling with my kids is priceless!” attests chef, nurse, and teacher Joan Tigno, a single mother to Anton, 19, Nino, 7 and fraternal twins Annina and Fonzy, 6.
“One thing I’ve realized is material things fade and can be replaced. But the memories of traveling will linger forever,” raves Mommy Joan.
Joan has already taken trips abroad with her eldest, and goes with her brood to the beach yearly (Puerto Galera, Batangas, and Boracay). So if you’re a single mom, don’t let your status stop you from flying with kids. Here are some tips and tricks to ensure a smoother and safer trip with your youngsters.
If a quiet beach is your scene and you’re looking forward to having early nights with your child, do not pick one that has several bars and restaurants close by - there will surely be loud parties at night.
Choose a family- or kid-friendly venue that offers a variety of activities and accommodations for the young and old alike. Research vacation spots and compare.
Travel with a person you like and trust such as a close friend or relative. This will enable you to have some pampering and me-time while at a resort.
Mommy Joan is grateful that her younger kids have a great kuya who watches and plays with them. She is able to visit several restaurants and can squeeze in some work while in Boracay because of him.
Of course, when work is done, they all hit the beach.
Mommy Joan tells traveling families to pack lightly, with only the essentials. You never know when your child will fall asleep in your arms or if you will have to carry him while lugging two suitcases.
Nobody wants to suffer from food poisoning while on vacation. Stick to meals that are familiar and practical.
Be money-wise too. Buy your kids some cereal and crackers to munch on from the local mini mart rather than spending big bucks for merienda at the swanky hotel’s café.
Mommy Joan never travels without a nebulizer because her twins have asthma. “I also have a zip lock bag of emergency medicines in our hand carry,” she shares. Moreover, she teaches her brood to be responsible and orderly with their belongings.
“When I pack my kids’ clothes, I always make sure that they are beside me. Using zip lock bags really helps. I put labels on the bags (their names and the kind of clothing) Example: swimwear, pajamas, undershirts, etc.”
She says it’s always good to have extra clothes, medicines and snacks, in case you get stranded, which happened to their family on a trip to Bohol a couple of years ago due to a typhoon.
Set easy rules for your kids to follow too like staying together no matter what, watching over each other and never roaming on their own.
Image source: Melissa Maker
Airline and hotel personnel are usually accommodating and willing to grant a small request for a solo parent traveling or flying with kids.
In the plane for instance, you can ask a flight attendant or a nearby passenger nicely to keep an eye on your sleeping child while you make a quick trip to the lavatory.
“Every place you go, try to tell your children a brief history or an interesting story,” advises Mommy Joan. Thanks to traveling, she shares that her kids have developed a love for nature and the beach; they know, too, how to take care and nurture God’s beautiful creations.
Take pictures and videos, and bring home a souvenir or two if there’s still room in your bag. Worrying is normal for moms but don’t overdo it. You are on vacation after all, so relish this rare and extraordinary occasion with your child to the max.
Truly, there is something magical and enriching about traveling, especially if you do it with your children. You give them life-long lessons and memories to treasure that are quite hard to quantify and replace.
Where are you flying with kids on your next vacation? Do share.
About the author: Regina Posadas
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Regina wishes for a self-cleaning home. Reading, exercising, and bonding with her teenager make her happy.
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