If you live on the east coast like me, then your home is currently being covered with snow around you as you read this.
And though I am a winter baby, the snow makes me start thinking of all the warm weather trips I want to plan this year. And for me, solo traveling as a mom is very important to me.
Let’s break this down.
If there are 365 days in a year, as a mom about 350 of them days you probably spend tied to your kiddo.
Now yes, you’re a mom and you signed up for that, but what you didn’t sign up for, was a life with all work and no play. Well, at least I know I didn’t.
Last week the mamas went wild with this post asking for the tips to how I do solo traveling as a mom, so today, I’m giving you the goods.
My Journey to Solo Traveling as a Mom
Before I became a mom I traveled A LOT. I mean there was one point in my life when I was on a plane every 2 weeks routinely.
Of course when you have a kid some things change naturally, so I definitely didn’t expect to be able to withstand that kind of travel once I had a kid, nor did I want to. But I still wanted to feel like I was keeping the travel bug that’s inside of me alive. I mean afterall it is a HUGE part of my life.
“Most people have a kid and it slows them down, but not you”.
Now whether she meant it as a sassy comment or not, it was one I was exceptionally proud of when she said it.
She was right.
I was committed to making sure that my baby didn’t slow me down.
I was committed to still nurturing one of my favorite parts of myself, the adventurer in me.
And above all, I was committed to making sure that even with a baby, even with a new mom bod, and even with less time, I still took care of ME.
And for me at the time, that meant traveling.
And did that mean sometimes he had to come with me on some of my journeys? I mean of course, he was only a few months old and needed me and my boobs quite a bit.
But the older he got and the more separated we were able to be, I made sure we experienced things both together and separate. It was necessary for us both.
Now at this point in the reading I’m sure I’ve lost some mamas.
Some of which are thinking: yea well you must have an amazing nanny or support system.
To which I’ll say you’re right. I have both. Major shouts out to them. Wouldn’t be able to do it without them.
But the same way I need a support system for my work schedule or for health appointments, I had to prioritize it for my travel schedule as well.
I’m not saying this to discredit any mom who finds it difficult to find people to watch her children, but we make time and arrangements for what’s important to us.
So to that mama, I’ll softly in the most gentle and respectful way possible ask you:
How important is your solo traveling as a mom to you?
5 Tips to Solo Traveling as Mom
Now we’re getting to what you are here for.
How did I get to the place where I travel 4-5 (some years more) times a year without my kid?
Alright mama, here’s the 5 best tips I can give you.
- Mindset. Ugh, I know, I’m like Mattie James with the word consistency on this one, but I truly believe that mindset starts off everything in your life. In order to start traveling with my kid I had to get a few mindset changes in place. First, I had to start off with a mindset of self. I had to believe that I was worthy and deserving of taking these trips. Not because I did the laundry this week, not because I was nice and didn’t yell at my kids- none of those things warranted a trip. What did, was that the person I was before I had kids mattered, and she deserved to be nurtured too. Secondly, was the mindset that my son was going to be okay while I was away. Shoot probably better than okay. And I know that’s a mindset we as moms struggle with. Thinking no one can watch our kids better than us, and though that might be true, a well rested and cared for mom watches her kids best. Plus these people raised you, they got this.
- Planning. Oh another favorite saying of mine; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. And truly this is my favorite because it applies to my life a lot more than I’d like to admit. But, it’s not very often that I take spur of the moment trips since becoming a mom. The only time I have that luxury is when his dad’s home from work. Otherwise, it takes a lot of planning on my part. Planning the dates (which is usually a few months out), planning the location, planning my child care, etc. This planning phase is just like I do any other part of motherhood. Planning meals, planning school schedules, extracurricular schedules, there’s not much different besides that I plan this schedule down to a T since I know I won’t be there for most of it. So if Tate’s going to spend 2 days with my parents and then 2 days with his dads, I make sure each party knows where the exchange will take place, the time, etc. That leads me to my next point.
- Flexibility. This is for all parties involved. Sometimes (oftentimes) it takes multiple parties to make my extended vacays happen, especially if they fall during the week. Knowing that means I have to be flexible in what I thought child care would look like, in how available I am for communication, etc. I explain this not only to the adults, but to my child too. Again, onto the next point.
- Communication. Now part of this might only apply to moms of older kiddos, but I’ll still add it here since it’s important to me. I communicate with Tate like he’s about 13 sometimes, and my travel times are no different. I tell him where he’s going to be on what days, where I’m going to be on what days and what he can expect during these next few days. I call him when I’m on vacay so I can remind him again of the schedule and show him exactly where I am, so he sees that I’m where I said I’d be too. Again this might not be important to some moms, but it is to me.
- Getting back. This might also not be important to some moms, but this is one of my most important steps. If you read this whole thing and thought well she must not get mom guilt when she leaves, then the jokes on you. I feel bad and have those same thoughts. “You just took a trip why are you always gone, you already work 3 nights a week, you’re going to miss more bed times?, why does it seem someone else always has your child?”. Yea, the list can go on. In these moments, I refer back to point one AND I always schedule something fun for me and Tate when I get back. Whether that’s a movie night in, a trip to the actual movies, disney on ice, etc. This allows him to know that even though mommy values her time alone, I value my time with him as well. And both these things are just as important.
These 5 tips are my bread and butter when traveling. They all have importance and are part of my process.
Solo traveling as a mom isn’t easy but it’s always worth it. Below are 5 of my favorite mommy travel bloggers and some you can look at for inspiration as well!
I truly hope you do more traveling and as always…
Take care of you too mama,