Motherhood can be a very pleasing experience, but most travel-loving women worry that the
moment they become mothers, they will not be able to travel as much as they used to.
Increasingly, women now have to work, sometimes round the clock to support the family’s
finances, which does not stop them from taking care of homes, shopping and cooking. It is a
whole lot more complex with babies or toddlers involved, with unanticipated circumstances,
leaving the woman mostly worn out at the end of the day. Woe betides her if she doesn’t have a
In addition, lack of adequate finance, time-consuming jobs and anxiety often make the travel
dreams of many modern women a mirage. For example, as a mother, your boss is very unlikely
to give you a vacation break after coming back from months of maternity leave, even though all
your body needs at the time is an “escape”. Even when you get the opportunity, it can be very
discomfiting to have your child cry all through a 4-hour flight or even fall sick abroad during
For many mothers, therefore, traveling at this stage is almost unimaginable.
However, it is not impossible. Extra filial demands are no reason to give up on what you enjoy;
after all, you only live once. In fact, a good number of working mothers have figured out how to
have fulfilling travel experiences in spite of the demands of Motherhood. With adequate
planning, you can make your dream of traveling come true too.
Of course, let’s face it, as far as the kids are concerned, you have only two options: take them
along or leave them at home.
Taking the kids along with you
Holidays with young children can be exhausting at times; it takes a whole lot of stress and
energy, from preparing one week to the trip, to the never-ending packing and organizing. Making
travel and hotel reservation arrangements, and last minutes shopping for the trip can also be take
Here are a few things to do in this situation:
- Plan accordingly and adapt: Think through each step and plan accordingly, particularly
for the to-and-fro part of the trip, from parking to baggage to food. Also, have a good
idea of how you hope your time will go once you get to your destination. Research
beforehand, make some reservations at family-friendly restaurants, and schedule
activities around the expected rhythm of your day, including naps and meals.
- Take Your Time: Travelling, as a mother is hard enough, don’t invite extra stress into
your trip. Ensure you arrive early, go through the bag check and security lines slowly,
and ask for help if you need it. Note that rational quantities of stored breast milk and baby
formula are exceptions to the 3.4 oz. rule that applies to other carry-on liquids. Ensure to
keep it in its own container, separate from your other under-3.4-oz. liquids, so security
agents at the airport can easily spot and examine it.
- Pack Light and Smart: Traveling successfully with a toddler means that you don’t have to
be weighed down by stuffed bags. The key to packing light is packing only the needful
and an extra! It is advisable to bring a few baby outfits or an extra toddler outfit. While
packing toys for travel, ensure you pack extra; be creative and pack only the essentials.
- Educate your children: Before you embark on that trip, educate your children on the
destination and what to expect. Show them movies or read books about the place. This
will help them anticipate the trip and make them feel a personal connection to the place.
- Plan for the worst: kids will always be kids! Bring medicine, comfort items, extra clothes
and extra diapers, if needs be, because you never know what you’re going to need. You
don’t want to be caught unawares by an unforeseen situation.
- Make Technology Work for You: Even parents who are very strict about obeying a no-
mobile device-before-age-two rule often make exemptions during a long trip. Mobile
devices and tablets can come in handy, especially for toddlers who crave engrossing
activities. Toddlers can be so engrossed in educational games on mobile devices, thereby
giving you some time off for yourself.
- Take Advantage of Deals and Offerings: Hotels, cruise lines and tour operators are
starting to offer discounts and packages specifically for parents with kids. More and more
hotels offer babysitting services, which can give mothers some much-needed time off the
parental clock. Call your hotel ahead and tell them you have child/children. Ask for a bed
or special accommodation for them.
Leaving the Kids behind
Just like traveling with children requires planning, leaving the kids at home with your husband or
nanny isn’t much easier. So what should you consider doing?
- Leave the guilt behind. Do your best with this one – it is not easy! You may feel that
taking too much time out is just not possible because your children need you and your
husband needs relief. Remember that only a healthy mother can be there for her family.
Surely, taking time out to relax and enjoy is vital to your overall well-being.
- Don’t let them know too soon that you’re leaving: It’s better to tell them a day or two
before, and let them know how long you’ll be gone and who will be staying with them.
- Stick to routines: The fewer distractions the better. Unless extremely neccessary, don’t
change plans because you are having a second thought. Ensure you make adequate plans
- Have a caregiver that will offer a lot of support: While the mother is gone, the child may
go through different phases of sorrow. She may cry a lot, become clingy and throw
tantrums or she may go through a stage of deep sadness and longing. It is normal for
children to display some form of anxiety in the period that their mother is away or even
when she returns. Babies from around eight months may even get depressed and even
lose interest in their environments, whereas older children may show anxiety, clinginess,
and anger. It is important that the caregiver is prepared to deal with these phases and
behaviors in a way that makes the child feel that her emotions are important.
- Check in occasionally: Make your kids feel at ease by occasional Face time and phone
calls. Also, text messaging older children are good ways to let them know you’re thinking
- Give them some space when you’re away: don’t insist on calling them several times of
the day. It will actually make it easier on all of you.
- A little present goes a long way: A present for your kids as little as a candy bar, lollipop
or even a book about your destination can go a long way to melt the heart of your kids. It
doesn’t even have to be bought on the trip, but when you return, ensure to bring something nice along for then. It’s not a bribe, it’s “making up”.