I need to give B more credit. He is easy going and pretty fabulous; it is me on the other hand that stresses about the small things. How many bags do I need? Where should I pack the snacks? How will I keep my climbing manic still in his seat for two hours?
Let me start off by saying, less is definitely more when traveling by yourself with toddler. I had way too many carry on bags which made life a little more difficult than it had to be. I had my purse, which I am not really even sure why because it is pretty much a diaper bag these days, the actual diaper bag, and Brody's backpack which he is far too little to wear so it was attached to my purse. Unnecessary. I have food in every bag, you know in case one was put in the overhead on accident and also books in every bag. Again, less is more; I learned to consolidate on the way home.
But anyway. We both survived and honestly, it was far less overwhelming than I made it out to be in my head. Will you be traveling alone soon? Here are some tips:
1. Of course like I said above; less is more. Pack what you need and leave the rest. Unless you are looking for an additional workout in which you can pack some sandbags and lug those too.
2. Don't assume people will help you. As I walked forward wheeling a toddler in a car seat and my 45lb. luggage behind me four people zoomed past. Not one person offered to help. I probably would have declined because I'm like that, but not one person and their small personal item offered to help as I parked in lot 1, one mile from the airport. Oh, and those same four people who zoomed by me as I was wheeling my kiddo didn't offer to help me load my 45lb luggage onto the bus or my 27 pound toddler who was harnessed in to his 25 pound car seat. Thank you Tony Horton and Shaun T for giving me the strength to lift both these items up 5 steps onto a bus while people watched.
No joke hauling this on and off the shuttle bus. Luckily the roller makes the transport in the airport a piece of cake.
3. Buy a seat for your kid. I didn't and when I was offered the opportunity to have a seat for him he was so much more content. Oh, and of course safe as well. On the way down I gate checked the seat and he sat on my lap. He was good and really happy with books and stickers, (thank goodness for the amazing man next to me who played stickers with B) but did spill my water all over me and said nice man. One the way back as I was getting the valet tag the gate attendant asked if I wanted a seat for B. I of course said sure and she had a whole row she gave us. They were the only three seats left on the plane and she gifted them to me. Brody was safely harnessed and I could even get a little shut eye on our evening flight.
These place mats and stickers were perfect for keeping him entertained in flight
4. Put your jackets in your luggage before you check your bags. On the way down I was so hot lugging B and wearing my jacket. I am still sweating thinking about it.
5. Just go with it. Assume the worse and be prepared, but just pack what you need. I need to relax sometimes and I think after this trip I have so much more confidence to do it again. Maybe not soon, but in time I will be confident to travel alone again.