Flying alone with a toddler? Follow these tips at the airport till you board the flight

Don't be afraid to take a vacation with your child! Here's how to breeze through the airport check-in.

I am someone who gets anxious easily. The very prospect of doing something for the first time gives me the heebie-jeebies. But this year, I resolved to things that terrified me, to get over my fears. And one thing on the list was to take a trip with my toddler, all by ourselves. So last month, I did it. Booked us a two-day holiday at a nice resort and booked the plane tickets. Now being a working mother, I am used to having a lot of help around to help with my tornado-on-two-legs, and that is why taking a 'solo' trip was important to figure out how well I can manage my daughter with no help. All was good, but I was helluva nervous. My daughter is a not a picky eater (knock on the wood) so I wasn't concerned about that aspect. I am a chilled-out parent, so I wasn't fretting over whether she'll be on her best behaviour; I am someone who you will see running around and chasing my toddler around the airport waiting lounge. My only fear was how will I tackle the airport -- the check in process, handling a toddler who thinks standing in a place for more than 2 seconds is unacceptable and how will I handle the luggage and my own anxiety. Now being anxious also has its own advantages. I went through the entire process in my head over and over and hatched a plan, and thought of escape routes. And I am proud to say that the airport was a breeze, yes, even with the little tornado at my heels. So like the good mother that I am, I will share my experience and the tips that helped me survive the airport. Here goes:

  • Pack light, pack smart: Fancy lugging around hefty bags with a toddler? No! Pack only as many things as you will need. Towels, bathrobes, slippers usually are provided by most hotels, so don't pack that. Don't go overboard with packing toys and books.
  • Use a baby carrier: I swear that a baby carrier cut my stress by 70% Having your baby strapped onto you, where she can't touch, throw, push or break any airport property, plus your hands will be free to show the documents, pull your bags and to hold the cabin luggage.
  • Keep the documents handy: If possible, check in in advance through the e-check in. If you haven't, then keep a small shoulder bag with your tickets and KYC documents ready.
  • Don't get perturbed by the 'glances': You will attract many glances if your toddler is noisy. Don't pay attention to that, if people can't be tolerant, it's their problem.
  • Keep the child busy: Keep cartoons on your phone, have ample snacks handy, have a toy or a book to keep your child busy, on the airport and in the plane. Also, plan activities to keep the child busy on the plane.

Of course, you need to keep some medicines handy too, vomiting and fever ones. But that you know from being a parent, right? Happy travelling.

Image: Shutterstock

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