Back in November 2016 when my son was 9 months old I travelled to Budapest with him, alone… I know, crazy, right?
To make it easier I arranged for my husband to drive us to the airport, saving the hassle of taxis or trains. I also made sure that he parked up and took us all the way to check in also that he could help us with the bags. We had one suitcase between us, a rucksack, changing bag, car seat, buggy and baby carrier. In hindsight I would’ve ditched the changing bag and just fitted everything in one rucksack because I ended up feeling a bit like an overloaded donkey.
Having said goodbye to Daddy we checked the suitcase and car seat in (you’re allowed to take both a car seat and buggy on a flight when travelling with an infant), and made our way to security. I won’t lie, I was bricking it by this point, but I needn’t have worried as there is a dedicated security area for families so you don’t have to worry about holding up other passengers, or being super quick and getting everything on the tray. I put Spencer in the baby carrier before I went through security, which in London was great because they didn’t make me take him out of it. However, coming home from Budapest they did, and they also made me collapse the buggy, which was a massive faff and pretty stressful. So if you can, check in the buggy and just stick with the carrier. Once we were through security there really wasn’t much time. I just about managed to try and give Spencer a bottle, which he wasn’t interested in, before we made our way to the gate. Once at the gate make sure you listen out for the call with families and children so you can get on the flight first, especially if your seats aren’t allocated. If you still have the buggy with you they will take it from you once you get to the plane door.
When you get on the plane try and get an aisle seat if you can; this means that you can easily get in and out if you need to, without worrying about disturbing any of the other passengers. Once you are in your seat just make sure you have a few essentials to hand and put everything else in the overhead locker, there is nothing harder than fishing around in a bag at your feet in a confined space with a baby on your lap, especially if they’re asleep. Then relax and just hope that baby falls asleep just before the drinks trolley arrives!
Once you arrive at your destination everything is pretty simple if you have a baby carrier. Make sure that you have your passports to hand and haven’t forgotten anything. When you get to the baggage reclaim it is usually easier if you get a trolley, so make sure you have the correct change (in the correct currency) because some of them you need a coin for.
If I was going to travel alone with my baby again I would make sure I check my buggy in and just take one good rucksack; mine was a fancy, fashionable one but it was so uncomfortable and really weighed me down. But on the whole it is definitely doable to travel alone with baby.
I am going to Menorca on a family holiday with my 2 year old soon- I’ll update you on how it went when I get back!
Charlotte is a Mum of one and is expecting another baby in January 2019.
She currently teaches pregnancy Yoga and antenatal education in Worthing and will be completing her Postnatal yoga teacher training in Autumn this year.