This week I’m going to fly alone with my almost three-year-old toddler. My husband is already abroad for his work, and my girl and I fly to him to celebrate a week together.
The flight only takes two hours, but I’m quite busy with it. The final destination is fortunately a well-known site, I have flown to 13 times earlier in the last few years.
Why then that tension? I wonder mainly how to handle everything, and how to handle luggage control with as little fuss and sweat on my forehead.
Two years ago I also flew with my girlfriend. The flight went really well, and I have not really been busy in advance. Then my girl was only 13 months old and she was not walking yet. I only had one backpack as a hand luggage with me.
Now my little girl is very active, and that’s really different. In addition, this time I see a big suitcase, buggy, carrying bag and two pieces of hand luggage.
Do you wonder how I have prepared for the trip? Then continue reading this article for my tips.
If you are in a hurry, here is a quick check list
Before the Trip
- Sense check the flight schedule.
- Print your boarding passes at home, if you can.
- Ensure that you have a consent form for travelling alone with your child.
- Know what you can carry
At the Airport, Packing & Security
- Have a bag full of tricks (toys, games)
- Board Early.
- Check baggage guidelines.
- Don’t wear big coats.
- Allow a pie stop before luggage check in (as required)
- Be ready when you get to security
- Baby milk, formula, food, and teethers are exceptions, but there are others.
Passport and consent form
My toddler does not have the same surname as me. Because I’m going to fly without her daddy, that could cause problems with customs.
I printed and filled out the “Recommended consent letter for children travelling abroad”
The signatures are on it, and I have a copy of dad’s passport and the birth certificate with me. I checked our passports last week, and they are still valid.
I fly this time from Calgary International Airport, just like three years ago. Then I had a cheaper parking space in advance at one of the offices in the area. That was a lot cheaper and the parking lot was near the departure hall, but there were no luggage.
And I need this time to take all of my luggage. So I opted this time for the airport’s long term parking lot. I can get a luggage cart first, and get the suitcases and buggy out of the car.
The distance to the departure hall is equally great and, to my surprise, this time is even $2.50 cheaper than parking at the so-called low-budget parking spaces in the area. The reservation confirmation of the parking lot has already been printed in my hand luggage.
When I was flying with my toddler last year, I found the hand luggage control to be quite stressful. I had to take off my belt and pull out my shoes.
I had to pour the strawberry cup, which went through a special scanner. Meanwhile, I took the tablet out of my backpack and the bag of liquids out.
At the same time I had to fold the stroller and pull my daughter out of the carrying bag on my back, where which was all sweaty.
This time I made sure to visit the toilets for a pie break before the luggage control!
An easy pant without belt, no money, keys and phone in my pocket and no jewelry rings.
I put the tablet in the hand luggage, along with the bag of liquids.
No buggy but carrying bag and Trunki
I rarely use the buggy, only for a day trip to the zoo and amusement park.
At the airport, I checked the stroller at the same time with the big suitcase.
At the airport, my toddler can stay in my new Tula on my back, or ride on her own Trunki briefcase .
On time at the gate
Last year I was pretty late at the gate. From the luggage control we walked to the gate at a great pace, where we went on board as one of the last.
This time I made sure to be well on time, and I put an alarm on my phone a quarter to the gate.
When I’m on time we can have lunch, play and go to the toilet in the departure hall. Then I also pack a plastic bag with stuff for the plane, and I fill a water bottle with strawberry. I have already bought a mini pack Karvan Cevitam, handy!
On the plane
When booking my tickets, I always try to have a nice spot on the window, quite in front of the plane.
My big backpack can be stored immediately in the cabin, I do not have to worry about anything.
In the plastic bag I like everything in hand: the CARES harness , the tablet, nasal spray, handkerchiefs, earbuds, sleep nipples, toys, the Non Going Fly reading book, drinks and raisins. And then hope my girl is going to sleep on board!
consent letter for children travelling abroad, https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/children/consent-letter