10 Tips for a Mom Traveling Solo

I'm fresh off a highly-coveted girls' weekend in Los Angeles, and I have some tips to help you tackle the rarity of traveling alone, should the stars align and you find yourself in this situation.

As moms, we are generally last on the priority list when packing for travel with our families. We spend days planning and making lists to ensure our kids have everything they'll need to be entertained and happy while away from home.

To that end, you'd think it would be a breeze packing for a solo trip, right? No coloring books, stickers, wipes, or snacks! Freedom!

But all of a sudden, with the focus solely on myself, I realized I had forgotten what I needed, because I was so accustomed to not giving it much thought.

So, here are my tips for solo trip success:

This could be you!
DO wear comfortable, yet cute, shoes for traipsing miles through the airport, as well as sightseeing expeditions once you're where you're going. My favorites are Birkenstocks (I know, I know). But they have really cute ones now, like these and these. Hey, Heidi Klum and Jennifer Garner wear them!

DO pack ear buds in your purse so you can use your phone to listen to music on the plane. Break them out at the first sign of any unpleasant noise, such as other people's crying children, a lady with a hyena laugh, a man with a hacking cough, or a seatmate who appears potentially chatty.

DO NOT forget to bring dollar bills for tipping. I am used to my husband handling this, but I fortunately had a few singles to tide me over until I could get more.

DO treat yourself to your favorite grown-up magazine and beverage of choice. Go ahead and reach for that trashy gossip rag, if that's what floats your boat. I won't tell anyone.

DO NOT forget to put the liquids you usually carry in your purse, like hand sanitizer and lip gloss, in a quart sized baggie to go through security. Since I rarely fly, I totally forgot to do this before leaving home. Luckily, I happened to have a baggie in my purse with a half-eaten kid's snack, so I was able to empty it and use it for my liquids. We moms are nothing if not prepared for anything!

DO bring a sweater, jacket, or blanket because I swear the temp on the airplane once we were in the air was about 55 degrees. You might even consider throwing a pair of socks in your purse if you're wearing sandals because you might notice icicles on your toes.

DO learn how to use Uber, if it's available in the city that you're visiting. Much nicer, and often cheaper, than cabs. Spring for the Black Car service for a night out in style. Your driver might even surprise you with bottled water and mints.

DO all the things you'd never do with kids. Like sleep late, lie by the pool and read a book, see the sights in a leisurely way that would incite whining in kids, and eat at restaurants with non-kid-friendly food, like sushi. Remember, this trip is all about you!

DO carve out a little time before you leave on your trip (impossible, I know!) to research your destination and get a rough idea of what you and your friends would like to do/see while you're there. Much easier to go in with a plan and not have to waste precious vacation time trying to figure out logistics.

DO NOT feel guilty that you have left your family behind for some "me time." You are there for them every day, 24/7, and you deserve a break. I promise that your husband does not feel an ounce of shame when he heads out the door for that concert with friends or a guys' fishing trip.

I hope these tips help you the next time you decide to fly the friendly skies for a fun getaway. We are no good to our families if we don't take the time to recharge our own batteries, and sometimes the only way to do that is to get away from it all.

You officially have my permission to start planning that next girl's trip, so get cracking! And if you have any travel tips to add, I'd love to hear them.

Belly laughs with old friends = batteries recharged


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