If you’ve ever traveled without your kids, you know that it can feel totally wrong. And while there are plenty of people who say they’ve traveled solo without their children, for most parents, traveling without their kids is an unthinkable idea, especially for women.
But if you find yourself in that predicament and need to travel for a business or just want to go exploring for a few days or even weeks at a time, then here are some of the most important things to do before traveling and leaving your kids behind at home.
1. Make sure that they have a guardian
Make sure that they have a guardian or at least a responsible adult to take care of them. Ask if your partner or other family members are willing to take care of them for you. If they are not, find someone who can. You can start by asking your friends or family or you can even hire a babysitter.
Let your child pick the guardian. Of course, you might not like the idea of letting your child pick his or her guardian but if you do, you might just find yourself relieved because they will be more comfortable around that person. You can also ask them to pick activities that they would like to do with their guardian before leaving your kids behind at home.
2. Talk with your kids about your trip
Talk to your kids about their feelings about being left behind, especially if it is for the first time. Explain that you’re just going away for a little while and that you’ll be back soon. Again, try not to think too far into the future, but make sure to talk with them about your trip and how important it is that you make that trip.
Have your children help you prepare for the trip. Do not just wait until the day before to pack. Have them pack some clothing and entertainment too. For example, let them pack their own toys or clothes if possible, so they feel like they are joining in on the fun. Tell them that they need to pack everything they will need while you are away so that way, it feels like this trip is actually their idea.
3. Set some ground rules
Explain to your kids what they are allowed to do while you are away. Ask them what the rules are for the person watching over them while you are away. You can also ask your children to make a list of things they won’t allow anyone else to do with them while you’re gone if any. These lists can help you come up with some ground rules for the babysitter or guardian before leaving your kids behind at home.
4. Make sure to set up all they need for school
Make sure that you set up their school homework and that you set up food for them if necessary or that someone has agreed to give them their meal. This person could be a friendly neighbor or even a relative. Bring a list of all the things they need if you are not sure which person will give them their lunch or dinner.
If you are traveling either over the weekend or over the holidays, make sure that you arrange to keep in touch with your children. Some parents even leave specific phone numbers out in case there is an emergency and for any kinds of special needs like sick kids or appointments.
5. Install a spy app on their phone
Install a spy app on their phone to keep track of their location and activity. You can also put some restrictions so that they don’t use it too much. It’s up to you as a parent as to how strict you want them to be. IOS and Andriod spy apps can be very useful for when you get worried and want to know where any of your kids are.
6. Make sure that they have enough food in the house
Get enough supplies before you leave for your trip. Make sure that your kids have enough food in the house. If they are young, then make sure that they can handle themselves for a few days by themselves. Now you could also check with the person who will be taking care of them to see if they are bringing any food along.
7. Make sure that they have enough money
Make sure that they have enough money for school supplies, books or anything that they may need while you are away from home. Depending on their age, you may even want to set aside a certain amount of money for them in a safe place before you leave.
8. Come up with an emergency plan
Come up with an emergency plan and make sure they know what to do if they get sick or need to be picked up. If you think your kids will be fine alone, then maybe only make sure that they can call 911. Also, make sure they know how to contact the person who will be watching them as well as the person who is going to pick them up.
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9. Always stay in contact
Always stay in contact when you are on the road. I would even go as far as to say that you should try to call or text them every day while you are away from home. Make sure they know that you love them and care about them. You can even try to make it fun by sending pictures of your trip or of the places you visit. Just make sure it’s not too much of a big deal for them!
Traveling and leaving your kids behind can be a difficult situation, but there are ways to make it a little less stressful. It is always best to call ahead and make sure that they can be cared for properly when you are away.
Some parents even opt to not leave their kids back home at all. Some just take the kids with them on trips depending on the circumstances. Parents also choose to leave their children with a sitter or a professional however they may want to call that person themselves if they have specific needs.
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