And why I can’t wait to do it again!
After many years of becoming a travelling pack horse, I am delighted to finally have the opportunity to travel as a free agent.
I am off to the BritMums Live bloggers conference this weekend in London which means I am leaving the Globetrotters in daddy’s capable hands in Abu Dhabi and cashing in some well earned frequent flyer miles for 5 days of me time, and learning more to expand the Our Globetrotters website (see really – I’m doing it all for you).
So as a travelling mum, how did I survive a seven-hour flight without my brood of three (and Mr Globetrotter) in tow?
1. I have to remember everything! Yep passports, cash, credit cards, tickets, phone chargers, all on my own!! (These are all in Mr Globetrotters packing realm; Hell hath no fury I won’t forget a single fluffy toy or fully charged iPad but I nearly left without packing my passport or any shoes).
2. I made it from my bed to breakfast in the airport lounge in under an hour. (I normally allow this long just for check-in)
3. In full practice for walking around London I’m walking at marathon pace through the airport (why do so many people dawdle in airports, have they not got somewhere to go?)
4. I take the travellator and escalator, not because I need to, just ‘coz I can. (Also a benefit of taking kids in a sling but when you have multiple children it’s hard to avoid the need for a stroller, which means the perennial search for lifts.)
5. There are a vast array of seating options in the lounge. I only need one seat, one! (those sets of 4 chairs in the lounge people aren’t for you to put your shit on one side and lie down on the other – they are for families & groups)
6. How have I managed to fit my worldly possessions until I’m reunited with my vastly over-sized and mostly empty suitcase into this tiny little bag? (Oh yeah, no nappies, vomit clothes, change of clothes, wet wipes, toys)
7. A chillaxed walk to my boarding gate, browse through a few shops, look at tacky overpriced souvenirs, oh look, those things are called books, do I? (Oh look! breakable things, candy bars, I don’t know anything I can touch…)
8. Walking to the upper deck on the A380. This is even more exciting than being asked to turn left! (Let me assure you, you simply don’t get upgraded with 3 kids in tow, no matter how high your airline status is).
9. Storage space, hmm. Well my handbag fits into a handy little side compartment. My entire overhead locker is empty. Seriously I have forgotten something, haven’t I? I’m starting to get this carry-on only thing.
10. I get to sit in the window seat, wow how cool is that view, even when it was just me and Mr Globetrotter I had to take the aisle! (frequent pee syndrome).
11. A drink before take off? Go on then. (What, liquids? in a glass? open top? Alcohol? Insane)
12. I have read the paper. A magazine. The inflight magazine, even the duty-free. Time for a movie? We haven’t even left the tarmac (parenthood develops the fine art of speed reading).
13. When would I like my meal? Really, you’re not just going to dump it down on me when you damn well feel like it? And what’s that, a table cloth, for real? You’re going to clear my tray as soon as I’m finished?
14. Bathroom trips on my own, with the door shut. Mum’s you don’t need to be at 30,000 feet to appreciate this one. There’s just one of me, look how much space I have, no queue, even smells pretty good (for the record, three people is the maximum capacity in an economy toilet. This is no kinky ménage a trios advice, I’m talking little people and a changing table – which by the way if your child is over about 80cm is like playing Tetris)
14. Straight from plane to baggage claim; oh there’s passport control sure – but no queue! Just swipe your e-passport and off you go (but not available to people under 18, no, families you can go line up with everyone else).
15. Collect your bag and go, Yep just like that. Just the one, no trolley, no waiting for oversized baggage, no multiple visits to the toilet. It’s surreal, I’ve definitely forgotten something?
I’ll admit being in business class did make this trip exceedingly more enjoyable than your average flight, but this is also a tactical mummy traveller play.
As expats we get an annual fly home allowance for all family members, but do you think I’m going to ‘waste’ that on flying my kids business class?! I very doubt they would appreciate the vast amount of what I’ve listed here so I will sacrifice a little when travelling as a family to enjoy a little luxury on my own later.
FURTHER READING: How to Fly Business Class with Kids
Did I miss my kids? Yeah, of course. I see another family boarding with the staff going dotty over their baby boy, a splitting image of Baby J and I miss him. I also have about another 70 hours of air time with him sitting on my lap to go this year. He will be perfectly ok with daddy this weekend, the perfect fathers day gift!!
So own up travel mums, have you ever flown solo post-kids? What was the best part?
© Our Globetrotters