1 parent against 3 kids: traveling to Bali with my 3 “angels”…..

Before I share about the beauty of Bali, I need to dedicate a very honest post to the “joys of actually traveling” to the place alone with 3 kids!

My husband left for Bali a week before us for a workshop. At the time when we were booking our trip, I thought “what is the big deal, I can totally do it”! That would mean: meet up with him 10 days later, drive to LA alone, take a 13 hour flight and a 5 hour flight. Last but not least, hang out for 3 days in a new place, in a new country alone with my 8, 7 and 15 months. A piece of cake! Maybe not completely…….

kids in car

Luckily this is one in a lifetime occasion that we are traveling without daddy at such a distance, next year our trip around the world is going to be as a family of 5! Now I can say I have also this experience under my belt!

First of all I must say, that as a mother when you find yourself in the situation of covering, luckily just for a short period of time, 2 roles in the family, a new type of strength possesses you. It feels like being a mama bear that will do anything to protect her cubs. In the past days, I have been surrounded by kindness. I have been very grateful for this. Unfortunately I have encountered also some rudeness. In those moments, I respected myself and my kids by responding or simply simply walking away.

Our trip

In order to get our plane to Bali, we had to drive to Los Angeles. The option of flying from Phoenix meant paying $300 extra for each ticket plus a 12 hour layover in the Los Angeles airport. Who wants to be stuck in an airport with 3 kids asking you “is it time to board yet?”, not me!

Once we got to the airport, which was way past their bedtime, it was like walking around with 3 zombies. We checked in and luckily the people felt bad for me and made me skip the line and go first.

At the check in counter, they guy tried telling me that my carry on was way over weight. But with a very sweet and angelic expression, I told him that I had to bring all the stuff for the baby……my bag got the passing tag! Luckily security was as good because with 3 kids, specially with one being a grumpy baby, no one wants to keep you in a line to long!

Luca asleep on the plane
This blissful moment lasted barely an hour…..

While we were waiting to board, I took them to the play area, so they would get super tired. Hopefully this would help them sleep for most of the 13 and half hour flight. Giving me a chance to sleep too, after a long day of closing the house and driving.

Unfortunately that didn’t exactly work out! The Cosimo and Emma slept for 6 hours. Luca fell asleep as we were waiting to board, slept through us getting on the plane, take off, having dinner and then WOKE UP!

This video shows you how active he was!
He was wide awake and ready to roll! Oh my gosh, those hours with him wondering around our seats and the bathroom corridor have been the longest! Plus I changed his diaper at least 5 times!

Luca playing in the plane
Everyone is too busy to sleep!

When he finally fell asleep, the hostess told me they were going to move the person sitting next to me. This would give me the chance to put the baby down. My gut told me to just keep him in my arms, but I did eventually lay him down. Shortly after, the person that had been moved came back because the TV didn’t work…….yes Luca woke up and NEVER fell asleep again!

Our second flight one the other hand was little better. Luca did sleep through half of it, but woke up exactly at dinner time…… did you ever try eating with a baby on your lap, who wants to put his hands in everything? Needless to say a lot of the food went rolling on the ground!

Luca watching a movie
So much leg room….NOT!

As soon as we got to Bali, got in the car, everyone, including me was passed out on the backseat!

Lessons learned from this trip

Now lets get down to business things I have learned from this actual trip over to Bali:

  1.  When you know that you must leave by a specific time, otherwise you might miss your flight, make sure you plan on leaving 3 hours before. Just in case! I wanted to leave the house by 8am. However being alone, meant I had to do everything. I got out of the house at 11 am, drove for 20 minutes and realized I had left all my documents at home, so I had to go back. I ended up leaving Phoenix at 12 pm, luckily my flight was at 12.30 am!
  2. When you have to face a long drive plan on stopping somewhere. We stopped in Palm Springs and had an early pizza at our friend’s restaurant the Spaghetteria.  The kids had a chance to move around, eat good pizza and chat for a while. Best of all, mommy got a little break.

    the kids ordering pizza
    Ordering pizza
  3. Always look for the play area! Lots of airports have them now. It is a great distraction for the kids so they don’t need to ask you every 5 seconds “is it time to board yet?”…….mommy’s brain gets a rest. Plus it gets them tired, specially if they have been sitting in a car or another plane for hours.
    Play area in LA
    Play area in LA

    Play area in Taipei
    Play area in Taipei
  4. If you are traveling with a young children, most of the time they let you go by first at security or boarding. Defiantly take advantage of that!
  5. It is hard when people give you the nasty looks on the plane, because your baby is crying and they want to sleep. However don’t let it get to you. One day they might be in your same shoes! There are also a lot of kind people, that give you understanding looks and words of encouragement. Always focus on the good not that bad!
  6. Be flexible. You might not get the best seat on the plane, or an actual seat. I sat on the floor while my kids were sleeping, so I could have dinner and try to watch a movie. It didn’t last long!
    kids sleeping
    We bought 3 seats and we were 4……

    Me sitting on the ground
    I got the best seat….NOT!
  7. Always trust your gut. Specially with your kids, “mama knows best”! You  are the one that will have to deal with the consequences, if things don’t go the right way. Luca and I were sleeping. I should have kept on holding him. Instead I ended up having to entertain him after he woke up again!

    Luca asleep
    He was sleeping like an angel……
  8. If you have older kids, make sure they help out. Mine were a little lazy in the beginning, but I did remind them that I had not slept the whole night, so I could become “mean mommy” if they didn’t help, it worked! I did have to keep an eye on them anyway, because sometimes they would turn away from Luca, but my voice directed them right back to him!
    Kids on comfy chairs
    Relaxing before I became “mean mommy”…..

    kids sitting on steps
    3 little angels sitting on a step….
  9. Once you arrive at destination, forget about the struggles during the trip. Daddy gets to stay up too on the way back! Just kidding, be proud of yourself for accepting the challenge and enjoy every moment of your trip together, the good and the bad make it an amazing experience!
    kids sleeping on bed
    They never woke up, until 3 am!

    our pool in Bali
    Finally free to swim and play!

Click here to see more of our posts from Bali!!!

Check out the lovely hotel we stayed at Hakuna Matata Villas!!

 

14 thoughts on “1 parent against 3 kids: traveling to Bali with my 3 “angels”…..”

  1. Brava Sarah: solo una mamma coraggiosa, e anche un po’ folle, come te sarebbe potuta riuscire nell’impresa di volare con tre bambini… e io che non li porto neanche a fare la spesa tutti insieme !!!!

    1. ahahhaha, forse sono un po’ incosciente :-), il ritorno e’ stato 100mila volte meglio perché’ c’era Massy 🙂

  2. You are a trooper! I don’t have kids, but I want them and it’s always in my mind how to travel with kids or should I. Your kids don’t even seem that bad to travel with! I’ve definitely heard and seen WAY worse than a busy baby. You did great!

  3. Wow! Our families are similar because I have two 8-year olds and one 16-month old. I love to travel as a family but I don’t love the airport with children. And a busy toddler on a plane with no other adult help is so tiresome!! All of that being said, I absolutely love taking trips with the whole family and making those memories. It’s definitely worth all of the hassle! Looking forward to more about Bali. I have always wanted to go to this beautiful place!

  4. love that others do this too! I travel solo with my 4 kids and have learned to ignore the looks and appreciate all the helpers! But this is much further than I have ever traveled alone! You are a brave mamma!

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