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: meeting up with him 10 days later, driving to LA alone, taking a 13-hour flight and a 5-hour flight alone with 3 kids!
Last but not least, hanging out for 3 days in a new place, in a new country alone with my 8, 7, and 15 months old. A piece of cake! Maybe not completely…….
Luckily this is 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 few 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 walking away.
Traveling to the airport
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 three 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, the guy tried telling me that my carry-on was way overweight. But with a very sweet and angelic expression, I said to 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, especially with one being a grumpy baby, no one wants to keep you in a line too long!
While 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-a-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!
Cosimo and Emma slept for 6 hours. Luca fell asleep as we were waiting to board, slept through us getting on the plane, taking 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 wandering around our seats and the bathroom corridor were the longest ever! Plus, I changed his diaper at least five times!
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 who had been moved returned because the TV didn’t work…….yes Luca woke up and NEVER fell asleep again!
Our second flight on the other hand, was a little better. Luca did sleep through half of it, but woke up precisely 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!
As soon as we got to Bali, and got in the car, everyone, including me, was passed out in the backseat!
Lessons learned from tarveling alone with the kids
Now let’s get down to business, here are the things I have learned from this trip over to Bali, traveling alone with 3 kids:
- 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 8 a.m. However, being alone meant I had to do everything. I left the house at 11 a.m., 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 p.m., luckilymy flight was at 12.30 am!
- 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 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.
- It is hard when people give you 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 shoes! There are also many kind people who give you understanding looks and words of encouragement. Always focus on the good, not the bad!
- Always look for the play area! Lots of airports have them now. It is an excellent 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, especially if they have been sitting in a car or another plane for hours.
- 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!
- Always trust your gut. Especially with your kids, “Mama knows best”! You are the one who 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!
- If you have older kids, make sure they help out. Mine were a little lazy initially, but I reminded 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!
- Once you arrive at your 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!
Click here to see more of our posts from Bali!!!
Check out the lovely hotel we stayed at, Hakuna Matata Villas!!