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Traveling Solo with Two Toddlers

You might first be asking me why the heck I was traveling solo with two toddlers and the answer to that question is pretty easy. I had flight vouchers that were going to expire and I couldn’t let them go to waste. My brother lives in Calgary and one of my best friends is in Canmore. She wasn’t able to make it to PEI this summer so I thought Alberta would be a great trip.

My husband doesn’t love to travel so I decided to do this one solo. He suggested I go somewhere by myself for a long weekend but I felt too guilty. There was no way I was going to go visit my brother and bestie and not take the kids, they finally understand what family is. I knew that once I got to Calgary it would all be fine, it was just the actual travel part that I was a bit anxious of.

To give you an idea, my oldest is 3 and 3/4 and my youngest is 1 and 3/4 haha. On the way there, both boys had their own seats. I took our lightest car seat with us (because I had to carry it in between flights) and secured it into the window seat beside me. Here is a list of things I packed in my carry-on to keep the boys busy and entertained.

What to bring in your carry-on

Our first flight was just under 2 hours. The oldest watched Netflix on the ipad because the plane didn’t have TVs and the youngest basically asked me questions for 2 hours. I should add that he can’t talk yet haha so it was a whole lot of “Mommy…bleep blah blue” and I would try to decipher what he was trying to ask me. And then once he got an answer, he would ask me roughly 8 more times per question. BUT he didn’t cry so I was okay with all his gibberish talking.

The layover in Montreal only gave us enough time to find a washroom and change a diaper. Then we were back on the next flight to Calgary.

This flight went fairly smooth as well. They had TVs on the back of the seat so my oldest put on his headphones and enjoyed unlimited screen time. He took a few breaks for snacks and to use his coloring book but for the most part was content with whatever he was watching.

My younger one however, didn’t like the feel of his headphones so he just watched Cocomelon on my phone for a little bit and then we used everything I packed. I literally just switched the activity out once he seemed done with it. I’m not going to say it was super enjoyable by any means, but he wasn’t cranky or crying, just wanted attention from me the entire time.

The super fun part was when I had to change his diaper and use the washroom. All 3 of us were in the insanely small bathroom but again, it all worked out and we fit haha.

Once we arrived at the airport, my brother was there to meet us! I brought the single BOB stroller which acts like a double for us. The youngest sits normally and then moves his feet to the side and the oldest sits where his feet should go. I had rented a car and a second car seat so we just navigated our way to the desk, got the keys, installed the car seats and off we went!!

What to do when you’re there

The boys and I stayed in Calgary for two nights at my brother and sister-in-laws house. We visited Telus Spark and the Calgary Zoo. They were both huge hits with the boys, and me to be honest.

We then ventured to stay with my friend and her family in gorgeous Canmore. We had zero plans for when I was there so we just took it day-by-day. We went to a couple parks, a “hike” which my oldest thought was us climbing one of the mountains, and then drove to Lake Louise. We did the touristy things, walking around downtown Banff and Canmore, exploring the local shops and stopping at a couple cafes.

When we were heading back home, I didn’t have a seat purchased for the youngest so he was on my lap. This decision was a disaster. He was SO tired after waking up at 3:30am to get to the airport, and for almost the entire 3.5 hour flight he flailed, cried, and slapped me. I tried to let him walk the aisle a bit but it was really busy and then the older one thought he needed to be involved. It resulted in them laying on the floor wrestling. So that only happened the once.

On the last flight, luckily, the youngest slept almost the entire time. I was beyond grateful and I’m sure everyone on the flight was as well.

*DISCLAIMER* – I didn’t have any room to bring my camera so all of these photos were taken with my phone.

What didn’t work

What would I do differently next time? Buy my 22 month old his own seat for the way home, as well as the way there. Everything else though went smoothly and yes, I would definitely do it again!!

If you’re interested in more traveling with kids, read Travelling with an Infant Internationally

I hope that this was helpful to you if you are planning a trip! Feel free to reach out with any questions 🙂