Leaving on a Jet Plane...Without Your Child

Leaving on a Jet Plane...Without Your Child

Carrie McBride
Aug 2, 2011

My husband and I are taking our first vacation without our 3-year-old son and I'm trying hard not to let the anxiety of leaving him outweigh the excitement of 5 days to sleep in, stay up late and otherwise do as I please. He'll be in very good hands (my mother's and sister's) but before that there's plenty to do to - like make lots of lists!

I'm a solidly Type B personality with one exception: listmaking. There's nothing as calming (or procrastinating) as making a list to organize your mind and your tasks. Here are the lists of what I'm doing to prepare my home and my mom and sister for our trip:

Getting the House Ready:
• clean the whole house (ugh)
• make sure there are clean linens and towels
• change that burnt out lightbulb I've been ignoring

Things To Buy:
• child Tylenol (up-to-date and full)
• diapers and wipes
• cat food & litter
• food
• toilet paper & paper towels
• an extra set of keys (I'm leaving two sets)

Things To Write Down:
• our itinerary and how to reach us
• important phone numbers (pediatrician, landlord, vet, daycare, good neighbors)
• instructions on using the tv/tivo/computer
• a summary of my son's daily routine (I don't care if they follow it, but it helps to give an idea of an average day)
• cats' feeding schedule
• instructions for watering plants

Things To Leave In Plain Sight (or tell caregiver the location of):
• child's health insurance card
• medical affidavit (still trying to determine if it must be notarized - anyone know?)
• vital records (like birth certificate, will, etc.)
• flashlight
• some cash
• son's library card

• go over how the car seat works
• point out location of smoke/carbon monoxide detector
• point out location of first aid kit & medicines
• point out location of breaker box
• point out quirky house things like having to hold the toilet handle down for a few seconds

I've also purchased some small toys (sticker book, paint, truck) to wrap - one for each day we're gone. My mom can decide when to give them to him, probably at that point (you know which point I mean) in the day when they're both tired and he's getting a bit cranky.

I know he'll be fine - my mom and sister are smart, resourceful and loving. (It's me I'm worried about!) Okay, what have I forgotten? Any other advice to share with parents traveling without their kids?

(Image by Flickr member jf1234 licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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