It can be overwhelming taking your first vacation with your children post-divorce, when you book for one of those single parent holidays such as cruises for kids.
You may have had special places that you journeyed to as a family or you miss having some adult time. Your holiday budget has shrunk, but not your wanderlust.
Make sure that you have a notarized letter from the other parent giving you permission to travel outside of the country. It is easier to get passports or renewals if it’s part of the divorce agreement. I got permission for specific future trips abroad during my divorce.
My husband balked at first, but the interim child psychologist pointed out that he was jeopardizing his parental bonds by doing this.
All inclusive holidays made it much easier to stay within my decreased means.
I also could take my divorced mother along on cruises and my sons have fond memories of globetrotting with Gran. Entertainment, meals and activities are included. What is nice is that my sons enjoyed the kids and teens clubs and still are in touch with some of their buddies from previous cruises.
Once you take a cruise, you are entitled to a past passenger discount and even more if you book another one while still on board. I like going to the concerts and shows and my boys can do other activities, if these are not appealing. Also, I am not paying for individual tickets for transportation between cities.
The ports of call are pleasing to all age groups even to those still in a stroller. My son had his best birthday party ever which was given by the staff on the QE2.
Royal Caribbean has special “Divorced Dads and Kids Cruises” particularly on their Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas ships. These are designed to strengthen the bond between father and children.
There are fun activities for the kids and dad can nip into the casino or have a pint with new pals.
Other lines, such as Norwegian, have also had special cruises for divorced people. I took regular cruises and met some life-long friends. Do an online search and there are websites, such as Single Parent Travel and Cruisemates that have trips for single parents.
There are all inclusive resorts both in the UK and abroad that welcome single parents and children. The Caribbean has an overabundance of these and one company is “Beaches Resorts” which is owned by Sandals. They are kid friendly and keep the little ones active while parents relax on the beach. They include meals, snacks, entertainment and non-motorized water sports for one price.
“Grand Pineapple Beach” has a few resorts in the Caribbean and claim to be an exceptional value. Club Med has been around for decades and welcomes children too.
If one wants to get away without tots in tow there are some fun options. Surf Diva Camp is in Costa Rica and has all female classes teaching how to surf. Many of these women have recently gone through break ups. In the Grenadines, Barefoot Off Shore Sailing School has both co-ed and all female sailing programs.
Kamalame Cay, Bahamas has “Le Divorce” package that includes unlimited booze, snorkeling and many spa treatment plus other surprises.
The Miraval Resort in Tucson, Arizona has “Wellness Specials” not only to pamper, but help people recover from break ups. These wellness specialists help guests gain insight and provide yoga and other activities.
Think about starting new trip traditions. It could be painful travelling to the same spots you visited as a couple.
One woman started taking a nice trip with her mother each year post-divorce. I had my mother join us for some with my sons. Others do a spa weekend with girlfriends. I met some women in my travels who recently started taking trips with their sisters.
A friend began mountain climbing post-divorce and did a trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro. One can lose possessions, but not life experiences.
Author of The Woman’s Holistic Guide to Divorce