Dreading your first holiday alone with the kids? Travelling as a single parent doesn’t have to be a chore!
Holidaying on your own with your children can be difficult and lonely, especially the first time around.
The last thing you need after the breakdown of your relationship is finding yourself surrounded by happy two-parent families in a large, impersonal hotel complex.
Instead of relaxing and having a good time, you end up trying to be entertainer, squabble breaker and waitress (think food buffet), slapping on sun tan lotion and developing eyes in the back of your head!
You can’t read your book by the pool for fear of losing sight of your children and spend the evenings alone at the hotel bar.
So how do you get to enjoy the holiday, too? There are so many factors to consider: Destination, climate, safety, accommodation, things to do – to name but a few. Ask yourself what would make your family holiday successful and prioritise accordingly.
Keeping the kids happy. Most single parents will immediately respond that first and foremost they want their children to have a good time. So a holiday with friends or a group holiday where the kids have ‘instant’ friends of a similar age might be the answer. The bonus is that you get to spend quality time with your kids, yet can also relax and have conversations with adults whilst they are playing with their friends!
Destination. When you have kids, the destination becomes somewhat secondary. Most kids love routine. It gives them a sense of security so they want to go to the same place year after year.
If this is the case and you fancy exploring new places, involve them in the planning, show them brochures and tell them about things to do in the hotel or country you fancy visiting. They will soon become excited!
Some of my favourite destinations are the Canaries and Austria – both safe, all-year round destinations with a mild climate in the summer and offering a huge amount of attractions and activities for parents and children alike.
Price. Booking early can save you as much money as booking last minute but the former is certainly the safer option when you are restricted to the school holidays and might need to negotiate with work and an ex-partner.
It also means that you can pay in instalments of your choice and have something to look forward to!
Good value-for-money destinations in Europe are Spain, Portugal, Greece and Austria. They offer a good standard of accommodation and are very family friendly.
Italy, France and Croatia although very popular with English holidaymakers offer a lot less for your hard earned money and to get a reasonable standard of accommodation, cuisine and facilities there, you need to dig a little deeper into your purse.
There are so many destinations and holidays out there suitable for single parent holidays.
Think outside the box of standard package holidays. Try a small family hotel where you and the kids will be made to feel at home, a cycling holiday with your teens or a family adventure holiday.
If adult company and playmates for your kids are important to you, you could consider a single parent group holiday with a specialist travel company. Remember, travelling as a single parent doesn’t have to be a chore. It just requires a tiny bit more planning.