There was a time when a vacation for single-parent families meant a couple of weeks with the grandparents. Not anymore. The world of travel is waking up to the number of single parents wanting a much richer experience. There may be a way to go before arranging a trip is as easy as for a two-parent family, but the opportunities are growing all the time, even for destinations as far afield as South Africa.
Traveling with kids is never easy, but for a single parent, it is more than twice as hard. There are reasons for this:
- The chances are that you do not have a lot of money to spare
- The attention demanded by your kids is even more relentless than when you are at home
- Too many leisure facilities and hotels are geared up for couples and two-parent families
Try to reduce the stress by doing everything that you can in advance. Check-in and print out your boarding passes in advance. Make sure you have the correct documentation—some countries expect authorization from both parents before allowing children to travel overseas.
Look out for priority security line for families. If you have to use the mainline, refuse to be flustered by officials trying to move you along. Make use of priority boarding on flights, and if possible wait till everyone else is off before you disembark.
Obviously, you are looking for a destination where both you and your children will get to enjoy the things that make it a vacation.
It will want to be somewhere that has great activities for kids. If they are happy, then mostly you will be happy too. A city with a glorious beach like Durban, where you could stay at the conveniently located Durban Edward by Marriott, might tick the boxes for you and them.
You also need some “me time.” One way to achieve this is to travel with one or more other single parents so that you can share out the demands. Or you might consider a holiday package specially devised for single-parent families to meet up and do things together.
Look for hotels that don’t penalize you for being a single adult by charging you a supplement when you pay per person. Either go somewhere which charges by the room and lets you fit in the whole family or choose a resort that charges per adult and per child without supplements.
Keep snacks, milk, and juices in the mini-bar. It’s easier and cheaper to prepare breakfast and snacks in your room.
Check with the hotel if there are activities arranged for children, either by the hotel itself or by local organizations.
Few things are simple for the single-parent family, and traveling is not one of them. But everybody (including you and your kids) deserves a real break from the routine from time to time, so convince yourself that it is worth the trouble and enjoy your break.
Mum’s Two Cents
Traveling is a challenge on its own. Doing it with children makes it a lot trickier for single mums but this should not stop them from exploring and seeing the rest of the world with their little ones. No trip or travel is guaranteed to be easy-breezy, but with meticulous planning, mum can keep the stress at bay and enjoy this new adventure with her little one.