This is a sponsored guest post.
Being a single parent can feel like a constant challenge, even when it comes to relaxing and enjoying yourself. Taking a vacation should be about everyone having fun. That means enjoying sights, activities, meals, and adventures with your child or children, as well as securing some time for yourself. As a single mom, however, this does require some forethought. Spending your time before the vacation organizing and planning pays dividends when you actually set out, meaning you can travel as a single mom and recharge rather than piling on the anxiety. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a successful and relatively stress-free vacation for you and your family.
One of the best pieces of advice for single parent holidaymakers is this: travel with, or to, people in the same scenario. Of course, you’ll want to spend some great time making memories on vacation with your darling offspring, but you’ll also want some time apart. If you have friends who also have kids and you can travel together, then great. If not, there are plenty of places that either cater specifically for single-parent families or have offers geared towards them (meaning that other single parents will likely be holidaying there too). Finding some company for your kids is great for everyone – they will have more fun, and make great memories (and maybe even friends for life). And crucially, you’ll have a bit of space and time to relax or to socialize with others your own age.
Where to Go?
Choosing a destination that will suit you and your child/children is an important part of planning a successful single parent vacation. There are no rules, as every family has different vacation desires and priorities. There are also some un-fun things to think about. If you’re venturing abroad with younger kids flight durations become an issue. If you’re heading somewhere really exotic you may need to get jabs for everyone in advance, and wherever you’re planning to go you’ll need to pack for all eventualities (more on this later). The boring stuff out of the way, sit down with your child/children and make a list of what you all want from the vacation. Some tried and tested options for families (without leaving the country) lie down both coasts of the US. The East Coast has much to offer for any trip, from the spectacular natural wonder of Niagra Falls, the excitement of New York City, and the history and culture of Washington D.C. The West Coast is likewise an amazing place for a family road trip, with stunning nature lying between the great cities of Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, and Highway 101 running beside the Pacific nearly all the way down. Alternatively, head for a national park – they are dotted around the country and usually offer camping, activities and much more.
If you need a break from the stresses of day to day life as a single parent, it may be time to shelve those wilderness adventures on your bucket list and embrace the package hotel. We mentioned places that cater services toward single-parent families, but regular hotels that are included in packages can be a great solution for minimal-stress vacations. Package holidays cater to all budgets, and on top of your room usually include some meals and entertainment. Some blessed places offer spa treatments, activities, and laundry services. But most importantly, they almost always have a children’s program, meaning you can leave the little ones with other kids, supervising adults and plenty of activities. Normally you’ll be able to sign them up for a day, or a half-day – leaving that time just for you, without a worry.
This is where you can make or break your vacation. Traveling with kids, especially if you’re the sole adult, requires careful, organized and logical packing. Whether it means sunscreen, bug spray, wet weather gear or snowsuits, you’ll need the essentials all covered. What’s more, you’ll want to have everything easily accessible (this means remembering where everything is). Keep your valuables, such as passports, money, travel tickets, keys, and cellphone in a small bag on your person, and try to fit everything else into the smallest possible number of suitcases (remember, you’ll be doing most of the heavy lifting).
Whether you are heading to a beach resort, a national park or a bustling city, scheduling some activities in advance means one less thing to worry about once you arrive. Traveling alone affords us the luxury of going with the flow. But having a bit of a structure for each day is good when you are traveling with kids, so having some things to do or see stops them from feeling aimless, and getting bored. Of course, an activity can be as active as you like – a scheduled trip to the beach keeps everyone happy!
As a single parent, you’re probably more in need of a relaxing holiday than most people. Planning in advance alleviates all kinds of headaches when you arrive, leaving you free to enjoy your family vacation with your most precious to the full.