How to have the best holiday with kids when you are travelling abroad on your own
As a single parent, making a success of a holiday abroad with kids can be hard work, but it is extremely rewarding when everything goes to plan. All the onus of finding things to do on your single parent holidays abroad, controlling spending and dealing with tantrums is on you. Single parent holidays are a challenge if you do them all on your own, but a challenge to embrace as the rewards are great. There are plenty of ways to plan ahead, manage and make your family holiday the best one yet. Here are some tips that should help ensure your single parent holiday abroad is a success:
Do your Research
When planning your single parent holiday abroad, make sure that you choose somewhere convenient to stay: Beach or pool aren’t too far away from your hotel room, restaurants and shops for essentials are close by and daytime and evening activities and entertainment are provided. Make it easy on yourself and have plenty of facilities, or accessible things to do close by. Google and Tripadvisor are your friend – nowadays, you can check just about every detail in seconds.
Book your flight wisely
Flying solo with kids can be stressful, but with some preparation it can go smoothly and be fun. Make sure that you pre-book your seats together to avoid any last minute surprises at the airport, and splash out on priority booking. This will ensure you and the kids are seated first and can begin your flight calm and relaxed. If your kids are old enough to carry their own bag, pack one each filled with interesting snacks, exciting new entertainment and other essentials, such as spare clothes, etc. so that you are prepared for any emergency. Don’t forget to buy water after going through security
Technology is your friend
Taking a tablet, laptop or portable DVD player can occupy kids when you need a break or have your hands full with one of the kids, or need a minute’s rest in the evening. And let’s not forget that they can then help to occupy you when they have all gone to bed! Just remember to take plenty of DVDs and download some films before you set off, in case the local WiFi is poor or expensive.
Be sociable on holiday
You will be surprised who you meet when you actually try to be sociable on holiday. With two million single parents in the UK alone, chances are that you meet other solo parents at your accommodation. Whether they are also travelling solo or are in a couple, don’t miss the opportunity to chat with other parents, because you need adult company, too. All the better, if your respective kids get together for play as it will lessen the load on you.
Find a hotel with kids clubs
If you have younger kids, hotels with kids club are a godsend. They allow you precious time to relax, but also allows the kids to mix with others and to do what they actually want to do with kids their own age. Some kids club activities are great for keeping the kids occupied and tiring them out to make the evenings easier to handle.
Get the kids to help
It is a great idea to give children a responsibility on holiday or a little job to keep them occupied. This lessens the burden on you, but focusses their minds, keeps them out of mischief and includes them in the planning. Obviously, this is dependent on the age of your children, but could be packing the beach or pool bag each day, choosing an activity to do or helping with breakfast if you are doing self-catering. Little things that help you out are worth planning in advance.
Don’t overdo it
Your first single parent holiday abroad should be a short one, but even if you have done a few it is advisable to limit them to only a week. Basically don’t overdo it. A week usually flies by but is perfectly adequate and by the final day usually even the kids are ready for home.
With research and planning, thinking outside the box and challenging yourself to try new things, a single parent holiday abroad can become a fantastic experience and a proud achievement. Quality one-on-one time with the kids as a single parent is often a rarity, and that is how you need to approach the holiday; as something precious and to be made the most of. It is an opportunity to get out of humdrum routines and enjoy the best features of your family that you hardly ever get chance to see.