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Two’s company: tips for travelling as a single parent

The idea of going on holiday alone with a child in tow can be scary, especially if it’s the first time you’ve taken your little one away. Just because you’re a single parent doesn’t mean you can’t have a holiday though; as long as you prepare for it, you’ll have a wonderful time together.

To ensure you and your child have the best time possible, here are some tips for travelling as a single parent.

Father Son Playing Soccer Beach Summer Concept

Ask flight attendants for help

You may be used to doing stuff by yourself, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for help when you need it. Flight attendants are more than happy to cater to your child’s needs and keep an eye on them while you pop to the loo. Even if your child is asleep, it’s best to quietly ask them for help; if your child wakes up they may panic and disturb the other passengers on the flight. A friendly face will keep them entertained and relaxed.

Pack light

Remember that if you’re the only adult going on holiday, you will end up carrying all, or at least the vast majority, of the luggage. Therefore it’s unwise to pack absolutely everything you think you might need – carrying several bags and a sleepy child through an airport is not fun. Plus, you may find that a lot of the ‘essentials’ (such as formula) can be bought at your destination. Don’t make the mistake of taking too much carry-on luggage, either – you’ll need your hands free to access passports and boarding passes!

Invite someone along

If you’re planning a trip away with your child, don’t be afraid to open up your holiday invitation to friends and other family members. Your mum, brother or best friend could prove invaluable on your trip and could take some of the weight off your shoulders. Plus, it’s a great chance for your little one to bond with their uncle or grandma.

Make time for you

As it’s just you and your little monster, it can be easy to forget to ensure you’re having a good time. After all, this whole holiday is for them, right? Of course not! You may not be able to lounge by the pool without keeping one eye on them, but you can get some much needed ‘me time’ during their afternoon nap.

Get out a good book, put on a face mask, and lie back and relax. It’s a great way to spend a lazy afternoon in your hotel room, and it will mean you and your child will feel refreshed for dinner.

Woman lying in a hammock on the beach and enjoying a book reading

Don’t eat out every night

While we’re on the subject of eating, it’s unwise to drag your child out for food every night, especially if they’re still quite young. They will have days where they’re grumpy and overtired by dinner time, which means they won’t sit still and will probably kick up a fuss. If you don’t have someone else at hand to help you, that nice meal of yours is going to go cold.

On those sour days, we recommend heading to the local market or shop instead, and grabbing some of your child’s favourite foods. You can then have a quiet, calm little picnic in the room. If they fall asleep in their half-eaten cheese sandwich, at least you don’t have to go far to put them to bed.

Take advantage of the kid’s club

Whichever destination you choose to travel to, there are bound to be some things you want to see and do that aren’t completely child friendly. But how can you visit that art museum or go sunbathing when you have small person who’s going to get bored very quickly with you? If your hotel runs a kid’s club or babysitting services, take advantage of them! You’ll get a much-needed day to yourself, and your child will get to know some of the other children staying at the resort.

Don’t feel guilty for wanting to spend time alone – you’ll feel much better for it and so will your little one.

We hope the above tips alleviate some of the stress that comes with taking a young child on holiday alone. The most important thing to remember is to not be afraid to ask for help. Wherever you decide to go, we are sure you’ll both have a fantastic time.

Single-parent travel

Taking your kids on holiday as a single parent can be daunting, and as the only adult it can sometimes even be stressful or overwhelming. We’ve written a few tips and pieces of advice to travelling with kids as a single parent below.

When you look to buy holidays for your family, there often aren’t many options for single-parent family groups. However, persevere and look around as some operators or agents tend to offer deals for single-parent families with discounts or other great deals available, the key is to just shop around and do your research.
When you’re booking, think about what’s important for you and your family. If it includes socialising with other kids, make sure you book somewhere close to other family holiday homes so there’s someone of most age groups to socialise with.

One of the most over-looked aspects of travel is safety and travel insurance. Although it might seem boring and an unnecessary expense, but the thought of being abroad when your child falls ill or is seriously injured can be a really scary situation to find yourself in, especially if you’re alone.
Occasionally, accidents do happen and you can find yourself in an emergency medical situation. Should this happen, this is when people see the real benefit of travel insurance, it not only covers the cost of lost luggage and cancelled holidays, but can offer you great benefits like emergency medical helplines open every single hour of every day to give you the help and advice you need to get through the circumstances. Again, some travel insurance companies do single-parent discounts and can give you great deals for your kids and travelling as a family.

Be prepared
Remember to pack plenty of snacks for your holiday. Travelling with kids can be stressful at the best of times, even when they’re not tired and hungry, so pack a few long-life snacks and this should get you through most days on the road or in queues waiting for attractions to open up. Drinks, plastic bags and wet wipes can also be really useful, especially if you have younger kids.
Make a list of all the things you want to take long before you pack and depart for your holiday. This way, if you think of anything randomly you can just add it to the list to pack later on.

Enjoy it!
Remember that this holiday is not only for your children, it’s for you too. By dividing your holiday time between doing things that you all enjoy, activities that your children enjoy and things that you enjoy, which could include time to yourself, making make sure everyone gets an equal say in what they do and the holiday plans.


Booking your family holiday

Children love holidays and the novelty of going away never fails to keep them buzzing with excitement. Family holidays in particular provide kids with precious time with busy working parents or bonding experiences with other family members – quality family time and interaction is something which will be remembered for a long time.

The first and most important thing to think about when you’re planning your family holiday is what you want from it- what sort of holiday do you want? A week’s long adventure holiday or a beach holiday or maybe even a cruise? Nothing excites kids more than the prospect of doing something new. For a trip that your children will remember forever, why not try giving them a new perspective or introduce them to a new sport. Holiday experiences can ignite new passions and hobbies. Involve your children in the decision-making process by making it a game.

Next step is to choose your specific destination. If your kids don’t do well on long journeys, think about a stay-cation, or one abroad but closer to home, say France or Spain. Have a family meeting and discuss what everyone would like to do whilst on holiday. Whilst this might spur some crazy and impossible ideas from the younger ones, you can get an idea of what other activities they’d find exciting and where you could do them. Think about what else you yourself want from the holiday, as it’s also your time away and you could do with a break from doing kid-themed activities the entire holiday. Pick a couple of days that you can designate to what you want to do and involve the children in some aspects of that, too.

By involving everyone in the decision-making process, you can find just the right spot to make your family holiday memorable.


How much?
Sticking to a budget when your children want to do so many different things can be difficult, but knowing exactly what your family wants, helps. For example, if the whole family wanted to go snorkelling, you could look exclusively at resorts or holiday destinations that offer the activity free, saving you a lot of money to spend elsewhere.

Researching the internet and comparing various holiday packages, hotels, flights and activities can save you money when you invest time in looking around. You can often find a deal where kids go free, transport is included or any last-minute deals which can fit in with your schedule.

Consider going all-inclusive for a price that includes some of the things you want to do along with accommodation, food, drink and entertainment, it’s easier to manage at one total price, and then all that’s left to sort is transport or travel insurance – both of which you can shop around for and find the best deals.

Pregnancy Travel Advice

Holidaying whilst pregnant is a great idea, especially if this is your first child. As a growing trend among expectant mums, ‘baby-mooning’ is hugely popular so we’ve written a few tips to help you enjoy your holiday to the full.

No one wants stress whilst they’re on holiday, least of all expectant mums! Try and plan ahead as much as possible, making it much less likely for something unexpected to stress you out.
Allow plenty of time for travel, and even the small things like toilet stops and traffic jams, giving you plenty of time to reach the airport or your destination without worrying about making it.

If you find it hard to concentrate on planning everything, start by writing lists of different things you need to pack or organise instead of one big one – clothes, snacks, electronic equipment, things to keep you entertained (ipods, tablets, books, magazines etc.), health and beauty items, directions, itineraries, travel documents and that sort of thing.

Expect to be held up or delayed. If you bring a pair of headphones or a magazine to flick through, you’ll be more relaxed and the queues and impatient tutting of fellow travellers won’t bother you.

Take it easy
Whilst being pregnant doesn’t mean you are limited in what you can do, if you are thinking about adventure hiking, going on lengthy sightseeing expeditions, non-stop shopping or similar things, it’s a good idea for you to take it easy.

Avoid activities that might put you at risk of falling, or are pressurised, such as scuba-diving. Activities with sudden acceleration or forceful landings, like rollercoaster rides and theme parks should be avoided, as well as staying away from the hot tub and the sauna, as overheating isn’t good for your baby.

There’s plenty you can do whilst pregnant. Yoga classes, painting, swimming and brisk walking is all safe to do when you’re expecting, or why not see the sights of your holiday destination? Cultural trips to the museum or art gallery can be ideal, so long as you take regular breaks.

Avoid dehydration and keep taking regular sips from a water bottle to keep you from feeling sick or faint.

Give yourself several breaks a day to give your feet and body a rest, but as you’re on holiday, it gives you a chance to absorb the scenery and atmosphere around you. If you’re rested, you’ll enjoy the trip a lot more than if you were tired.

Travel vaccinations
To be on the safe side, it’s easier to stay away from countries where you need a certain vaccination. If you’re worried you’re going somewhere that does require a vaccination to cross their borders, consult your doctor, as they will know which vaccinations are required and what’s suitable for your pregnancy.

If you’re trying to get pregnant and plan on travelling abroad, it’s best to have the vaccinations four weeks before you conceive.

Make the most of being pregnant
Take loads of photos whilst you’re on holiday – it’ll be great to look back later on in life and remember the experiences you had whilst pregnant. Plus you’ll be able to show your child in the future how they came on holiday with you before they were even born!

Taking full advantage of people holding doors open for you, queue-jumping and being offered seats whilst on holiday as it can make travelling and sightseeing a lot easier. Enjoy being pregnant!

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