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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.
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.
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.
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.