How to Travel with Kids as a Single Parent
Tips for Unforgettable Family Experiences
By Bianca Delport
Travelling with children can be daunting even with your partner in tow, so it’s no wonder single Parent Travel causes so many moms and dads anxiety. With some planning and these smart decision-making tips, you'll create lasting family memories, free of stress. Here are some more tips on family travel trends for 2019.
Don’t Be Discouraged
Practice makes perfect, and this is no less true for single parent travel. The first time you do it, you are likely to encounter a few challenges. Don’t be discouraged, says Adrie van Tonder, a single mom of two.
“Your first trip alone with the kids as a single parent is probably going to be rough, but it gets better, especially as you learn to plan the kinds of holidays that ensure your little ones are always entertained. Boredom is the real culprit behind misbehaving littles, at home and on holiday.”
“It can be difficult trying to come up with the perfect family itinerary,” adds Teresa Richardson, Managing Director of The Travel Corporation in South Africa. “Our custom-made Family Experience Trafalgar holidays are chock-full of exciting activities that the kids will love, regardless of their age. Don't wrack your brain trying to plan an itinerary when you can take advantage of one that has been planned on your behalf.”
Make it a Learning Experience
Children of all ages love to learn. They like to try new things and can sit enthralled for ages listening to captivating stories. Keep them busy and stimulated while you put your feet up for a bit, or, better yet, get involved alongside them with a learning-focused holiday. It can also do wonders for young ones’ intellectual and emotional development.
“Trafalgar offers a variety of experiences within its guided family holidays. A firm favourite is the ‘Be My Guest’ experience, where families enjoy a traditional meal in a local’s home. It's a chance to take in their unique stories and to learn more about the host's culture,” Teresa explains.
Leave the Planning to the Experts
The whole point of going on holiday is to leave your troubles behind. So, if you’re a single mom or dad and fretting about planning a holiday with your young, the best way to let go of that stress is to allow the experts to prepare it for you.
“What I wouldn’t have given to have someone with experience plan my holiday to the US for me,” muses Kira de Lange, a single mom of three young girls. “Considering that we wound up in a hotel that definitely wasn’t as kid-friendly as it had made itself out to be, and struggled to find things to do where the presence of two parents wasn’t required, it definitely would have made a difference to our overall experience. While we certainly enjoyed the bonding time we had together, it definitely wasn’t the seamless adventure I was hoping for.”
Plan just the right type of holiday for you and your family. And by leaving the travel admin and hassles to the experts, you can travel with peace of mind knowing that there are travel professionals who are adventuring right alongside you.
Why not book yourself on a holiday to Mauritius, the island is child-friendly and family-focused.
Stay Local First
There is no doubt that it’s the act of travelling itself that often complicates holidays for single parents. Long-haul flights alone with young children are nobody’s friend. Travel somewhere local together first. That will help get everyone used to the process of travelling and will make the idea of flying overseas seem a lot less daunting.
“I became a single dad when my kids were quite young, and I started travelling with them solo when they were around six and 11 years old. We have gone away together every year since. Even though I have sole custody of them, I find that family holidays always help to bring us closer. There is lots of time to bond, laugh and share memorable experiences without the worries of daily life hanging over your head the whole time,” says Michael Onay, a single dad from Johannesburg.
“My only tip is to take a local holiday first, especially if you’re travelling with toddlers or kids who are still in primary school. It is a great way to test the waters and build up confidence before heading further afield,” he adds.
Here are some more travel hacks when travelling with kids.