As a single parent, travelling with your child can be quite the mission.
Travelling with children can be quite fulfilling, but also extremely stressful if you’re the only adult in the group. Know that you are not alone. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, about 15.9 percent of children live in single-parent households across the world, of which plenty go travelling I’m sure.
While that picture-perfect family vacation may not be as you once envisioned, you’re free to create your own version.
Here’s how to get it right….
Choosing a Destination
Involve your child in the planning
If you’re wanting to enjoy the holiday it’s best to ensure your holiday destination caters for the kids. What better way to do that than to get them involved in choosing the perfect holiday destination. Choose a place that has activities for the children as well as yourself so everyone gets a little bit of down time.
Choose a destination where you child can make friends
Choosing a child-friendly place is essential for so many reasons, so choosing a holiday destination filled with old folk may not be such a great idea. Kids love making friends and their fondest memories is often that of making a new friend in a strange environment. An added bonus is that it frees up some of your time as they play with their new friends. You’re going to need a break eventually.
Consider all-inclusive packages
Holidays can break the bank if you don’t plan correctly. All-inclusive packages tend to include tons of activities for the kids, meaning you won’t have to plan too many of the daily activities yourself.
Choose a hotel, embrace the Kids Club
Most hotels offer kid’s programs that can be tailored to your needs. It can keep them busy for hours on end. This helps free up your time, allowing you the space to laze around, get a round of golf in or even get pampered at the spa.
Look for activities you can do together
Find activities that you and the kids can do together. Plan these in advance. Also pencil in some time to explore your holiday accommodation. Hotels, B&B’s and even camping sites have secret nooks and crannies that are just waiting to be explored. From interesting architecture, hidden rivers and giant tree’s you’re bound to discover some interesting things.
Plan family activities
While it may be nice to have some time away from the kids while on holiday, it is loads of fun doing activities together too.
Schedule in some down time
(Because you deserve it)
Down time for both you and the little ones are in order. Over-exhausting yourself with a jam-packed itinerary is never a good idea. It’s a holiday after all and shouldn’t feel anything like work.
What to do before travelling
Create a check-list
Travelling with kids is a tall order, so it’s important to stay organized. Make several check-lists of all the items you’ll need to take with you on your trip. Maybe even let the kids help you create the lists; let it include clothing items, toiletries, a basic first aid kit and word puzzles or sudoku puzzles for the flight or road trip. Even a bag full of toys would be great if you have a young child.
Flight and Airport tips (for those flying)
- Double check your flight schedule
- Print your boarding passes at home
- Explain airport security procedures to kids
- If you’re afraid of losing your child at the airport, a child leash may help put your mind at ease
- If travelling with a stroller or car seat, take your kids (and all their stuff) out in advance as these items may need to go through the x-ray machine
- Carry a check-list or keep a mental note of all your luggage to make sure nothing is left behind at the airport when you arrive at your destination
Hey I've just joined this forum and am very happy to be able to give some recent hot off the press advice. I recently returned from a vacation in Dublin, Ireland with my 20 month son. I really wanted to get away at Christmas and, with some family there, I decided to make the big trip over.
When my mother first suggested I get a lead for my child for travelling I was horrified. But when I was standing around in Dublin airport waiting to check in on the return journey and my son didn't want to sit in his stroller (and started to kick up a fuss... could have got nasty!) I was able to put the backpack on him and let him walk about while we waited in line.
I used the bag when visiting galleries in Dublin also as again, he could 'walk about' but I still kept him safely within reach.
I would recommend that you test the backpack out before you travel. Make it a fun desirable item for your baba to have on their back. Then they'll enjoy seeing a familiar item when they're travelling with you, and life will be much easier.