The first thing that I would like to say is that being a single parent and being in a position to be able to take my child abroad is a massive achievement to me, its something I am really proud of.
This special time that you will get to spend with your child/ children will allow you to build memories that you will all carry for a lifetime. A chance to get away from the normal stresses of daily life, the mundane routine, the set bedtimes, the sensible and replace with fun, freedom and adventure. However, lets be real it can also be quite frankly terrifying the first time that you embark on a trip abroad as a single parent. My aim is to give you some hints and tips that will hopefully help support you along the way!
The airport can be daunting, the volume of people, the security, the plane journey! From experience I know that it’s important that single parents are as prepared as possible before travel. You will need to go armed with all the appropriate documents (See here for more information). Be prepared for security to question your child if they have a different surname to you. The first time that security questioned my little one “Who is this that you are with? Where have you been, how long for?” I was quite taken a back. Just remember they are only doing their job and a quick age appropriate chat with little ones before going is all it needs to settle nerves and prepare them.
Fast track and airport lounges Airport lounges are one way of making your time flying a lot easier. Even in the most basic of lounges you can have relax and have snacks, teas and coffee and have access to Wifi and power points to charge your phone/laptop, iPad for the kids. Time spent in a lounge away from the masses in the airport is one sure way to board your flight a little less flustered.
Make sure there are plenty of activities and entertainment, the beach or pool isn’t too far away and things like restaurants and shops for essentials aren’t too hard to find. You will often have your hands full, so make it easy on yourself and have plenty of accessible things to do and facilities close by. Thorne Travel have dedicated staff members specializing in child friendly holidays. The team will be able to advise on the best possible resorts and properties to suit your individual needs and I can personally recommend hotel based on my personal experiences.
- Technology: As much as a holiday should be about escaping things like technology it still has its place I believe when you need a helping hand. Taking a tablet, laptop or portable DVD player with discs and downloads can occupy kids when you need a break or you have your hands full, and they can then help to occupy you when they have all gone to bed!
- Be sociable: I love spending quality time with my little one on our own. However, socialising on holiday can also be really fun especially if there are little ones around the same age.
- Kids clubs: For the younger kids these are really useful. I don’t personally use them as my wee ones usually content at the beach or pool, however it’s a good idea to choose a property that has a kids club even if you don’t plan on using it as these hotels are more likely to have other children around for your wee one to play with.
- New Foods/ New Activities: The beauty of a holiday adventure is to be able to try and experience new and exciting things! A holiday is the perfect opportunity to introduce new activities try a new sport, surfing, snorkeling for example isn’t only a great bonding opportunity but something that will really stick on your child’s mind as its so different. Most family friendly hotels have buffet style dining that allow a sample of local delicacies and setting the example to your child that when abroad is a good time to try different foods will expand their pallet.
Don’t forget to pack a camera even if it is just a disposable. After returning from your trip, developing the photos and creating a scrapbook with the kids will be a great way to preserve your amazing memories together.
The most important thing to keep in mind when embarking on your holiday with the kids is to make sure you enjoy the ride. The long hours spent travelling are all part of the adventure and memories that your children will cherish and take with them for the rest of their lives.