Holidays for single parents are great, but they can also be difficult, depending on the situation.
Above all, you should make your family holidays memorable for your children. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to make fun holidays for kids, try to remember what you loved about the holidays when you were a child.
If you are now a little more isolated than you were when you were growing up, there are many ways that you can make up for that. Plan fun activities with your child. They don’t have to be expensive. The quality of the time spent together is what is important.
You can plan projects: making things, decorating, baking or cooking unusual dishes, etc. You can even plan sending out Christmas cards or Easter cards together, for example: who will you send them to this year? Which cards to choose? Plan special movie sessions or visit somewhere new, even if only closeby. You can invent your own traditions for the holidays, if you haven’t done so already.
Also, remember not to forget yourself, as well. The holidays can be a time for you to pamper yourself, and for you to recharge. Take a manicure or pedicure, massage or spa treatments, etc.
Single Parent Vacations
One great way to spend the holidays is to go on vacation. It is a great time to put some perspective back into your lives by getting out of your day-to-day routine, and also an opportunity to create new memories for life.
Children have their own stresses, too, and going on a vacation is a great way for them to de-stress, as well.
Also, for single dads who have restricted times with their children, going on holidays can be a perfect way to build your relationship with your children. Even weekend breaks with kds can make such a big difference.
If you haven’t gone on vacation as a single parent before, it might be a little scary. It is easy to feel isolated and alone in a new context. In that case, there are very helpful support groups like Single With Kids or Gingerbread, both based in the UK, helping organise holidays for single parents with kids . The author of the Harry Potter series of books, J.K. Rowling, was a former single parent herself, and is currently President of Gingerbread single parents organisation.
Holidays for Single Parents – Tips
You know how difficult normal life can be in sole parent families. Travelling can become a nightmare if you do not plan well. Here are some great tips to help you really enjoy your vacation and have great single family holidays:
- Have your children take responsibility for bringing their own entertainment (books, games, iPods, dolls, etc.) and choosing their clothes. That way they have a sense of ownership, and they can’t complain about being bored on the plane or while you are on vacation!
- Take a look at Google Earth before you go with you kids, and plan out an itinerary. Get familiar with where you are going, and some of the major landmarks.
- Choose an all-inclusive package if available and within your means. You won’t have to worry about food and drink ever. Also, there are usually lots of children’s activities planned and organised, and there may be free daycare provided as well.
- Make sure you have enough wipes, emergency supplies, etc. when you pack. And then double that!
- Check in online so that you don’t have to stand in the long lines at the airport and you can check your bags in early. Strollers and push carts are not considered luggage and can be carried with you.
- Travel as light as possible. The fewer suitcases you have to lug around the better.
- If you have to go to the bathroom while on the plane, do not hesitate to ask the air hostesses/hosts to keep an eye on your child(ren). They are usually pleased to do so, and it is part of their job even if they are not!
If you follow these tips, you and your child(ren) should have loads of fun and enjoy your vacation.
The difficulty involved in planning holidays for single parents only proves how necessary these vacations are: you have to escape your routine once in a while or it will just suck you and your kids into a permanent black hole. Whether you can take long or only short family breaks, it is really worthwhile.
In addition to Expedia, Travelocity, and the others, why not check out FareBuzz and Hotelopia below to find great cheap holidays for single parents. Have tons of fun, and save money!
Check out the Gingerbread website for more excellent information on holidays for single parents.