When you’re a single parent, you may be apprehensive (to say the least) about traveling with your kids on the own. However, with more families headed by a single parent, it’s something that’s increasingly common.
Even when parents might not live separately from one another, it’s still becoming more common for kids to travel with one parent and not both—for example, if work schedules don’t work out for both parents to go.
Traveling as a single parent can be rewarding, and it’s realistic, but it also requires some planning to make it work well. Traveling with your kids as a single parent can be especially important for your family because you likely spend so much time on things like school, work and activities that you may not get a lot of time to relax together.
The following are some travel tips for single parents who want a great experience.
Book Excursions Ahead of Time
When you’re planning a trip with your kids, you want to find that balance between planning so that things go smoothly, but at the same time, not over-planning to the point that you’re rushing from place-to-place and your trip becomes exhausting.
What you can book ahead are some excursions, however. Choose excursions that are family-friendly and will give you time to spend together doing something you’ll all enjoy. Book your tickets in advance, and it will help you with scheduling, ensuring something you want to do doesn’t get sold out, you might save money by doing it this way as well.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help If You’re Flying
You may be driving on your vacation, but if you’re flying, there are a few things you can do to make it easier on yourself. First, if your kids are small enough, make sure you have a double stroller. This will make navigating through an airport much easier, and you can typically check strollers for free on your flight.
Also, if you need some help on your flight, don’t be afraid to ask your flight attendant. Of course, they aren’t a babysitting service, but they’re going to be more than likely to help if you need to go to the bathroom or you forgot extra snacks.
An additional tip if you’re flying—they will usually call for families with young children to board first. Not necessarily the best idea to take advantage of this option.
Sure, you can get settled, but that can leave more time your child is required to sit in a seat and more time for them to get antsy. Sometimes it’s actually better to wait until most people have boarded before you get on.
Choose Accommodations with a Shuttle
If you’re going to a big city, look for a hotel or place to stay that is near public transportation. This is going to make things easier logistically. If you’re not going to be in an urban area or place where there’s a lot of public transportation, you might try to find a hotel that offers a shuttle to the attractions nearby.
Trips with Childcare
Of course, you are probably planning a family trip because you want to spend time with your children, but when you’re doing everything on your own, it can get tiring quickly. A lot of hotels and resorts offer childcare and child programs, some of which may even be included with the cost of your accommodations.
If you can find this, it can provide an opportunity for you to enjoy some pool time on your own and your kids will love it too.
If you have time to yourself, you’re likely to feel more recharged and present with your kids at other times during the trip.
The Less You Can Pack, The Better
Finally, packing when you have kids is a huge challenge, whether you’re traveling as a single parent or not. However, think about the logistics of traveling on your own with too much luggage. Sounds like a nightmare, right?
Try to pack as lightly as possible. If you’re worried about it, look for a hotel or resort with laundry facilities.
If you have a baby or toddler, you might want to think about ordering the baby gear either from your hotel or a local service at your destination and having it dropped at your room. Even if it costs more, you may find it’s worth it not to have to struggle with it on your own. You can also often find services that will deliver not only baby equipment but also supplies you might need for your children like diapers, baby food or other essentials, so you don’t’ have to bring them or shop for them when you arrive.