If single parent holidays send shivers down your spine then you’re not alone! I was that mammy until my little boy begged me to take him on a sun holiday. It took me five long years but I, nervously, agreed and we did it, and then I kicked myself for not heading off when he was smaller.
My name is Lorraine and I’m a single parent to a, now, a teenage boy called Dylan. My motto in life is “Live every day as if it’s your last” and “make memories while you can!”
Planning is the hardest part. I research destinations and ask family and friends for recommendations. Some travel companies now offer package holidays to destinations more suited to solo parent families. I join social media groups for specific places (Disneyland etc) and ask opinions. At times I make friends with other solo parents and we meet up on holidays.
I start off with looking at the cost of booking the holidays myself v’s a package deal being offered by a travel agent or resort. Booking early means I have a few months to pay it off and save for the holiday.
I definitely find travelling through smaller airports, especially when Dylan was young, easier and I would normally organise a transfer company or a taxi at the other side to pick us up so I can help with luggage. We travel with carry-on luggage most of the time.
Airport staff and cabin crew are always willing to make my journey less stressful. Be prepared for delays, have spare clothes, toys and snacks handy in carrying on luggage. Giving your child a small backpack with a few bits in it gives them independence and responsibility.
Always let the resort or hotel know you will be travelling alone with a young child. I’ve gotten upgrades to family rooms and meal discounts for being a one-parent family. If required, ask for a quiet room, near facilities or with separate beds.
My son is very sociable and makes friends easily, so I always end up meeting new people on holidays. We keep in touch and sometimes meet up again. Kids clubs and babysitting options can be good to give yourself a little free time. I regularly choose resorts with lots of activities to keep Dylan and myself busy. You can email Lorraine directly if you have any questions [email protected]
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask for assistance if you need it, even if it’s only to help lifting a buggy in a doorway while dragging a suitcase. Travel as light as possible; cots, strollers, sterilisers and high chairs can all be provided or rented in most resorts. Lorraine recommends Villa Romana Hotel, H10 Vintage and Sanguli Campsite in Salou. And House of Illusions, Downhill Bikes and PortAventura for activities.
If this all seems a little overwhelming for you, why not pair up with another single parent family or bring a friend or family member to help out. It’s good to have another set of eyes to watch over your child while you shower, go for a short walk or enjoy a relaxing cocktail by the pool.
We have been on several holidays in the last few years from Disneyland Paris and Portugal, to Majorca and mainland Spain. We love Salou in Spain so much that we’ve been back five years in a row. There’s so much to do there including boat trips, theme parks, cycling adventures, beach days and dinner shows. Once you fall in love with a destination it’s a lot easier to return year after year.
Wherever you decide to go on your holiday remember you are giving your child a suitcase full of lifelong precious happy memories with you so DON’T let the initial fear of travelling solo with your little people stop you!
Lorraine recommends Villa Romana Hotel, H10 Vintage and Sanguli Campsite in Salou. And House of Illusions, Downhill Bikes and PortAventura for activities.