Single parent travel comes with one big downside! It’s rare to be able to take advantage of any special offers or discounts for your kids, as these are usually based on 2 fare paying adults Plus you’ll be looking after your little cherub 24/7, so there’s limited opportunity to relax!
But – Single Parent Travel Can Be Great Fun!
It sometimes feels like I’ve been in training as a single parent traveller for most of my son’s life, as we clocked up quite a few trips without his dad, even before we separated. So I’ve experienced the highs and lows of road trips, ferry journeys, train travel and airport hell as a single mum. Now I’m a ‘proper’ single parent I’ve experimented with a few options to make sure we have some time away from home every year, without breaking the bank.
Our first ‘proper’ single parent holiday was to Butlins at Minehead and it was quite an experience. At the very last-minute I booked one of their 4-day/3-night breaks, in one of their little chalets (very Hi-Di-Hi). As we were travelling there by cross-channel ferry, train and bus!) I also booked the half-board meals option. My son absolutely LOVED it – I’ll be posting a review here soon…
Single Parent Travel – Camping Holidays
The following year, with my budget still lower than a snake’s belly-button, I didn’t think we’d be able to afford a holiday. We lived in Jersey at the time and I’d had a busy summer of hosting foreign students to make some extra cash. Working full-time, hosting 4 hungry, homesick teenagers and being mum was tough but it paid well. So as a treat, I booked a surprise camping trip – my son’s first camping holiday. It was completely last-minute (I do like a last-minute bargain)
I booked the campsite and bought the tent in the morning, packed at lunchtime and we had the tent pitched before tea-time. I made so many camping-newbie mistakes on this trip, but that was part of the fun…
The Single Parent Dilemma – A ‘Solo’ New Year’s Eve
After our move to Yorkshire, I didn’t mind having a ‘him and me only’ Christmas but dreaded the prospect of spending New Year’s Eve alone. Ugh! I didn’t fancy being the sad single welcoming in another New Year watching Jools Holland on the telebox, with a tube of Pringles and a bottle of vino collapso for company while the boy slept. So good old Google helped me find information about single parent holidays and breaks. Who knew such things existed? I was thrilled to find a wonderful, welcoming group called ‘The Single Parent’s Travel Group’.
Without a second thought I joined their FaceBook Group. Discovering that they were hosting a New Year’s party in the Lake District, I threw caution to the wind and signed us up without hesitation. 3 days, 25 kids and 15 mums in one house – we had a blast…
The following Spring saw us heading off to Tattershall Lakes in rural Lincolnshire on another bargain break with our single parent travel group pals from New Year’s Eve. It was like meeting up with old friends and really gave me the chance to unwind. I have very fond memories of drinking Champagne in the hot tub on the deck overlooking the lake at sunset, while the life guards entertained the kids. Bliss….
Roll forward to summer 2015 and with spectacularly appalling timing, we moved house. Slap bang in the middle of the summer holidays. So that scuppered any prospect of me getting a summer holiday. Note to self – don’t do that again. EVER!! Holidays are SO important.
Single Parents – United in Scarborough
Fast forward past a couple of trips to Jersey for family occasions and it was time for summer holidays again. With the purse strings as tight as ever, we packed up our trusty tent and headed to Scarborough for a ‘proper British seaside holiday’. By happy coincidence, a couple of our single parent friends were there too. The adventure started with pitching our (brand new) tent right on the edge of a cliff in gale force winds. It wasn’t pretty…here’s how we got on
This summer, we’re spreading our wings and travelling to Europe for the first time in many years. The reluctant teen needs to practice his German. We’re planning our trip at the moment so I’ll be updating this post once we’re all booked up.
The ‘big plan’ is to ‘travel the alphabet’ by visiting at least one country per letter of the alphabet. Here’s how we’re getting on so far …
How do you manage your single parent travel adventures? I’d love to hear your stories.