So, you’re a single parent and you don’t want to give up travelling with your kids? You don’t have to! There are loads of easy ways you can dip your toe back into the water and get your confidence travelling solo with kids. We’ve picked some of the best holidays for single parents with kids of all ages.
Sun, sea, sand? Tick. A beach resort has the makings of a perfect kid-friendly holiday. However, the beauty of staying in a resort is that almost everything is taken care of, so it’s also a perfect holiday for single parents too. For those of us who are used to doing Every. Single. Thing. A resort is a dream come true. No washing, cooking, no school run or making the beds? Where do I sign up?!
Most resorts have a kids club, and babysitting or nanny services so the kids will be entertained while you can squeeze in a massage, dinner or some quiet reading which means the adults can come home feeling relaxed and refreshed too.
The hardest decision you’ll have to make is which destination to choose.
On first appearances, cruising can seem expensive. BUT if you can be flexible with dates and look out for deals, and when you consider how much is included in the price, it can work out to be very cost-efficient. Almost all costs are included in your ticket price (all meals and (non-alcoholic) drinks, on-board activities, kids club etc.). That means that once you’re on board you don’t have to spend a penny unless you want to add on any extras, alcohol, or dine at a speciality restaurant. This means that if you’re working to a budget, it’s one of the easiest ways to plan and therefore one of the best holidays for single parents.
The major cruise companies are also getting better at catering for single parents including services such as personal paging systems, kids programs, cinemas and activities, water parks and kid-friendly dining on most cruises. So, similarly to staying in a resort, you can take the opportunity to have some ‘me time’ while the kids are entertained.
Now, I have to admit, I’m not the world’s biggest camping fan. But largely that’s because when I first think of camping, I imagine the wilderness, no amenities and all the Australian wildlife that seems intent on killing you. And while that’s an option for those of you braver than me, the reality is Australia in particular has some of the best campsites in the world, often with incredible amenities and kids’ entertainment. We were blown away by the BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort (pictured above) and the amazing waterpark on site.
The beauty of camping is that it can be a very cost-effective option for travelling on a budget, especially if you can go outside of school holidays. It’s also a great way to get back to basics with your kids, enjoy time in nature, getting dirty and sitting around a fire. Kids always seem to make lots of friends on a campsite and it’s a safe environment to let them play and develop some independence, going to the shop by themselves, for example.
If it’s your first time camping, make sure you’re confident with whatever equipment you’re using (tent, camper trailer etc.). While there are often people nearby willing to help, you need to be able to put it up and pack it down on your own, just in case (unless your kids old enough to help). If not, I’d recommend staying in an on-site cabin until you’re more confident.
Single parent group trips
There are so many advantages to travelling as part of a single parent group holiday, like the ones we offer at Outnumbered Holidays. We understand the challenges of single parent holidays and tailor our holidays accordingly.
Firstly, everyone is in the same boat. These trips are for solo parent families only. So, as a result there is an immediate camaraderie and willingness to help each other out that only single parents can understand. Also, because of our small group sizes, you’ll also get the opportunity to meet other families. As the kids and parents make friends, the kids will entertain each other and the parents will be able to enjoy some adult conversation and downtime.
Many single parents find the prospect of taking their kids on holiday overwhelming. Outnumbered Holidays takes all the stress away, organising everything for you and knowing you’ll be supported throughout.
When it comes to Disney adventures there are certainly a lot of options to choose from. There are twelve Disney parks in the world across six different resorts, in California, Florida, Paris, Tokyo, Shanghai, and Hong Kong as well as dedicated Disney Cruises and even a Disney Hotel in Hawaii.
What child (or adult for that matter) doesn’t dream about a trip to Disneyland? Disney have really nailed creating experiences that cater for kids of all ages as well as adults and there is magic for everyone on a Disney holiday and it’s definitely one of the best holidays for single parents – or for any family really.
I was recently lucky enough to visit Epcot and the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida and they really are everything you expect from Disney and more. The attention to detail and immersive nature of the parks make them the stuff of dreams. The Magic Kingdom is a great park for younger kids with more kid-friendly rides, shows and character meet and greets. While Hollywood Studios is better suited to the older thrill-seekers.
We went at one of the busiest times of the year (both Spring Break in the US and Easter Holidays in the UK) so it was BUSY. With that in mind, I would recommend investing in the express passes that allow you to skip a lot of the queues. There is no doubt a trip to Disney can be expensive but if you’re investing in this once-in-a-lifetime experience then the extra money on fast passes won’t feel like too much extra but could make a world of difference to your trip.
We’re certainly not the Disney experts and there are some wonderful resources to help you chose the best Disney holiday for you. Check out the Disney Mums and Dads group on Facebook.
If these ideas of the best holidays for single parents have inspired you to start travelling with your kids, or you would like to join a trip with other single parent families, sign up to our newsletter now to stay updated on all the latest trips.
Ellie is the founder of outnumbered holidays. She is a single mum to two incredible boys and a host of fur kids. Ellie believes in the magic of making memories through shared experiences and is on a mission to make travel accessible to all single parents through tailored trips, advice and content.