You Can Do This! 8 Reasons Single Parents Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Travel With Kids
Traveling with children in tow can be a rewarding experience for all involved—even if you don’t have backup
Single parent travel requires some planning, but the vacation memories will bring a smile to your face for years to come.
Keeping your kids in their regular routine is a feat in and of itself, but traveling with kids? And doing it alone? That’s enough to strike terror into even the most confident of parents.
Still, single parent travel isn’t any scarier than middle-of-the-night diaper changes, temper tantrums, teenage angst or any other parenting challenge you’ve experienced. And if you’ve made it through all that, you can handle pretty much anything.
Here are a few reasons why a single parent should never hesitate to book a vacation with their kids, and some strategies to help ensure single parent vacations end with family memories to last a lifetime.
The more you travel, the easier it’ll be
As the saying goes, experience is the best teacher. Once you get that inaugural trip under your belt, you’ll be better equipped to handle subsequent ventures. Make mental notes of your successes and mistakes, and apply that knowledge to future vacations. Before you know it, you and your brood will become a pack of luggage-wheeling, world-wandering pros.
The kids won’t remember the not-so-great parts
Going at it alone? Surprise yourself with your parenting prowess.
In fact, they might not even notice or care about the delayed flight or that a flat tire put the trip behind schedule—provided they’re kept fed and entertained, of course. If your kids are old enough to realize that these hiccups aren’t a part of the itinerary, they might just join you in laughing about them years down the road. So whether your vacation goes smoothly or you hit a few bumps along the way, you’re laying the groundwork for great family memories.
Because preparation is a free, easy and effective form of vacation insurance
Traffic jams, grounded flights and bad weather are out of your control, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be ready for them. Go one step beyond your packing checklist and create a game plan for the worst-case scenario. What will you do if it rains at your destination, if your flight is canceled, if your car breaks down? A little bit of online research or a list of vetted airport hotels can go a long way in helping prevent a vacation fail. Pro tip: Use the Choice Hotels app to find an airport hotel with a few quick clicks.
Because you’re not really in it alone
You could adopt an us-against-the-world approach during your travels, but why? Hotel staff, flight attendants, your fellow airplane passengers—help is all around you. Don’t wait too long to ask for assistance when you need it. Chances are your company has seen and heard it all before, and if you’re lucky, you might be met with some true kindness from strangers. Just remember to pay it forward.
Experiences are more valuable than material goods
All work and no play never suits anyone—especially mom and dad. Photo Credit: foap.com
Think back to your own childhood. You can probably recall a few very special toys, but your memories of family trips are likely crisper, richer and more poignant. So if you need to tighten your budget order to afford a vacation, just remember that the kids will return home with something much deeper than the fleeting excitement of the latest gadget.
It’ll show you what you’re made of
Think of solo travel as the ultimate test of your skills as a parent and a person. That’s especially true if you’re harboring some deep-seeded, travel-related hang-ups. Maybe you’re afraid to fly, or maybe you’re uneasy about driving long distances by yourself. Your trip and your kids will demand that you rise to the challenge and meet your fears head-on. Who knows? You might just return home with a newfound confidence in your own abilities to go along with a stronger family bond.
A vacation offers opportunities to try new things
Your everyday routine might not leave a lot of time for you to seize the day, but on vacation, the world is your oyster. Map out an itinerary to help you squeeze the most out of every day. What does your destination offer that you can’t find at home? Perhaps it’s a special dinosaur-themed day camp for your pint-sized paleontologist. Or maybe it’s an amazing restaurant you’ve always dreamed of trying. Whatever it may be, a vacation is the perfect chance to check items off your family’s bucket list.
You might be able to get enjoy a little me time
This is important: Don’t forget to set aside some time for yourself! While your teens are at the hotel pool, you could sneak in a nap or squeeze in a workout at the hotel gym. If you enroll younger children in day camp, use those kid-free hours to partake in something you might enjoy, like a painting class, some sightseeing or a rejuvenating visit to a local day spa. You deserve it!
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