A useful guide for parents travelling solo with kids for the first time...
If it's your first holiday as a single parent, you may feel a little out of your depth and also a bit nervous. If you're in the process of planning to travel solo with the kids, we've created this useful article to help you find the best single parent holiday for you.
There are a variety of organisations and companies who offer specialist single parent holidays and advice.
Taking a holiday with other single parents
As it's your first time travelling alone with the kids, you may be interested to know that there are holidays out there specifically for single parents! It can be lonely travelling as a single parent and having the company of other like-minded single parents can make a holiday more fun & sociable. If you'd like to join in on an organised single parent holiday, there are some travel companies and organisations that specialise in bringing single parents together on holiday.
High Adventure Holidays is a really good choice for active single parents & children who enjoy outdoor activities. Based in the Yorkshire Dales, we have specific weeks during the school holidays that are for single parent families specifically and because we organise and include all the activities, it's really easy to make friends. Our holidays are suitable for age 5+ and start from £379pp for 6 nights which includes pretty much everything and we don't charge any supplements.
Gingerbread is an organisation that provides information to help single parents support themselves and their family. They campaign and influence policy to reduce stigma against single parents, and make services more accessible to all families – whatever their shape or size. They have some useful advice and information on their website about holidaying as a single parent which can be found here https://www.gingerbread.org.uk/information/holidays-and-special-occasions/holidays/#othersps
Holidaying as a bereaved parent
You may be faced with travelling alone with the kids, having recently lost your partner. Holidays can be enormously challenging as a bereaved parent. A once relaxing time has now become something you have to face alone, often with a lot of emotional turmoil. Widowed and Young (WAY) is the only national charity in the UK for people aged 50 or under when their partner died. It’s a peer-to-peer support group operating with a network of volunteers who have been bereaved at a young age themselves, so they understand exactly what other members are going through. They've got some really useful advice for going on holiday as a single parent on their website and you can find the link here https://www.widowedandyoung.org.uk/bereavement-support/life-after-death/what-to-do-about-holidays/
Plan a holiday that is fully organised with lots for the kids to do
If it's your first time travelling with the kids then it's worth thinking about what you're going to do when you get there. Having to tackle bored kids alone on holiday is not what you want, so when booking a holiday, we recommend thinking about what's included and what's on at the resort or location you're going to. At High Adventure Holidays, we organise and include all the activities during the day and in the evening, with lots of exciting activities from high ropes and climbing to water sports. Our qualified instructors put on all the activities and all kit is provided. The holiday can be taken at your own pace, so you can opt in and out as you wish, but one thing is guaranteed...there will be no bored kids and nothing for you to do or worry about during your stay! Our single parent holidays are based at our centre on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales.
If you're looking to go overseas then consider booking a package holiday where you can get free transfers to and from the airport and benefit from lots of onsite facilities. Jet2Holidays is a good option for holidays abroad or Acorn Family Holidays who organise lots of activities too.
How to budget & pay for your family holiday
Planning ahead and checking what is & isn't included in your holiday is the best way to budget and pay for your holiday. The best holidays for families on a budget are the package holidays that include pretty much everything. The last thing you want is to be faced with lots of unplanned extras when you arrive. Meals out, days out , snacks etc... can all add up and what you thought was going to be a cheap holiday can turn out to be quite the opposite. Make sure you've really thought about what you're going to do when you get there. Are there activities included in the package? What about the evenings, is there any free entertainment? Are meals included and if not, are there are affordable places to eat or can you self cater? It can also be useful to book your holiday with a company that asks for a deposit and then the balance closer to your holiday. This enables you to book your holiday and have something to look forward to, but the time to save up. At High Adventure Holidays our prices include your accommodation, meals, all your activities, kit & equipment and even transport to off-site activities. You pay a £200 deposit and then have nothing more to pay until 10 weeks prior to your holiday. This type of holiday is really easy to budget for because you know that when you arrive, you have pretty much everything covered. All you need to budget extra for is any snacks or drinks you wish to purchase at the bar during your stay.
If you're really struggling to find the money for a family holiday then Family Holiday Charity allocates holiday grants to families in certain circumstances. Information about applications can be found on their website. Applications can only be received from ‘welfare agents’ (health visitors, social workers, caring or support agencies, GPs, schools etc) on behalf of families.
The YHA also offer support for families who may not be able to have a break otherwise. https://www.yha.org.uk/support-programmes
Useful links for single parents
To find out more about the single parent holidays available with High Adventure Holidays visit https://www.highadventureholidays.co.uk/singleparentholidays