Dating Tips5 minutes Safia, 24 February 2023

Our holiday ideas for solo mums

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Making holidays work when you’re a single mum

If you’re a single mum, the thought of holidays can fill you with a combination of delight and dread. Maybe it’s been just you and the kids for a few years now. Or maybe you’re facing your first holiday as a single parent. Whatever your circumstances, travelling alone with your kids can present a number of challenges.

Having a little time and space for yourself on your holidays is a necessary luxury. But how is this even possible when you’re juggling your baby’s nappy changes, your middle child’s coursework and your eldest’s teenage angst? Here are our ideas for keeping your head above water and enjoying the holidays, even when you’re a single mum.

Holiday destination ideas when you’re travelling solo with your baby

Before you pack the suitcases for you and the kids, you’ll need to decide where you’re going. Some locations are more kid-friendly than others, which can be reassuring when travelling with a young child.

If your little one is really tiny, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to have a say in the destination (imagine a newborn chipping in with, ‘I want to go to Southeast Asia, Mummy!’). So the choice will be dictated not only by your own preferences but also by the feasibility of the journey and your budget. Here are some ideas:

  • If your holiday budget is tight, consider destinations close to home, or visiting family or friends. Okay, so not everyone fancies a holiday at their parents’ place, but this option will give you some precious me-time if grandparents are happy to look after the kids. Staying with friends who live in another town or city can also be a fun option. Especially if they have children around the same age to play with (or a house by the sea – we’re not fussy).
  • Choose a child-friendly destination abroad. Some cities are all set up for family activities. And some countries are known for being particularly supportive of solo mums. Take Sweden, which for years has had a very progressive policy to help single mothers. Why not visit Stockholm and treat yourself to a calm and cosy hygge holiday? Or enjoy a weekend in London, with its fabulous parks, department stores and Natural History Museum?

Our tips for your first holiday as a single mum

If you’re about to embark on your first holiday as a single parent, it can be a time of unprecedented anxiety. You may wonder if you’ll be able to manage everything on your own, and at the same time hope that you’ll have time for some well-deserved rest.

  • Make a list of all the essentials. When you’ve got one or more children to look after, you can easily become overwhelmed by everything there is to do. Before departure day, make a list of all the things you don’t want to leave at home. Have you remembered to pack the passports, nappies for baby, your older child’s inhaler?
  • Carve out time for R&R during your trip. When you’re on holidays, you might be tempted to squeeze in as many attractions and outings as possible. But travelling with a child means adapting to their pace. Set aside a day (or even half a day) with no plans. This will give you space to rest and relax, or to be spontaneous.
  • Involve your kids in planning the trip. If your children are old enough, ask them to help you plan the family holiday. Explore the different destinations together, ask them to imagine what the holiday will be like and choose activities that will help create great memories as a family.

Solo mums ready for departure!

Giving yourself permission to have a fun and relaxing holiday when you’re a single parent is already half the battle. A solo trip with just you and your children is the perfect backdrop for precious family bonding time.

If you’ve always been a globetrotter at heart, being a solo parent doesn’t mean giving up your dreams of touring and exploring. Quite the opposite. Many single mums are now choosing to take their kids along as their travel companions.

And for mums who prefer a relaxing holiday, there are plenty of options that are becoming more widely available to single parents. Think holiday villages that provide childcare facilities or kids’ activity clubs. These are a great way to enjoy the pool without the guilt, and also to meet other single parents.

Some single mums like to head off as a group with other solo mums and dads. That way they can take turns to look after the little ones while the other parents are taking it easy. Solo parents deserve some fun and rest, and being surrounded by other single parents who are in similar situations can be a real lifesaver.

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