Planning your single parent vacations
Single parents pull double duty all year long...so we should get twice the vacations, right? Well, more time may not be realistic, but a more rewarding trip is possible.
Single parent vacations require a little more planning and coordination. The perk is that you can use some of the planning time to bond with your kids BEFORE the trip...but I'll get into that more in a minute.
According to Dan Austin, Director of Austin-Lehman Adventures, single parent travel is on the rise. Typically, single parents start planning their trip four months out compared to 45-90 days for two-parent households.
Your time is precious, so let's take a minute to think about the purpose of your vacation:
Do YOU need a break, to pamper yourself or blow off some steam?
It is OK to need some time to yourself...let me repeat that, so it really sinks in...IT IS OK to need some time for yourself.
Work is stressful. Juggling kids is stressful. If you need some time to go to a spa, or time to explore the wilderness, take it for yourself.
This may not be the best time to take your kids on a vacation. This might be the time to leave them with the other parent (or grandparents) for a long weekend, while you get to relax.
Do you have time to 'fill' over summer/winter break, after a visitation with the other parent?
I'm still only six months into single parent life, so I haven't experienced this one yet. However, I have seen a few parents go through this potential nightmare.
Let's say that your child is spending a couple of weeks...or a month...with the other parent. There is a cool spot between your house and their house that you might not normally travel to. After you pick your kids up from their visitation, you decide to make a pit stop on the way home...just to spend a couple of more days doing something fun.
Sounds innocent enough, right?
Understand your child's personality before you venture into this add-on vacation. Your kid's routine has been altered, the rules have changed, they haven't been sleeping well...so they aren't going to be their normal chipper self.
You can still include these stops along the way, just have realistic expectations of your children...and prepare for some mood-swings along the way.
Do you want to spend time to connect with your kids?
Ok...You have the time to dedicate to your children and hopefully you are refreshed from your own mini-vacation!
Let's start planning:
Legalities (a must for every divorced single parent vacation)
Vacation Destination (picking a spot that everyone will enjoy)
Planning the trip and engaging your Children (use the planning time to bond with your kids)
Travel Tips (to keep them occupied on the way from here to there)
Money Saving Advice and Offers (a bonus for those of you that made it to the bottom of the page ;)
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