Single parent vacation destinations

Picking your first single parent vacation?

This is exciting stuff...Vacation fairies start to dance through your head sprinkling dreams of your children sharing their toys, letting you sleep in, remembering their manners while you enjoy a gourmet meal!

DON'T ask your kids where they want to go...You'll likely get a blank stare or a commercialized (expensive) response like Disney World. Instead, talk to them about what they like to do...hopefully this is a conversation that happens frequently. When you understand your child's personality and hobbies, it will be easier to select an appropriate location. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Jet Set Kids and their parents will love Washington D.C.

Often times, parents overlook big cities as a destination point...A busy metropolis doesn't sound too relaxing. However, there are a ton of amenities, music, dining, monuments and museums...which translates into something for everyone.

One of the things that I loved about DC was the ability (necessity) to park your car and walk or ride public transportation. You get to experience the city more intimately, when you actually touch, smell, and walk through.

My sister lived in Washington DC for a year. Since she home-schooled my niece, every Friday became a field trip. When you go to museums like the Smithsonian, there are regular educational activities like scavenger hunts and arts & crafts that are fun and free.

There are plenty of kid friendly hotels as well. The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel, is currently offering a Jet Set Kids package. Parents with toddlers can request a "baby-proofed" room complete with complimentary crib and stroller for the duration of their stay...which means two less things to travel with!

The package also provides kids with a backpack of goodies to help engage your children...It has a guide book to the city, digital camera, a deck of 52 city adventure cards and a scrap book which is a possible learning activity after the vacation too.

Curious Kids will love to see how "IT" is made in York County, PA

York County is the Factory Tour Capital of the world. With 16 FREE factory tours, your kids will be able to see the inner workings of some of their favorite snacks and hobbies.

Some of the tours have minimum age requirements, like Harley-Davidson. However, families are welcome at Sweet Treats & Salty Eats Snack Food Trail...And Hershey's Chocolate World is sure to be a hit for everyone, with a simulated factory tour ride that concludes with free samples.

After you have your fill of chips and chocolate, you can take a bike ride on the Heritage Rail Trail, kayak on the Susquehanna River or fly a kite at Mt. Pisgah.

With a vacation in York County, you are close to wonderful dining and exciting activities...with the comfortable amenities of a hotel or the quaint charm of a bed and breakfast or campground.

Be sure to manage your vacation expenses. Stay on top of your credit reports.

Outdoor home and abroad

Some single parents and their children prefer to vacation on the wild side...litterally!

Beth Hawks, single mom and president of CoreComm PR, has explored several national parks with her daughter. At one trip to Mammouth Cave national park, they toured caves, rode horses, took an old time ferry boat ride...and more. They also stayed in Cave City at Wigwam Village - one of only three remaining teepee style hotels designed by Frank Redford. This Wigwam Village celebrated 70th anniversary in 2007.

She's been rafting in Utah, a two day wagon trip in Wyoming and fulfilled a childhood dream by staying at Old Faithful Inn. Hawks recommends planning ahead to look for unique activities and experiences, but remember to be flexible. You never know what you might find off the beaten path.

If you are ready to travel abroad, there are Safari packages catered to families with children as young as four-years-old. The Shamwari Game Reserve features a children's coordinator that will discuss customized activity options for your family...including a close up chance to see the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, elephants and Cape buffalo).

For more ideas, check out this mother of two. As she travels, she writes about her travel experiences...both travel and tips she learns along the way.

Wherever you go...take lots of pictures and cherish the time with your children.

Happy Parenting!

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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