After an uncontested divorce you may be longing for a change of environment. Your role as a parent has most likely changed since your divorce. A vacation as a single parent is an opportunity to take a break from the emotional upset you underwent and is a time to reconnect with your child.
There are several options available as you plan your next vacation with your child. If you are feeling a bit intimidated about taking on the responsibilities of a vacation with your child, you may want to pair up and vacation with another single parent. This can help cut down on planning time and costs. Your child will have an automatic play partner if you decide to go this route. You will also have an adult companion. This can be comforting when you need someone to understand the challenges you are facing. In addition, one parent can take over when the other parent needs some time alone.
If you are considering visiting another country, you may want to book a vacation rental. This will help you to save money on food. Most rentals will come with a kitchen. Going to another country also gives your child the added benefit of being immersed in another culture while having the rental as a home base.
If you are looking for something less expensive and closer to home you may want to consider national parks. Accommodations range from camping in tents to a lodge with bunks. Generally, there will be a variety of activities for you and your child.
Having your heart set on a cruise or going to a beach doesn't have to cost you a fortune. Search the internet for single parent vacation specials. The tourist industry has opened up a whole venue for single parent vacations.
Here are three "musts" while planning your vacation:
- Consider your child's interests and tolerance. Does your child get carsick easily? This would quickly ruin a long road trip;
- Do your homework. When researching possible destinations, make sure to read the destination's reviews. Make sure that there are lots of options for activities. If you are on a more conservative budget look into off season times for lower prices; and
- Be organized. This will help control costs and expectations. If traveling outside the country, make sure you have all the appropriate documents and medical exams scheduled ahead of time (don't forget to get any needed additional medications for your child before leaving).
The Single Parent Travel Handbook by Brenda Elwell can be a helpful companion when planning your vacation. Her book covers everything from suggestions on where to vacation, to which documents you may need when traveling overseas. Elwell also covers how to find travel agents who specialize in single parent vacations in the U.S. and abroad.
When returning home you and your child can continue to share the experience of your vacation. You can make a postcard and send it to your friends and family featuring a picture your child took. Another option is to make a holiday greeting card with a vacation picture.
If your child is older he or she can make a video, documenting the trip. There are a variety of video software packages on the market which are user friendly. Your home computer also may have a movie maker already installed.