Will you be traveling solo with kids or grandkids? Here are five ideas to ensure that good times are had by all.
1. Bring backup. Of course you want to spend time with the kids. But, every grown-up deserves a little R&R on their own holiday. Bring along a favorite auntie, your college roommate or another bestie who will relish some vacation time with you and your children.
That way, you’ll have a built-in pal for spa time while the youngsters are at the resort’s kids camp or for a late-night chat while the little ones are snoozing. You may also want to take turns as the “adult in charge” while the other heads to the gym, takes a nap or grabs an hour by the pool with a great book.
2. It’s all included. Board a cruise ship or check in to an all-inclusive resort for a stress-free getaway. You’ll have a clear idea of how your travel budget will break out while knowing there will be plenty of activities and dining choices for everyone in your clan. More companies such as Disney Cruise Lines and Beaches Resorts are putting extra energy toward making single parents feel welcome. Efforts include group dining, waiving single supplements and special social events. In no time, kids will converge through sports, on the beach, and during arts and crafts, thus finding age-appropriate friends with whom they can share new experiences. The bonus: solo parents discover a window for relaxation.
Contact: Beaches.com; DisneyCruise.Disney.Go.com; rivieramaya.grandvelas.com
3. Plan an adventure. Board a “jack-of-all-trades” vessel, one comfortable and nice enough for grandparents and parents, yet hardy enough for energetic kids, and embark on a seafaring adventure. With an expedition-style tone as backdrop, choose from Safari Endeavor’s active itineraries in Baja California’s Sea of Cortez or Alaska’s Inside Passage.
Guides are trained to engage with kids of various ages and abilities and will encourage exploration via kayaking, hiking, stand-up paddleboard and Zodiacs. Kids of all ages will thrill to the site of breaching whales in Alaska and the whale sharks and sea lions that thrive in the Sea of Cortez, the body of water Jacques Cousteau dubbed “the aquarium of the world.”
4. Create a custom trip. Design your own or work with an adventure outfitter or travel agent to manifest a family getaway that will be picture perfect. Choose your destination, the desired level of adventure and inquire about ways for each family member to have the proper mix of down time and active participation. Consider adrenaline-pumping hiking, biking or rafting trips or itineraries that include cultural exploration in urban areas or faraway points on the globe. Your imagination and expectations paired with the experience and knowledge of a travel pro will result in a dream family vacation.
Contact: Vacationkids.com; Backroads.com; Oars.com
5. Better safe than sorry. As parent, grandparent or any adult traveling solo with kids, it’s best to carry the proper documents that will enable you to cross borders, access medical treatment in an emergency and deal with unexpected circumstances in a changing world. In most cases, a signed and notarized letter providing consent from the absent parent or parents should suffice. Different countries have different restrictions so inquire before you depart to avoid disappointments.