by Lisa Iannucci
Last updated: 8:00 PM ET, Tue September 19, 2017
Traveling with children can be difficult. There is much to pack and remember, kids to keep entertained and, when possible, time alone for the parents.
If you're a single parent, traveling with your children can be even harder, especially when it's only you who is responsible for everything.
Jenna Glatzer is a single parent who frequently travels with her daughter Sarina. They love going to resorts where there's a full slate of daily activities on the premises. She suggests that other solo parents do their homework and contact the resorts they are planning to visit.
"Someone recommended Woodloch Pines in the Poconos, and it was exactly the type of place we love best, but it was also very expensive," said Glatzer, a ghostwriter. "I realized, though, that all the rates listed were inclusive of two adults for meals."
She wrote to the resort and expressed her dismay that the rate didn't seem fair for single parents.
"They responded back swiftly to agree and offer an appropriate rate based on one adult and one child," she said. "I'm so glad I didn't just cross them off my list based on the advertised rates."
On her first day at the resort, Glatzer and her daughter met up with another single mom and daughter: "We ended up spending the whole vacation together and had a blast!"
Kimberly Milnes, owner of Family Travel Boutique in Cherry Hill, New Jersey is also a single mom who travels with her two sons.
"Travel where you will feel safe," she said. "For women, traveling alone with kids? That can be big."
Milnes suggests requesting rooms in a location of the resort where you will feel comfortable: "I was traveling with just me and my two boys, and the hotel had rooms that you could access from the outside and rooms where the door opened into an indoor hall. I made sure my room was accessed through the hall as it felt safer to me."
[READMORE]READ MORE: Expert Advice for Traveling With Children[/READMORE]
Sarah Fazendin, a travel designer affiliated with Tafari Travel, a Virtuoso Member Agency, said that single parents need to have details like reliable transfers and great guides organized in advance.
"They value having a great local contact and the support of a travel agent who is knowledgeable and experienced in the destination," said Fazendin. You want to be sure the agent understands the logistics, uses the best guides and transfer services and has contacts at the hotel/resorts. This helps the parent feel more comfortable, confident and relaxed so they can focus on having fun together as a family."
Planning a trip is a lot of fun, but a lot of work. Stacey Hartmann, a travel planner with Enjoy Vacationing in Waunakee, Wisconsin advises single parents to find a trusted agent to work with who knows the destinations you are interested in and to consider tours for structure.
"Consider a partially guided tour in the more exotic locations you are considering," she said. "For example, I had a single mother go to China. Typically they travel without a tour but it gave them a perfect fit for some structure and guidance and some downtime."
[READMORE]READ MORE: Inspired Destinations for Families with Small Children[/READMORE]
With all of the responsibility falling on the single parent, Glatzer reminds them that it's their vacation too: "If you want time off to have a glass of wine or go for a swim by yourself, you may be in luck. Many of the family-friendly resorts offer crafts, games and other activities for kids for nominal fees (or even included in your rate), often offered as half-day or full-day camps. Rates are not always advertised; call to check about options and cost."
If you're traveling internationally, be aware: Have a letter signed by the other parent that states he or she gives permission for you to take the child out of the country.
If the other parent is deceased, carry a copy of the death certificate on you and everyone's birth certificates too, especially if you are the sole parent named on the document.
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