Single Parent Family Travel Guide

Traveling with your kids can be fulfilling but also overwhelming at times, especially if you’re the only adult in the group. Here are some tips on how to keep your cool as a single parent on your next family vacation.
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If research isn't your thing, don't despair. Some single-parent groups organize trips, lining up dates, destinations, and group rates for families. Parents Without Partners is one of the oldest such groups in North America, founded in 1957, with chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Although travel isn't the main focus, you will find tours on its website, including several cruises with destinations from the Caribbean and Mediterranean to Alaska. Single Parent Travel also offers trips for single-parent families. Choose from options such as a weekend getaway in Seattle, a Christmas cruise, or a Wild West adventure at Rocking Horse Ranch, about 90 minutes from New York City.

Here are some other great resources for single parent families:

Yellowstone Association Institute Family Programs
These summer and winter programs in the national park are terrific for families with kids ages 8 to 12. Included: a guide, lodging, breakfast and lunch, and activities like hiking, wildlife watching, animal tracking, snowshoeing, and geyser studying. Prices start at $823 per adult and $370 per child for the four-day program.

Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort , 25 miles from Yosemite Valley, offers single parents a 15-percent discount on accommodations, which include dorms, tent cabins, or private rooms. Rates: $20 to $115 per night. There are many other families, hiking trails, a swimming hole, evening campfires, family yoga classes, and more.

Four Beaches Resorts (800-BEACHES) in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos have Single Parent Fun (SPF) Months, when the normal $200 per night single supplement charge is waived. SPF rates at Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, Beaches Sandy Bay, Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club, and Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort & Spa start at $183 per adult per night, $63 per child. They also offer celebrations with Sesame Street stage shows, family learning adventures, and themed activities.

Palace Resorts in Mexico offers "kids stay free" through August, where up to two children 12 or younger sharing a room with one parent stay for free. Available at select Palace hotels in Cancun, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, Nayarit, and the Riviera Maya.

VIA Rail , in Canada, allows one child age two to 11 to ride free with each paying passenger age 18 and older. Deals like this are available at various times throughout the year. Train travel, especially in Canada, is a terrific way for families to explore. In Switzerland, ages 15 and younger travel free on the entire Swiss Travel System , which includes rail, busses, boats, and 400 museums, so single parents are never penalized. (For more information on Europe's rail system: www.raileurope.com)

At the five Marriott resorts in Hawaii , children 17 and younger are free in rooms even if there is only one parent. Resorts are on Oahu, Kaua'i, Maui, and the Big Island.

Published: 15 Sep 2008 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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