When most people think of a family vacation they picture a mom, a dad and kids. Today, however, it’s not always that simple. In 2013 an estimated 24,650,000 children lived in single parent households, so it’s evident that the dynamics of the household has changed significantly over the years. With that, many of these single parent families, like mine, will be taking family vacations this summer. Over the past few years I have learned a lot about doing these trips so I’m sharing my top four tips for surviving a summer vacation as a single mom.
Tip #1: Vacay Locally
We tend to think that a vacation requires us to travel far away from home. That may be true for families that live in areas that don’t have much to offer but luckily South Carolina has some great hidden treasures. With easy access to Myrtle Beach, Charleston and Kiawah Island, staying locally for a summer vacation in South Carolina is easy and cost effective. Vacationing locally typically doesn’t require airfare and saves mom from driving for hours and hours.
Tip #2: Join Other Moms
If you think you need a little back up, it’s a great idea to team up with another single mom and do a group vacation. This gives you the opportunity to have another adult around to make vacations to places like Disney World and other amusement parks less stressful because you have an extra set of eyes to keep on the kids. It’s also provides a great release at the end of the day (after the kids go to bed) to enjoy some mommy chat time.
Tip #3: Ask the Kids
Vacations can be a nightmare if you pack up and take the kids somewhere they don’t want to go. It is their summer vacation too and we want them to enjoy it as well. A key way to get the kids to enjoy their summer vacation is to get feedback from them on what they would like to do on their vacation. After you have this information you can start looking into places that offer these things. (Don’t forget to include the things you want to enjoy as well!)
Tip #4 Set a Schedule/Prepare
Preparation is the most important part of surviving a summer vacation. Set you schedule for major activities ahead of time and have a family discussion about these plans. Being prepared will help you save money and time, leaving you more time to enjoy your trip. This also helps prevent confusion when you arrive to your destination. This is a very important tip where teenagers are involved that may want time to explore some things without mom.
Are you a single mom planning a vacation this summer? What tips would you add to the list?
Erika Dawkins is a freelance writer, editor, small business owner, author and most importantly, mom to Reece (7). Erika has a bachelor’s degree in Print Communications and a master’s degree in Media Communications. She has spent the past 11 years writing and contributing for several online and print publications as well as working with small businesses in developing communication and marketing strategies. She recently published her first book, Let Your Greatest Struggles Provide Your Greatest Opportunities: The Confessions and Reflections of a Real Single Mom. Her love for writing and her experiences with business and balancing single motherhood are guiding her through the development of her second book, due early 2016. When not writing and taking Reece to his various extracurricular activities, Erika enjoys spending time with her dog Munchie.