How to holiday as a single parent with your child after your divorce

How to holiday as a single parent with your child after your divorce

Even with the divorce rate in the UK at 42% it always amazes me how I am often the only single parent with my child in a holiday resort. The norm is still mum and dad with their children around the pool and at dinner. I wonder how this is possible when the divorce rates are so high around the world now. Is it that single parents don’t go abroad?

Having spoken to clients and single parent friends I have discovered that many of them feel so uncomfortable that they won’t go on holiday abroad. They feel like they stand out like a sore thumb and that people feel sorry for them. One friend took her son away for a week to Spain and when she came back she vowed that she would never do it again because she felt so awkward being the only single parent in the hotel. She hated being by the pool surrounded by two parent families and especially disliked meal times in the restaurant. She felt everyone was looking at her and commenting and she lacked the confidence to deal with it well.

Although I totally understand how difficult it can be, it is such a shame to miss out on a holiday with your child just because you are a single parent. I do know how uncomfortable it can be though. Only last week I was abroad and there were several awkward moments:

– When I was checking into the hotel I was asked if it really was just me and my son, even though the booking was clearly made for 2 of us. I had to explain that it was and she commented on how unusual it was to travel alone with your child.

–  The hostess at breakfast asked if I would like a table for 3 even when I was standing there just with  my son! Explaining “no just 2 of us please” was met with a look of shock, horror and surprise! We were the only 2 person family in the resort that I saw.

– When I booked a sea plane ride I was told that my husband could come for the same price as me! I had to explain I was only buying 2 tickets as I didn’t have a husband with me.

– I was approached by a mother by the pool on the 3rd day. She wanted to ask me a question – “Are you by yourself with your son?” It appeared it was such a novelty for people to see that she had to come over and double check with me!

There is no question that it is still not the norm to holiday with your kids alone. You will stand out as different and it can be uncomfortable at times. However there are some things you can do to make it easier for yourself:

  1. Don’t over think things. People may notice or comment but they won’t dwell on it for long so don’t let it affect your day. It really doesn’t matter what they think.
  2. Focus on your children. Get onto “kid time” and enjoy the one on one time with them. Use the time as a wonderful way to bond with your kids. There will be many magic moments on a holiday so make the most of them.
  3. Think of all the good things about being there without a partner – you can parent anyway you like and you don’t have to worry about anyone else.
  4. When those awkward moments arise always answer with a smile and aim to put the other person at ease. If you act like you are upset that you are alone then it can make other people uncomfortable too. I always smile and say “yes it’s just us and we are having a great time”.
  5. Dress appropriately as this will make you feel more comfortable as you will be able to blend in better. For example if the dress code for dinner is casual then don’t over do it as you may attract unwanted attention!
  6. Be aware when you are talking to someone’s partner of the opposite sex. You don’t want anyone to think as you are single that you are targeting their other half!
  7. Have fun! It’s important to remember this is your chance to relax and escape from your every day life. Holidays are precious times so have fun and enjoy it. We work hard to be able to go away so don’t waste a moment feeling sorry for yourself.

If you follow these 7 steps it will make a difference to helping you enjoy your holiday. Remember there are many upsides to being a single parent and you shouldn’t miss out on going away because you don’t have a partner. You can always organise to go away with friends or invite a family member to come along to if you really can’t face going alone. I am organising some luxury single parent and kids holidays so look at my website for more info

My advice is to do it and enjoy it. There are always two ways to look at a situation, it doesn’t have to be negative. I really love my week away every year with my son – just him and me. It a magical time that I cherish and I wouldn’t have it any other way.