Single Parent Travel

Alone time

… How to get some all-important me time when travelling with kids.

As a single parent, who doesn’t share parenting, alone time is something that’s a basically unheard of. Especially the older the mini adventurer gets, I mean my house was sooo much tidier when the boy napped and I only worked part time!

And obviously I wouldn’t have it any other way, I hate being apart from him (except when we’re at work/school it’s incredibly rare for us not to be together as I’m a sad act and miss him too much), he’s my best friend, and I love going away with him on our many adventures. But the one thing that I have realised over the years is that the odd half an hour (or even 5 minutes) of peace, where I’m not at work, or asleep, makes me a better parent.

Our holidays are normally jam packed and all about us both having fun but they’re also meant to be a break for me from work, like they were pre becoming a Mummy. So I’ve worked out a few ways to get just a little bit of time to switch off and relax:

Get an apartment

If we’re travelling for a long time, I always try to get an apartment rather than just staying in hotels. Once the mini adventurer is asleep it’s so nice to be able to go into the lounge, read a book or watch tv, rather than sitting in a hotel room in the dark or going straight to sleep.

Get a balcony

Along the same theory, if you’re getting a hotel rather than an apartment, look for one for balcony. My favourite way to chill out on holidays (whether it’s London in December or August in Portugal) is to sit on a balcony, watching the world go by, drinking a glass of wine and listening to country music.

Find a park, or a beach (or if you’re really stressed a softplay!)

Obviously not so helpful if you’re travelling with little ones but as they get older and can play independently, grab a cuppa in peace while they have fun and run around wearing themselves out! Once I’ve had my 5 minutes I’m much more ready to climb to the top of the climbing frame while hoping I don’t get stuck anywhere!

Pick a holiday with a kids club!

This is the one I struggled with the most, I think because as I have always been a single mum I’ve never got used to having someone there that nips to the park with the kids or takes them out for a day, so I’ve never gotten used to not being without my son. No one ever looks after Luka apart from my Mum occasionally, and because our time together is so precious, I originally was not a fan of using kids clubs while away. On our first ever all inclusive break Luka didn’t go to the kids club once and as much as it was an amazing holiday, it was 100% not a break for me, especially as he was younger so I couldn’t let him out of my sight for a second. I tried to read a book and managed 1 page in 2 days and gave up!

So when we went to Croatia last summer and saw there was a kids club for a couple of hours a day we decided to give it a try, and I must admit we absolutely loved it! As much as I missed him like mad (the first session I sat outside the door to the playroom the whole time), he had an absolute blast, got to do things he wouldn’t have done with me, and still misses Vito who was one of the entertainment team, and I actually got to chill out, do some sunbathing and read a book. On the last day I booked into the spa and spent two blissful hours getting a massage and I can honestly say I have never in my life felt more relaxed and ready to face the world in my life than I did after that.

So if you’re heading off on holiday, especially as a single parent, don’t forget to make sure you take some time for yourself to recharge and relax too!