Hey moms and dads, if you ever wanted to take a trip with your tiny but were afraid to go it alone, read on for a few tips on how to make the trip a memorable experience.
Plan ahead. Unless it’s a last-minute, unplanned outing, do your research ahead of time. Book a hotel in close proximity to a drug or department store so that you’ll always have access to diapers, wipes, snacks, and other items that you may have forgotten.
Go in the off-season. Not only will you save money, but you’ll avoid crowds by visiting popular areas when tourism is low. If you’re going to the beach, for example, consider going in late summer when schools are back in session.
Home security. If your home will be unoccupied while you’re away, consider adding motion sensor lights, which Redfin reports are a great DIY project that will keep your house safe and secure. Don’t forget to let your neighbors know that you’ll be MIA for a few days.
Consider a resort. All-inclusive resorts are an excellent option for single parents. All meals and many activities are included and most are patrolled by dedicated security personnel.
Check local crime stats. Even if you plan to stay relatively close to home, make sure to check your target destination’s community crime map. This is especially important for single moms traveling with small children since women are often, unfortunately, easy targets for criminals and children are not necessarily a deterrent.
Pack right from the start. There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of your first night of vacation to the sounds of a toddler screaming for his favorite toy. Start packing a week before you leave and make sure you have all the necessities. Babies and toddlers should have two outfits for each day of travel if you won’t have access to laundry services. Check out Travel Momma’s Travel with Children Checklist for more must-remembers.
Mind your budget. Unless you have unlimited funds, chances are, you have a budget in mind. And while it is tempting to treat your toddler at every tourist trap, you’ll have to find the right balance between free and paid attractions to ensure you don’t break the bank. Group discount sites, such as Groupon, are excellent resources for discounted admission and even percent-off coupons for gift shops. Don’t forget about local parks, which will allow you the opportunity to see the sights without watching your money disappear.
Provide plenty of distractions. Kids of all ages find it difficult to focus on one thing at a time and they get bored fast. When kids get bored, they get loud. While traveling, whether via car, bus, train, or plane, make sure to offer your tiny traveler plenty of distractions to keep them entertained until arrival. Older kids may enjoy taking control of the family camera while younger children may be more content to zone out watching reruns of their favorite cartoon. Make sure to pack kid-safe headphones to ensure your distraction doesn’t damage their fragile eardrums.
Keep up with the kids. No one anticipates that their child will get lost while on vacation, but the reality is that it happens. A child’s excitement may lead them to wander off and out of your sight in an instant. Consider investing in a wearable GPS tracker for infants and older kids. SafeWise.com lists the top 15 models for 2017 here. Younger children may not object to a tethered backpack, which will keep them at a safe distance.
While no single list can guarantee you’ll have an uneventful trip, a few preparations will put you on the path toward a memorable experience no matter the ages and stages of your traveling companions.
Featured Photo via Pixabay