Your days of planning vacations as a couple may be over. But your new status of flying solo as a single parent doesn’t have to mean that you’re through with vacations. Taking a family road trip with your kids alone is a great way to bond. It can also mean more freedom and a less hectic schedule. The following are tips on how to survive a road trip while single parenting.
Put Together a Budget
It can be hard to build financial stability as a single parent. Saving enough money for luxuries such as a vacation getaway can be a challenge when you have bills and other obligations to attend to. But if you set aside a budget well in advance of your trip, you’ll be able to afford the time away. Start your savings account by automatically taking out extra money that isn’t delegated towards bills or other important expenses. As a family, come together and think about items that you can do without, such as a cleaning person, weekly dinners out or daily coffee runs. Look around your home for items that you no longer use and can sell on the Internet. The money saved can then be placed in your special vacation account.
Plan Your Adventure
Allowing your family a voice to where you should travel can make the experience so much more enjoyable. Gather the family together as a group and decide where you would like to go on your adventure. You can design Disney vacation packages around your family’s specific needs. If you’re looking for a quick getaway, a 3-night excursion allows you the chance to visit your favorite of the four theme parks. If you’re looking for an extended trip, your magical 7-day vacation package can include everything from a spacious suite to tickets to Disney.
Travel at Night
Young children can become easily bored. Since you’re the primary parent and sole adult, you want to keep your full attention on the road and not on refereeing fights among siblings. To eliminate whining and crying along your route, plan on traveling at night while the children are sleeping. You can also break up the driving into smaller intervals if you feel drowsy or tired.
Use Creative Thinking
Bathroom breaks, meals and navigating your GPS can be difficult when you’re taking a road trip with the children as a single parent. Because you don’t want to leave your children alone for any amount of time, you need to come up with some creative thinking. Make potty breaks a family exercise. If your kids are under the age of five, everyone must go in together as a group. If you’re trying to save money, pack a picnic lunch and pull over at a scenic park instead of loading up on fast food. To avoid becoming lost along the way, program your GPS well in advance of your trip. Take note of the map, so you know which route you’ll be taking.
Even though you may have mapped out your route for your road trip, you may not always have the luxury of grocery stores or maintenance shops. Before you leave on vacation, pack the car with essential items you’ll need. An emergency road kit should have a flashlight, flares and other road essentials. You also want to have food and water for your children. Healthy snacks can include apples, cheese, crackers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and trail mix. Extra diapers, a change of clothing baby wipes and infant food can help calm the most finicky of babies.
Electronic gadgets such as smartphones and tablets can be great for entertaining children while you’re driving. The technological advances alleviate boredom and keeps kids entertained through movies and games. But you don’t want them to be on the devices constantly. Set time aside to make memories by stopping at various points of interest. You can also reconnect with your family by playing games in the car or chatting up your trip ahead. If you’re on the way home, you can speak with your children about their favorite vacation moments.
Children love to be helpful no matter if they are at home or away on vacation. It gives them a sense of purpose and responsibility. Assign duties that suit their age and maturity. If your child is in their teens have them assist you in loading the car. For children who can read, assign them the role of reading highway signs, and the number of miles until you’ve reached your destination.
Traveling is important for families as it allows your kids to see other parts of the world. But before you share this amazing experience with your children as a single parent, you want to read through the above helpful tips to make your experience fun and less stressful.