Saturday, August 12, 2017

3 Great Tips Single Moms Should Know for Stress-Free Travel Sans-Children

Photo by Zack Minor on Unsplash

There is never a bad season for travel, whether you’re going to visit family, spend your time off in another part of the world, or simply escape from the chaos of everyday life, but being a single mom comes with its own set of travel preparations, especially when you decide to make the trip alone.

Traveling is stressful. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the many preparations you need to make for your trip coupled with making sure the kids are safe and happy. If you’re planning to travel in the near future sans-children, here are a few tips to make the experience as seamless as possible.

Plan Childcare Far in Advance
While not every trip is planned months in advance, it is always best to get your childcare plans set in stone early to avoid scrambling for a sitter. If a family member or friend will be keeping the children while you are away, make sure they are 100 percent positive they will be available during the time you will be gone. For your peace of mind and theirs, create a concrete schedule of routines and rules, making sure to cover:

  • Car seat installation, removal, and usage 
  • Child and baby-proofing measures 
  • Rules your child follows regarding strangers, bedtime, bathtime, electronics, etc. 
  • Child’s allergies, medications, and medical history 
  • How you can be reached at all times, as well as a list of important phone numbers. 
  • Travel itinerary, and times you might be out of cell service.
Make plans to check in with your caregiver regularly. Depending on your child’s age, decide how much contact is appropriate. Some children will prefer daily contact, even if it’s just a short text, while others may get upset hearing your voice and not being able to physically see you and get a comforting hug.

Give Your Kids (and Dog) a Vacation Too

Just because you are taking a trip without the kids doesn’t mean they can’t have a vacation of sorts too. You may find that you are experiencing a little bit of guilt about wanting to take a trip for yourself, but moms need to prioritize themselves too, and a short time away is just the fix. The guilt may be coming from your children too, as they ask why they can’t come and even beg you not to go. To compensate for this, make fun plans for them too.

While you don’t have to send your children on an all expenses paid vacation of their own, think of the little things that would make them excited or happy. Rent movies they have been dying to see, plan a surprise play date with friends, leave money to get their favorite treat, or encourage them to plan a fun day out for the two of you when you get back. Get creative with it by leaving letters and asking their caretaker to sneak them into the mailbox.

If you have a pet, it might be asking too much of your caregiver to take on the task of looking after Fido too, so consider hiring a pet sitter who will take your pet into their home and treat them like family. Not only will it make your pet happier, but knowing your pet is in good hands will make your vacation a bit less stressful, too.

Remind Yourself Why It’s Good to Travel Alone

All moms should travel alone at least once, and while the thought of leaving your kids with a caregiver while you take some time for yourself has you ready to unpack your bags and cancel the whole thing, take a moment to think about why this is a good thing.

This is your chance to go on your own mom adventure, and because you don’t have kids around, you can do or see whatever you want. Go to that concert or get a massage on the beach. Enjoy your freedom and have fun doing it. If this isn’t reason enough, consider that this is your recent button, and a way to fall in love with motherhood in a completely new way. You can turn on the stove and cook a frozen pizza without blinking an eye, and you’ve watched the same Doc McStuffins episodes over 500 times. Being a mom is rewarding, but it is exhausting too! Go on your trip, and relish the moment when you return home and get that first hug, kiss, and smile that will make it all worth it.

Traveling alone is a wonderful way to get away from it all and get some much-needed rest and relaxation. Start the trip off with a bang by making sure child care is covered and addressed to cut out unnecessary stress, so you arrive at your destination worrying about nothing more than what you want to do first. Plan activities to keep the kids happy and occupied, and before you know it you’ll return rested and scooping up your little one in open and loving arms.

This is a guest post written by Julie Morris from

Julie Morris is a life and career coach from Wilmington, DE, who strives to help others live the best lives that they can. She believes she can relate to clients who feel run over by life because of her own experiences. Ms. Morris spent years in an unfulfilling career in finance before deciding to help people in other ways.

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Note from Shakirah:
Sans means without if you were wondering. 

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Shakirah is a single mom to a 5 year old. She is a blogger, teacher, and graduate student. Her goal is to bring a more positive and realistic look into the lives of single mothers.

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