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Affordable holiday abroad for single parent

17 replies

chloemummy · 13/06/2002 13:15

Does anyone have any ideas where a single parent could take her 2 yr old daughter either now or in September.

I am coming up with not a lot that I can afford cos of single room supps etc etc.

Is there another single parent who wishes to go on holiday out there? Or even a family who did not mind an extra two people coming with them.

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PamT · 13/06/2002 14:48

There used to be an organisation called Gingerbread for single parents. They also organised holidays. I don't know if they still exist but this might be an option.

Haven, Butlins or Pontins might be a bit expensive but would have lots of other people with children for you to meet.

SofiaAmes · 13/06/2002 17:31

Chloemummy, what type of holiday are you looking for? You might be better off booking flights and hotel seperately, especially in sept. when flights are much cheaper. We go to a wonderful place in italy with the kids and it is cheap and very child friendly.

Tinker · 13/06/2002 18:49

chloemummy - I have had holidays with my daughter and, like Sofia suggests, I have booked the flights and accommodation separately with budget airlines. Since your daughter is only 2, you can really take advantage of out of season fares.

SofiaAmes · 13/06/2002 21:28

Also, in Italy (i don't know about the other med. countries), they take their dates very seriously...the whole country goes on holiday in august which is therefore their peak season. This means that you can get hotels dirt cheap in september which still has absolutely beautiful weather.

Tinker · 13/06/2002 23:11

Sofia - where is it that you go Italy?

Cityfreak · 14/06/2002 10:24

I agree that it is cheaper not to look for holidays labelled single parent but just focus on no single supplement. UK can be horrendously expensive for attractions and parks and eating out even though you think you are saving on travel. If you do really really nerdy amounts of research (well, most holiday brochures are sent to you free anyway) and book way ahead or last minute, you can find excellent low season deals, including some with childcare. Because of the impact of single supplements and the cost of living, you can sometimes find a far more luxurious holiday for the same money in the Caribbean or Far East (where they tend to have room only rates instead of single supplement) esp if you shop around for flights. Instead of accepting the travel agent's pitch, investigate unfashionable destinations (which are often nice) yourself, where rooms are likely to be going begging. If you are completely shameless, there is also scope for ringing up and trying to negotiate in low season for waiver of single supplement, cash discount etc!

Detta · 14/06/2002 10:52

Don't know how interesting it would be for a 2 year old, but Alghero in Sardinia is absolutely great. Beautiful clear sea, lovely sandy beaches. In June/September you can fly there very cheaply with Ryanair. Alghero (an old mediaeval walled town right on the beach) is about 5 mins by taxi from the airport. Accommodation out of season (either side of July/Aug) is very cheap. Stayed there last June and had a lovely time.

chloemummy · 14/06/2002 10:56

Which holiday companies do not charge single room supplements then? I have contacted all single parent organisations? Gingerbread is still in existance?

Sofia - where is it you go in Italy? Do you have any childminding service? The thing is i would like a holiday as well as Chloe. When I put her to bed say at 8pm I would like to still be able to have a meal.

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chloemummy · 14/06/2002 11:00

Detta - where the childrens playgrounds that sort of thing? Do you know if any childcare facility? Sounds good. Are there other places you can visit?

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Cityfreak · 14/06/2002 11:14

Chloemummy, Loads don't charge single supplements but you have to pore through every page of the brochure to find the particular hotels, eg Skytours, Thomas Cook, JMC holidays, Going Places, Neilson, Mark Warner, Unitours, Kuoni, Caribtours, Belleair, and the ones on the shelf in any travel agency. Quite often there is a special symbol for single saver offer next to the picture of the hotel. In each brochure you may only find 2-3 no single supplement deals, so you have to read lots of brochures.

SofiaAmes · 14/06/2002 21:42

chloemummy, we go to sperlonga (about 1 1/4 hours by train south of rome). But I don't really know about childminding, we always take our son out with us. The italians tend to take their children out to eat with them so all the restaurants have highchairs and they are totally baby/child friendly and set up for it.

StickyFingers · 20/06/2002 10:44

I too am a single mum although my daughter is now eight. When she was two we took the Eurostar down to Orleans then the French TVR train through the mountains to the South of France. We stayed on a caravan site right on the beach opposite St.Tropez. It was a fantastically cheap holiday, the main cost being the train. The caravan was £10 per night for a four person van, and of course was self catering so the food was as expensive as we wanted.
The drawbacks were lugging all the baggage along with the buggy, and the long train journey there and back, however,lots of people helped me, and my daughter actually loved the journey. She could walk around the train and I took loads of books, colouring equipment and food.
Once we were down there, we had a great time. We were two minutes from the beach, we were put into the family section so there were loads of kids for her to play with plus I made loads of friends by just eating and reading outside in the evenings.
We went with another single mother and her daughter so it was exeptionally cheap as we shared the food bill, however, even if you go on your own you will meet lots of people there.
I wish I could remember the name of the site but I cant. It had loads of kid facilities plus watersports.
If you ask any travel agent they will be able to put you in contact with the right people. Alternatively you could look in the back of the Sunday Observer or Guardian. They are always advertising these sorts of holidays.
Good luck !

SoupDragon · 20/06/2002 10:57

Have copied this wholesale from another board... It might not be your cup of tea!

"It's not always easy being the sole adult trying to entertain the kids on holiday. Even planning, booking or travelling can be daunting without someone's matching input. Happily holidaying two-parent families and cosy couples can make lone parents feel totally isolated, leaving them less refreshed than if they had stayed at home!

The Single Parent Travel Club (SPTC) was set-up just over 10 years ago to help single parents out of this dilemma. It enables lone parents (with or without residency) and their children to get together and share holidays and short breaks. It now has over 450 members and local groups throughout the U.K.

Mums and dads now enjoy weekends away, holidays and nights out without the kids. Recent holidays have included; an environmental week in Devon exploring the countryside and badger watching; a wild and wet weekend at a water park in Belgium and a fun packed two-centre holiday in Florida. Holidays are organised by members and are only limited by their imaginations and budgets!

SPTC is a non-profit organisation funded by an annual membership of just £7.50. Members receive a quartely newsletter with the latest details about what's on and when. It also has a pen pal section which is great for the kids, so they don't lose touch with their new friends and provides a good opportunity to share ideas about where to go and what to do.

Harry Lloyd, aged 10 says "The SPTC is wicked, it's great when we go away with the travel club, there are always lots of children to play with, I've met lots of new friends and always have a great time".

Local groups enable members to get together for days out. Members are given a list of local contacts which details the interests of both
children and parents so families that enjoy similar past times can get together. Children that have enjoyed SPTC holidays range from two
months to 18 years.

If you have a particular holiday dream that seems a bit intimidating to organise by yourself or if you'd like to join in one of the many short breaks and holidays already organised why not give the hotline a call on 0870 2416210, write to: SPTC Membership Secretary, 6 Bentfield Road, Stansted Mount, Essex CM24 8HW or check us out at "

angharad · 20/06/2002 11:16

if you don't mind a 4/5 hour plane journey there are special single-parent deals to Egypt and israel at or I know people might find Israel an odd suggestion but nothing happens in Eilat and it's great with kids. Aquarium, dolphins, boat trips, clean beaches, all very child friendly. We're planning to go back at the end of september, when the weather will be cooler but still warm.

chloemummy · 20/06/2002 15:12

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I am exploring going to Sardinia in September. Still would like another single parent with child or family to come with me to share the expenses if anyone is intersted. Or any other tips and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks once again.

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LTA · 20/06/2002 16:29

I wish I'd seen your message a while back. I'm a single parent and have booked to go to Corsica with Mark Warner. There wasn't a single room supplement, although the overall cost of the holiday is high, but they do have excellent childcare (or so I have heard). The room I have booked is actually a twin room and they gave a discount as there is only 1 adult in the room! As alternative arrangements are already in place for this summer, how about considering a joint holiday for spring time??? I know it seems like a long way off, and lots could happen between now and then, but it could be good. My son is 2 yrs old, he loves being with other children which was one of the reasons I opted for MW as I wanted to be sure there were other children that he could play with.

chloemummy · 26/06/2002 15:56


Corsica sounds nice when are you going? Maybe we can hook up in the spring (sounds like a good idea). Am going to france now for one week in August and I still may go to Sardinia in September for a week. The flights are very cheap just looking for accommodation now. If you want to contact me my email is [email protected]

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