My feed

to access all these features

Use our Single Parent forum to speak to other parents raising a child alone.

Lone parents

Anyone been away with Mango? Am thinking of booking...

18 replies

gillybean2 · 07/07/2008 13:33

and just wondered if anyone's been who can tell me whether it was better than going it alone which is what we usually do.

Hoping my ds 9 will meet lots of friends this way and not just for a couple of hours but for the whole week.

So if you have been on a holiday specifically aimed at lone parents and their children (doesn't have to be Mango) can you let me know how it worked out please.


OP posts:
susia · 07/07/2008 18:41

I went with Small Families. It was not a good success but I think because my son was too young (nearly 4) and nearly all the children there were about 9 plus. In the evenings everyone ate together and went out, he was really tired by then and not used to restaurants so really played up.

BUT I think the others enjoyed it, so would say for older kids it is a great way to have some company on holiday if you can afford it.

This year just me and my son going on holiday.

gillybean2 · 08/07/2008 08:19

Thanks for the feedback Susia. I seem to remember reading your story, particularly the late evenings.

We have been away lots just the two of us and it works better when travelling abroad I think. I'm quite an independant traveller and like to do our own thing at our own pace, plus we're vegi which always makes eating out difficult!

For this lone parent holiday I have choosen a UK based one and it's in self catering accomodation. We will have to share the cottage ( have our own bedroom) and an activity is suggested each day but you don't have to do it. I have relatives not a huge distance away, so if things get dire I figure we can go visit them at some point.

They also said they've booked us into the last remaining cottage, so it seems there will be a few other lone parents there which was my biggest worry I have to say!

My ds is 9 so main issue will be food, but with self catering and only 3 of the evenings marked as a meal together I think we should be ok.

We'll see how it goes though!

OP posts:
MumtoPhoebeboo · 08/07/2008 13:53


I posted about Mango in the travel section. I'm booking a holiday with them for the first time, skiing in Romania with DD who will be nearly 8 by the time we go. I've talked to the guy Steve, at Mango, and he's happy to help and give information about the various trips. I'm quite nervous as I haven't been on a lone parent holiday before!

Let me know how you get on!

susia · 08/07/2008 22:18

I do think it is a great idea (your holiday) and one that I would consider again when my son is older. Holidays can be hard when you're a single parent and this year I have booked us into a holiday on our own as we had noone to go with which I am a bit sad about.

But it's with eurocamps (got a mega cheap deal!) so I think there will be plenty to do. In fact I think it'll be an adventure...!

My son was just too young for any organised evening activity and he behaved really badly because of it and then I felt judged to be a bad mother

Anyway, with your holiday I'm sure it'll be great with an older child. You can join in to what you want and I'm sure there will be vegitarian options.

MCSomerset · 25/09/2008 22:14

I went on holiday with Mango - complete rip off! Youth hostel in wales - basically they gave us a loaf of bread and said help yourself - that was the catering. The so called ep had no idea about anything. The accommodation was badly planned so we were split into 2 groups. Def wouldn't recommend it! They were making a huge profit - just for putting us in touch with other mums. When I complained, I got no sympathy whatsoever.
Since then I've found which organises trips in the uk and abroad. Its a holiday club, so MUCH better value. Check it out! Also have lots of friendly meets in your area, let me know if anyone wants details for west country.Mandy

gillybean2 · 26/09/2008 08:03

Oh I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your holiday because we did go on the Mango holiday to the Brecon Beacons and thought it was fantastic.

We were staying in cottages and I thought it was very good value when I looked at how much it would cost me to rent a cottage for a week at that time of year. We had plenty of things for our lunches and breakfast and only had to ask if we needed something. I brough lots of my own things too as we had self catering facilities and didn't use half of it.

The host went out of his way to ensure we were all happy with the food for the evening meals and being vegi was no problem at all. He even bought tinned raviolli at the request of one of the mother's who said it was all her child would eat!

My son said it was his second best holiday ever (after disneyland california) and I am definititly planning on booking with them again. In fact I already did book a short break away with them.

I would agree that the foreign holidays are quite pricey imo, but then I am used to booking everything myself and thus getting a hugely better price on the package market. So if you compare it to a package I'm not sure if it's comparable or not. But the UK hols to me seem pretty good value and you get the added bonus (which is worth paying a little more for imo) of other children for my ds to play with and company for me in the evenings as well as during the day and activities.

Regarding singlewithkids, from what I understand there are some issues surrounding that company in terms of are they a club or not. Not sure if those have been resolved yet. Have you been away with them or just on the day trips?

OP posts:
ChrissieL · 26/09/2008 18:28

Hi Gilly,
Not sure what issues you refer to?

We set up SingleWithKids at the end of last year basically because I'd had some lacklustre experiences on other single parent holidays and was quite disappointed at the margin taken on some. The idea of SWK is to bring enough single parents together to keep the prices as low as possible - we've got a trip at Christmas that is only £9 a night, and with 50 single parents together should be a lovely way to spend Christmas (it's going to be featured in a leading woman's mag in December). We also offer a wider variety of locations in the UK with everything from cheap campsites through to National Trust cottages with swimming pools, tipis and farm breaks.

SWK differs from Mango and Small Families in that our trips are at completely the opposite end of the scale in price, we aim to offer something for all families and many single parents are tight on funds, and secondly although we aim for the club to be eventually self funding, it's not our source of income - I have a successful full time career as a Marketing Manager.

No company can be all things to all men and we recognise that sometimes people just want to get together with others in the same boat without any great expense or structure, to this effect we also encourage members to post and organise their own events - something neither Mango nor Small Families would do as their main purpose is obviously to sell their own trips.

I'm not sure what "issues" there are in all of this, although one of our competitors has been unhappy about us undercutting their margin and sent us a very nasty email. I can't say it gives me sleepless nights though, I get much more reward from the emails we receive from single parents having just enjoyed their first holiday for a long time.

Quite a number of Mumsnet members have come along on our trips and the feedback has been very positive.

Chrissie x

p.s. I've met Jackie & Steve of Mango by the way and they are a lovely, lovely couple.

waites · 26/09/2008 18:41

I went away for the first time with SWK and had a great time.

MCSomerset · 26/09/2008 19:10

Could I just add a few points to this - this year in May, the Mango holiday I went on cost me £485 for myself and 2 children in Pembrokeshire for 4 nights.(mon to Fri)Youth hostel was ok, but very basic, as you would expect.

I discovered later that staying in the youth hostel in question normally costs £14.95 per night for adults. Maybe we were just unlucky with this particular trip, but i could see very little "added value" for the extra money they were charging.

Next year, we are going to Britanny for a WHOLE WEEK in peak season (July-Aug) with Single With Kids for £460, again for the 3 of us.

We are staying in a gite on an an old farm complex of 7, with swimming pool, paddling pool, games room, outside play area... and bar!

I have just surprised myself by discovering on the Britanny details that breakfast is even included in the price and there will also be an evening barbecue on two nights, plus an evening meal on a third. wow!

Full details: Britanny Holiday

Obviously, neither price includes travel.

I think this comparison speaks for itself! And I can bet the food in Britanny will be better than the loaves of supermarket bread we were given to eat in Wales!

Personally I don't see what the problem is with SWK founders having some financial benefit from running the club. It must take hours and hours of time and research putting together holidays like this - you would be hard pressed to find an entirely voluntary group willing to put that amount of time into offering such a good service to it members. And if they are booking holidays up front for large groups of people, they are the ones taking the financial risk - so they deserve some reward.

Plus - there are the huge range of local trips, days out, meets, etc, with SWK, which are all independent, and non-profit making, organised by the local members themselves just for the enjoyment of meeting other like-minded people. And basically having great fun! Its honestly worth finding out what your local group is up to! (I won;t bore you with any more details!!)


reikimarie · 27/09/2008 11:18

Well I shall look forward to meeting you ChrissieL as I too have bookede with my 3 year old boy to go to the Single With Kids Xmas barn trip and can hardly wait!

For years I have endured shockingly quiet and dull Xmases since my mum died and have had to bear ex visiting, and often we used to have a nice row to add salt to the wound on Xmas Day! Last year he went off in a huff for no real reason at all.

So this year will be amazing I think! By the way do you think other younger children will be going?

So long!

ra29 · 04/10/2008 10:22

does anyone have a link to single with kids holidays as I've googled and can't find it- thanks.

Tinkerbel6 · 04/10/2008 11:07

ra here it is, im having a look myself

ra29 · 04/10/2008 21:42

Thanks Tink!

Von73wirral · 04/10/2008 22:48

SWK holidays are great if you are in with the clique. Prices are excellent but please do bewarned, if you havent been on one before then a few local meets are recommended as alot of people that book on the trips are close friends and do group off together leaving newbies to fend for themselves.

Otherwise a great site.

ChrissieL · 05/10/2008 09:42

The majority of holidaymakers on a singlewithkids holiday don't actually know anyone - in fact on some our summer jaunts to Pembroke and Cornwall, nearly 90% of the group had never met and yet got along famously.

We do have people that come back time and time again basically because the trips are so cheap. Our party camping weekends are a great place to meet the friends you've previously made on other trips - but even at the Wicksteed CampFest you came to Von, half of the group had never met - and most have booked again (as you did). We're absolutely delighted parents come back, it's a good sign and although we've still a long way to go, we're obviously doing something right !

Reikimarie, there's a wide age group going to the Christmas bash, the youngest child is 2 the oldest 14 at the moment, it should be a great party!

Chrissie x

Von73wirral · 05/10/2008 10:05

Totally agree chrissie they do come back as the holidays are so cheap and such great locations.

The party camping weekends are great as you say to meet friends you have met on previous trips but not recommended for a first time trip.

would defo recommend the smaller holidays such as the lakes where there are less people and more chance to meet new people and getting to talk to them properly, before venturing on the larger party trips.

reikimarie · 05/10/2008 18:02

Glad to hear my boy won't be the only young one then at the Xmas bash! Thanks for the info ChrissieL and Von, don't know whether I will go on any other trips in the meanwhile - it all depends on money and the lack thereof!! Looking for work ....!

I will just join in with the rabble as best I can, I have been wanting a nice large group at Xmas for ages now, it is dead boring just being at home during festive season if you ask me...!

ChrissieL · 05/10/2008 21:06

I know too well reikimarie, this year I am DEFINITELY not opening the box of Kleenex! Last year was one of my most miserable Christmasses yet, even though I'd been separated 2 years from my Ex. For the first time I was home alone with my girls and had the distinct impression everyone else was out having fun. Of course that's not the case, but I'm not even going to take the chance this time around.....

Charades and karaoke will be so much more fun with 50 of us

Chrissie x

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.