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Advice When Travelling as a Single Mother

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Children Kids Travel Travelling Family

Travelling with children is a great way to show kids the world, enrich their education and make family memories that will last a lifetime, but for single mothers these journeys can be just as much work as they are play. To take some of the guessing out of travel, single mothers should research the trip thoroughly, obtain proper documentation before travelling and pack purposefully. With such detailed preparation the only thing left to do will be to have fun when everyone arrives.

Research the Trip Thoroughly

Single mothers often feel like they could use an extra pair of hands, eyes and/or ears but never more so than when in unfamiliar surroundings. Avoid panicking during a trip by researching transportation and accommodations thoroughly. Not only will this help mothers know what to expect in their new surroundings, but it will also let them find out more about the products and services that may be on offer. For example, mothers may find that some airlines offer more bassinets for babies than others, or that some hotels offer kids clubs while others do not. During this research mothers should remember that there is no such thing as a dumb question. Do hotel rooms have fridges to keep formula cool? What about microwaves for heating bottles? Are cots and/or travel cribs available? Will restaurants have cereal for breakfast since that’s all Timmy eats? These are all questions that can help put a mother’s mind to rest before she steps foot outside of her own home. If children are old enough, they can be involved in the research as well. Working together to learn more about a destination will help families get in the mood before the holiday even begins.

Obtain Proper Documentation

Before booking a trip, single mothers should make sure that they can travel with their children. This may mean getting permission from the children’s father or it may simply mean checking a custody agreement to see if the terms provide for national or international travel. If a mother is not certain of her right to travel with her children then she should contact her solicitor immediately. Once all legalities are out of the way, a mother will then need to gather documents, visas, proof of travel immunizations and insurance papers as needed. If a single mother’s surname is different from that of her children, then bringing along a birth certificate, marriage certificate or certificate of divorce may be necessary. Last but not least, don’t forget tickets and booking confirmations – particularly if they specify that a mother needs to be seated or housed in particular areas.

Pack Purposefully

What children need in order to feel comfortable will be known to mothers, so these items should be on the "do not forget" list. Security blankets, special toys or books and a number of games or activities to keep children occupied will be just as important as clean clothes and personal care items. Keeping out some items for carry on bags will also be essential so that kids can always be distracted during long flights, rides or endless lines. And no matter if a trip will include swimming or skiing, sunscreen is a must.

Travelling as a single mother can be exhausting yet exhilarating. Some cultures can be more conservative than others, however, so some single mothers may choose to slip on a fake wedding band to avoid questions about their marital status. Keeping a charged mobile phone on at all times and giving friends and family details of travel plans are also good ideas for single mother safety while travelling.

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