Passports at the ready, single parent style!

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I recently wrote a post about who do you go on holiday with as a single parent? Or maybe you are a parent who’s partner is unable to travel with you and you want to get away on holiday, same problem.

Well, one of those options was to go it alone with your little person/people. Is that such a crazy idea? Will you end up pulling your hair out?  Feeling out of place? Wishing you had never bothered? Well, I thought I’d put it to the test! I was craving some winter sun, had previously put a bit of money away and thought, sod this, let’s just do it! Now I realise this isn’t on par with the women back in the day who were fighting for our right to vote but hey, it felt pretty damn liberating!

Ok, so the decision was made but now where the hell were we going to go and what were my considerations in where to choose. My criteria was pretty basic;

  1. Sunshine
  2. Beach
  3. Pool
  4. Kid Friendly
  5. Kids Club
  6. Kids entertainment
  7. And did I mention Sunshine?

After speaking to quite a few friends, colleagues and customers (is it just me or has everyone else lost the ability to make a decision since they have given birth?!) I opted for Lanzarote, then narrowed it down to the Playa Blanca region as it wasn’t supposed to be so commercial, and there found the Flamingo Beach Resort Job done!

Ok, first hurdle, how on earth do you manage all of the luggage, without resembling a packhorse? I soon figured, looking like a packhorse was unavoidable but there was a solution to single handedly carrying quite a lot!

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Hand luggage

MunchkinTrunki  I am a HUGE fan of these, they really do keep them entertained as you queue at the bag drop, which quite frankly is no different to back in the day when you used to check in at the same time. Also handy on that last minute dash to get them to the  departure gate.

Me–  A rucksack, the name of the game here is to free up your hands!

Hold Luggage

Munchkin – Small pull along case that doubles up as a rucksack with straps, note above point re freeing up your hands! I found this great one by Karrimor and not a bad price from Sports Direct either!

Me – Standard suitcase

I figured with these options I could fully load up and manage all four if my little travel buddy wasn’t willing to help out!

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Just the two of us

On arrival at the hotel and checking in, it appeared they had seen two names on the room and assumed couple, hence giving us a double bed. I’ve never been into bed-sharing with Munchkin. I much prefer to sleep without being elbowed in the face or kicked in the stomach during the night. So a swift call to reception and we had our own separate twin beds to help us remain friends for the rest of our holiday!

The hotal was brilliant, definitely geared up for kids/families. At this stage I wondered how I might feel being there on my own and not part of the normal family unit. Do you know what, it didn’t bother me at all. I think that was simply down to the fact, that I am so used to it at home, why would it be different anywhere else, as this is our norm. **Eureka lightbulb moment!
I signed us up for a couple of trips so that we didn’t start to get  stir crazy being at the resort all of the time and then pondered the thought of Kids Club…

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Kids Club

I wasn’t sure how I felt about this before we went, as you can no doubt guess the “mum guilt” was nagging away at me. I work full time, I get a full week of quality time with my son and I’m considering Kids Club! What kind of bad mother am I? Well, I’m the kind of bad mother that, with an absent father, never gets any time to herself apart from in the evenings when my son goes to bed.

What would it be like to have some real time to myself in the day, now thats appealing! So I surpressed the mum guilt with the concept that I’d introduce him to it and if he wanted to go he could, if not, I wouldn’t push him into it. Guess, what..whoop whoop, he loved it! He went in a few times while we were away and what did that mean for Mummy?

Some serious reading time…havent read a book on holiday for 3 years, only ever managing on previous holidays to read a page , which involved repeatedly reading the first few lines! Munchkin going into Kids Club did seem to jinx the weather, so out went my tanning time but hey, when was that ever going to stop me, just cover up with Munchkins towel and happy days!

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Mealtimes

We were fortunate enough to be staying all inclusive, so for a whole week I didn’t have to think about what to cook, buying it and then cooking it. Bliss! It was this environment though, that I was probably the least prepared for. We’ve been out many times to restaurants, just the two of us, however there, you have your table booked and the obvious sign you’ve finished is when you have paid up. Not in an all inclusive, the sign you have finished is when you are not at the table. Here posed our first problem…getting meals, puddings, drinks and the standard “I need a wee, wee mummy”, meant we were often away from our table. At least on a few occasions by the time we returned, there was already someone sat there wondering why I was shooting daggers across the room at them.

I soon became wise to this and went out at mealtimes with “props” that could be left at the table to show there was some sign of life and the potential for someone to return – towels, coats, scarves. Always part mindful that someone may take a fancy to said item but trusting the human race and hoping they were all in “be nice” holiday spirit.

 

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Evenings

As I’ve already mentioned, the hotel was really geared up for families with young children. The entertainment in the hotel was very low key, with kids shows starting at 1930 and on for just over an hour. I therefore threw the Gina Ford book of parenting out of the window and let him stay up as long as the entertainment was in play. I was able to ring fence that this was special as we were on holiday! It was a win win situation, Munchkin loved it and was entertained sitting with the other children in front of the stage and I happily tucked into some “Mummy’s Juice” aka red wine! We were generally back in the room by 9, Munchkin went to bed and then I followed soon after. It was a great way to catch up on some much needed sleep.

 

Overall, I can say hand on heart that we had a really lovely time, it was great bonding and very special with it just being the two of us. I didn’t feel out of place not being in a family unit because why would I, it’s how we are all of the time. If you are reading this and have toyed with the idea, I’ve got one thing to say – DO IT, DO IT, DO IT! I promise you, you won’t regret it.

Mum-Work-Repeat x

 

A Mum Track Mind
Cuddle Fairy
Mummuddlingthrough
Single Parent Pessimist

21 thoughts on “Passports at the ready, single parent style!

  1. Beta Mummy says:

    Sounds like you had a great time! I’d love to do this, sounds brilliant. Would def need the kids club…! I have two kids though so I think I’d be rather laden down with stuff – I might have to wait until they’re old enough to actually carry their own bag!

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Big lover of the kids club, great to have the time out. Did think it must be so much harder if you have more than 1! Hats off to you dealing with that

  2. Sarah and Louise says:

    Cor!! I’d love to do this. It looks like it was absolutely perfect and how lovely for it to be just the two of you. I’m sure it made some lovely memories for your munchkin too. Feeling inspired!

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      It really was, you should do it! So liberating and I think because you’re more relaxed because you are on holiday it rubs off on them. Would definitely not think twice about doing it again

  3. Jade Lloyd says:

    I bloody well admire your courage, until 5 months ago I spent almost 5 years solo with my little one and found the idea of taking him anywhere so overwhlming I never tried. I regret that. You sound you had a lovely time with your son, and some time for you as an adult…which you definatley deserve its a hard time when it is just you! I am now toying with the idea of taking my little fella away just him and I, not somewhere as exciting as Lanzerotte but maybe centre parks as I miss that time. Thanks for inspiring me #bloggerclubuk

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      You should really do it Jade, I think the biggest obstacle is definitely in our minds. The real lightening bolt moment for me was realising just how “normal” it felt. You’re used to being with your little one on your own anyway, so doing the same but in a different place, really doesn’t feel any different. If anything it feels better! Please let me know if you do and how you get on x

  4. Talya says:

    Yay good for you! Looks like you had a lovely time and well done for braving the travels! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub lovely x

  5. Claire says:

    i came back from my holiday last night so this is ringing a lot of bells for me!
    We found a great family friendly resort in spain and it had a kids club- i didnt feel guilty for 2 hours of me time for a couple of those days so you shouldnt either!

    #singleparentlinky

  6. Ellamentalmama says:

    Well done you. I’ve done quite a bit of solo travelling with the little one. A month backpacking juat the two of us nearly killed me. A kids club would be fab. No need to feel guilty we all need some downtime!

    • MumWorkRepeat says:

      Wow, a months back packing, how on earth do you manage to pack light for that? Very impressed!

  7. Sarah - Mum & Mor says:

    The Trunkis look fab. I want one for my daughter when she’s older. I’m not single, but we plan to go on holiday next year. Little one will be a year old by then. I hope it’ll go smoothly and it’s good that there’s bloggers sharing their own travel tips. Thank you. 🙂 #fortheloveofBLOG

  8. A Mum Track Mind says:

    Well done! I am such a big advocate of getting out there on holiday with your kids as a single Mama. I think I’ve mentioned before that I did it when I was a single Mum with my boy and I didn’t regret it for a minute! Sounds like you had such a fantastic time. We have been to that resort and loved it! Thanks for linking up with us again on #fortheloveofBLOG x

  9. Yvonne says:

    Brilliant! Looks like you had a lovely time and kids club is a great idea for you to have a wee bit of time to yourself. I am a huge fan of trunkis too! xx #fortheloveofBLOG

  10. Sarah@teammomlife says:

    I think it is so wonderful that the two of you went on vacation by yourself. What a brave women you are and by that I just mean that I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to travel with child by yourself. I am personally dreading our first flight with our boy in a few months. And yay for the Kids Club! You certainly deserved the mommy time and “mommy juice”. Glad you were able to have a good time and I’m sure he loved going on an adventure. #ForTheLoveOfBlog

  11. Mess and Merlot says:

    So glad it worked out and that you took advantage of the kids clubs- you deserve a rest! I’ve taken my 2 on a plane from babies while Himself was working and it definitely gets easier! #coolmumclub

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