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Single holidays with children

(29 Posts)
Funnygran Tue 14-Mar-17 11:42:43

My son and wife separated last year although he sees his two sons aged 3 and 9 regularly. He was initially very depressed about the split but is a lot better now and his ex has agreed that he can take the boys on holiday this summer. He is looking at all inclusive beach type holdays in Europe, somewhere with activities to suit both ages. We are all for it but I worry that he might find it hard going especially as a lone dad. I was wondering if anyone could suggest holiday companies that might cater more for single parents where he might find some moral support. I am obviously not talking about providing nightlife when he is on holiday with children. Of course in this day and age maybe I am being naive in thinking he will be the only lone parent in a holiday resort?

br0adwater Tue 14-Mar-17 17:43:14

My sister took her 3 boys camping on the continent most years in the 80s and 90s. She mostly used Eurocamp. Boys usually love camping.
My husband used to take our boys camping in Wales without me.
While your younger GS is so young I'd recommend staying in this country.
Another (pricier) option is Butlins.

Lillie Tue 14-Mar-17 17:50:43

I did Eurocamp in France for many years while DH worked back in the UK. The benefits are: there are plenty of other parents around to talk to, Eurocamp offers kids clubs and the reps are available if problems occur. Most campsites have pools, play parks, cafés etc. Some have the beach on the doorstep. Brittany is a safe, not too hot region.

Funnygran Tue 14-Mar-17 18:41:35

Thank you Lillie and broadwater for your ideas. I had forgotten about Eurocamp which we did when our kids were younger. I too have reservations about him going abroad with the little one on his own and would feel happier if he was in the U.K. in case of emergencies. But he seems determined and I am only his mum!

Newquay Tue 14-Mar-17 18:49:44

Yes I agree a company like Eurocamp has everything they could want. I would suggest having a mobile home rather than a tent-makes life much easier. . .

trisher Tue 14-Mar-17 20:55:47

Funnygran if you google single parent holidays there are loads of companies doing things from short UK breaks to all sorts of other things. Even if he sticks to an all inclusive foreign holiday he may find a short break that he and your GCs would enjoy.

Auntieflo Wed 15-Mar-17 08:59:07

Has he thought about Center Parcs? There are lots of activities and you don't have to go abroad.

Falconbird Wed 15-Mar-17 09:22:23

I don't have any ideas to offer just now but I think it's so sad that there are so many lone parents holidaying with their children. I went on holiday with my youngest son and my grad daughter who is 3 to keep him company and help out with the little girl but it was tiring for me and emotionally draining. There must be holidays in the UK with an emphasis on lone parents. Centre Parcs sounds good.

Funnygran Wed 15-Mar-17 09:54:34

Centre Paris is lovely and we will look at that. I had thought about going with him to help out but we have them staying here a lot and I do get tired! Don't know if I could cope with a week full on. My excuse is that he needs time on his own with his boys. I know there are lots of parents holidaying alone for various reasons so he would possibly find company. If the children are occupied and happy it's relaxing for the one in charge anyway.

amt101 Wed 15-Mar-17 09:57:43

I know it's not abroad by Butlins is great for children with lots to do and great accommodation and food. Great value for money. I took my grandsons one time and they still talk about it. My youngest granddaughter loves going. The huge splash world is a great attraction. There's a fair and clubs for the youngsters. Best of all most most things are free.

radicalnan Wed 15-Mar-17 10:03:28

Don't go to Pontins whatever you do, it was filthy when my daughter went last year and very, very rough. Butlins is superior but pricier I think. Check Trip Advisor i wish we had done before we paid for Pontins they had 3000+ bad reviews.

Does Gingerbread still exist the did single parent holidays.

meandashy Wed 15-Mar-17 10:08:17

I took my dd to butlins/pontins holidays on my own when she was young. She always found friends to play with. I only the other hand spent a lot of time twiddling my thumbs! I did it anyway! When she was older I took her abroad just the two of us and she enjoyed that. It was easier when she hit 10 I think.
Two years ago I took dgd to pontins alone. She loved it! Again I spent most of the time twiddling my thumbs! I have to say I was very disappointed with the facilities, nothing like I remembered.
Last year three generations of us went all inclusive to Bulgaria. There were a few single parents. The entertainment programme provided at all inclusive places is generally quite a high standard these days, so this may be of some use to your son and his kids

Smurf44 Wed 15-Mar-17 10:26:44

Haven is similar to Butlins with accommodation in static caravans. My 3 year old GS had a wonderful time at Devon Cliffes (I think that was its name but it was def on a cliff in Devon) last year. Admittedly both his parents were there but I'm sure they cater for single parents too. There were lots of other activities on offer not far from that site when they wanted to escape!

JackyB Wed 15-Mar-17 11:40:22

The Youth Hostel association offer great packages with all sorts of hobbies included, such as kayaking, sailing, abseiling, walking, climbing, aircraft model making (that's a guess), drama and music. Tuition is included and, of course, full bed and board. Not specifically for single-parent families, but I'll bet lots of them use it.

Also I see that PGL offer family packages now, too.

Shazmo24 Wed 15-Mar-17 12:42:58

How about offering to go with him so that you can all have a holiday together?

ValC Wed 15-Mar-17 12:50:25

I take my 3 granddaughters every year to Wales for a week. They are 10, 12 and 14 now and still want to come. We have been going away since they were 3, 5 and 7 so were quite young when I first took them We have stayed at different caravan sites but the one they liked most and that we go back to now every year is Presthaven Sands at Prestatyn It is far enough to go so that their parents are within easy reach if there was an emergency (luckily not happened yet) but there is so much for them to do they love it.

pennyh47 Wed 15-Mar-17 13:07:07

Some years ago I belonged to The Single Parents Travel group and had some wonderful holidays with my youngest from age 10 to 15. Very supportive and kids did not feel "different". Not sure if it is still going. Did UK and abroad and made some good friends

flaxwoven Wed 15-Mar-17 15:43:48

We took our three to a Warners camp on the Isle of Wight near Ryde in the 1980's (then aged 11, 7 and 5). Lovely cabins, delicious food including home-made soup, swimming pool, playground, beach nearby, plenty of activities and entertainment for all ages. It then got taken over by another company so don't know if it stayed the same. We had a very enjoyable and relaxing holiday because the children had lots to do. Previously we tried Butlins and very good although a bit more hectic.

Tessa101 Wed 15-Mar-17 16:51:12

My friend took his son to mainland Spain for a week last month, his son is 11 and they did all inclusive and within 48 hrs he made friends with another chap who was on his own with his daughter. Also children are great at making friends and breaking the ice,he will have a lovely time and will cope in the sunshine in a relaxed environment.Just send him on his way with lots of positive thoughts.

bellabrusco Wed 15-Mar-17 21:18:31

Mango group holidays were recommended to me but have not tried yet.

Katek Wed 15-Mar-17 21:41:22

My daughter went on a Small Families holiday after she was widowed. She and dgd had a lovely holiday in Majorca and are still in touch with a couple of the other single parent families they met. Lots of choice online.

Funnygran Wed 15-Mar-17 22:29:39

Lots of ideas here thank you all. Some research needed as to home/abroad. Older boy thinks camping is a fantastic idea!

Starlady Thu 16-Mar-17 07:03:05

The only thing is, Funnygran, maybe your son already has an idea of what he wants to do? He certainly knows where he wants to go - " beach type holdays in Europe, somewhere with activities to suit both ages." Why are you researching? Isn't he doing that?

Funnygran Thu 16-Mar-17 17:36:11

starlady yes he has ideas about where to go. In view of his (hopefully) past depression I worried that faced with lots of families he might feel rather down about his own situation which is why I wondered about holidays aimed at single parents. He is nearly 40 - I wonder when I can stop worrying about him?

pinkwallpaper Thu 16-Mar-17 19:32:07

Isn't there a saying, "You are only ever as happy as your unhappiest child". Not sure I totally agree but understand it.