From Choosing Where to Stay to Things to Do in the Caribbean With Kids of All Ages.
As a single parent, finding the time, money, and energy to travel can seem hard at times – but nothing is ever impossible. Travel has many benefits and is a great way to bond with your kids and introduce them to the wider world around them. It might feel more stressful if you’re going it alone, but the incredible memories you will make with your family are worth the extra effort. Luckily, a lot of that stress boils down to the destination you choose, and the Caribbean is up there at the top of the list when it comes to relaxing destinations. With amazing beaches, tons of kid-friendly activities, friendly and welcoming locals, and a laid-back vibe, it really is hard to beat as a holiday destination. And with the number of quarantine-free countries small, now may be a great time for travellers to start setting their sights further afield and consider the Caribbean islands, most of which have just opened their borders again. So, let’s get into the details of how to plan the perfect single parent Caribbean holiday with kids.
Choose a Family-Friendly Island
The entire Caribbean is a child-friendly destination, but there are some islands that are more favoured by families than others. For kids, a big part of a great holiday will be making friends, so to help with that, choose an island where they can interact with other kids their age.
Islands such as Barbados, St Lucia, Turks & Caicos, are just some that are well known as spectacular family destinations. Barbados is famously safe and child friendly due to the countless activities to do for families with kids of all ages, including wildlife reserves, snorkelling, and golfing. St. Lucia is best known for its beaches and excellent snorkelling, tropical rainforests and the world’s only drive-in volcano. There are many considerations to think about when you’ve got kids in tow. Not just cost and convenience, but also attractions and whether the resorts are geared towards families with younger or older children.
Get Your Kids Involved in the Planning
Never leave the kids out of the planning stage of your vacation. By getting them to help, you are not only showing them that you value their opinion; you are also ensuring that everyone gets something out of the holiday. There are lots of things they can contribute depending on their age: from researching the weather and time of year to travel to helping choose the accommodation and activities. There are lots of things to consider when planning a trip as a single parent, so the sooner you start planning, the better. And with your kids involved, there won’t be any surprises for anyone – you can pick activities together that you can all enjoy, be it an eco-adventure, an offshore water park or snorkelling.
Pick Your Accommodation Carefully
The accommodation you choose can make or break a holiday with kids. The Caribbean has a wide range of options, from budget hotels and vacation rentals to luxury resorts and sandy beach houses. Whatever you choose, make sure it is the right choice for you and the kids. Take time to figure out what your family’s needs are. Are you after somewhere with a kids’ club so you can spend some time by yourself, or maybe a beachfront property so your kids have unlimited access to the water? Do you need a pool, or a large flat screen TV to watch movies? Finding the right accommodation is key to a successful family holiday with kids.
Consider Going with Family Friends
Reeling in some other families to join you on your holiday is a great way to save money, lower stress levels, and make your vacation more memorable overall. Your kids will have friends to play with, and you will have other adults to talk to and can share the responsibility of taking care of the kids. It also makes it much easier to rent an entire beachfront villa – pop over here to check out some of the Caribbean’s most exclusive villas that will have your kids bubbling with excitement.
Prioritise Direct Flights
Gone are the days where you could save some money by accepting a 10-hour stopover. Flying solo with kids can be challenging, so make things easy for yourself and prioritise direct flights to the Caribbean – or the least number of stopovers as possible. Getting yourself, the kids and your luggage through the airport is stressful at the best of times, without having to factor in a stopover. Save yourself the hassle and book the best direct flights and read our tips on how to get through a long haul flight with kids. Being prepared will help things go smoother when flying with kids.
Schedule Time for Things Everyone Can Enjoy
The beauty of a Caribbean holiday is that there is so much diversity on the islands that your kids won’t get bored for one minute. From snorkelling and beach diving, to lazing away on the beach, to heading to a local amusement park, finding fun activities for everyone is easy. Taking into consideration what your kids want to do is obviously a priority, but don’t forget to share with them some things that you are interested in doing as well. Letting your kids know what you like only serves to bring you closer, after all. The good news is that some of the activities in the Caribbean are cheap or even completely free, which helps immensely when it comes to saving for your holiday.
Lock in Plenty of Downtime on the Beaches
There is no question about it, taking children on a holiday as a single parent can be exhausting. That is why it’s essential to lock in plenty of downtime at the beach. The Caribbean beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world and chances are, this is what attracted you to spend your family holiday here. The sea always has a lovely temperature, the water is calm and safe for kids to swim in, and the sand is perfectly white and soft under your feet. Whether you visit one of the Caribbean’s most popular beaches, such as Shoal Bay on Anguilla, Crane Beach on Barbados, or Grace Bay Beach on Turks and Caicos’ Providenciales, or simply head off on an adventure and find your own – all the beaches on St. Lucia are public if that is where you are heading – scheduling plenty of time to laze away on the sand is a sure-fire way to make your holiday with the kids a success.
Planning single parent family holidays in the Caribbean might sound like challenge, but, in reality, it’s an easy enough destination to get to, by no means unaffordable and a dream-come-true destination for families with children. Feeling inspired? Let us know which island you have set your sights on, or if you have any tips on where to go in the Caribbean.