Single Parent? Here’s Why a Solo Vacation is Good for Your Soul
Americans are half as likely to take a vacation as Europeans. That’s a shame because travel is a spiritual, soothing experience that’s good for the soul. As it turns out, taking those unused vacation days is good for our health, too. Studies have linked travel to overall better health and decreased chances of a stroke or heart attack. Researchers say travel offers similar benefits on mental health as crossword puzzles.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay by Jill111
Of course, if you’re a single parent, it can be tricky planning a family vacation. Some single parents are opting instead to take kid-free solo vacations. While you will undoubtedly want to take some vacations as a family, the occasional kid-free vacation can be an affordable, low-stress, healthy option.
Solo travel is less expensive and more flexible than a family vacation. You can relax and take time for yourself without the kids. For those in addiction recovery, a relaxing solo vacation might actually help you maintain sobriety. You can ease everyday stress by avoiding triggers you’d otherwise encounter at home. It’s also an opportunity for self-reflection and discovery. Stepping outside of your comfort zone opens you to incredible future experiences, forgiveness of your past, and clarity on what you really want out of life.
Here are some tips for single parents on solo travel and vacationing alone:
1. Plan ahead
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to plan a great vacation. By planning your trip months or weeks in advance, you can sign up for airfare alerts to secure the best prices. If you’re on a budget like most single parents, you might consider using credit card rewards or frequent flier points to get better rates.
2. Consider where to go
Oh, the places you’ll go! Here are some great solo vacation ideas for single parents:
- Singles Travel – There are multiple travel agencies, cruises, and tour companies that cater to single adults. Just research the company to ensure it’s a good fit. What age range do they cater to? Will there be alcohol? Can you afford it? What destinations will you visit? These are just a few questions to ask before booking.
- Hostels – Hostels are one of the most convenient, affordable ways to travel by yourself. They often cater to solo travelers, offering exclusive tours and guided local activities. I even know multiple people who’ve met their future spouses while doing solo travel at a hostel. Just do your homework, find a reputable hostel with good reviews, and keep an open mind.
- Spiritual Destinations – Taking a spiritual journey by yourself is powerful. Hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Attend a yoga retreat to Asheville. Silently meditate at Kripalu. Pray on a beach at sunset. Your meaningful journey will bring you closer to your Higher Power.
3. Safety considerations
- First, make sure your children will be properly taken care of while you’re away. Leave them with a trusted, responsible adult, preferably someone whom they already have a strong relationship with. To ease your mind, call and check in with your kids every few days while you’re gone.
- To reduce stress and fears, ensure your home and any pets are also properly cared for while you are away. Secure all your belongings, set the alarms, and make sure you have a trusted house sitter and/or pet sitter.
- As a final tip, familiarize yourself with your destination prior to arrival. Because you’re traveling solo, avoid walking around by yourself at night. If you’ll be taking public transport, map out which trains and buses you’ll need to take prior to leaving home. Research the local culture, especially if you’re traveling abroad, so you’ll know what to expect.
Try not to feel guilty for taking some time to yourself. You’ll come back feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to devote even more time to being a good parent. Life is short, the world is beautiful, and your next adventure is waiting.
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