Five ideas for trav­el­ing alone with chil­dren

The Tribune (SLO) (Sunday) - - Living - BY LYNN O’ROURKE HAYES

Will you be trav­el­ing solo with kids or grand­kids? Here are five ideas to en­sure that good times are had by all.

1. BRING BACKUP

Of course you want to spend time with the kids. But, ev­ery grown-up de­serves a lit­tle R&R on their own hol­i­day. Bring along a fa­vorite aun­tie, your col­lege room­mate or an­other bestie who will rel­ish some va­ca­tion time with you and your chil­dren.

That way, you’ll have a built-in pal for spa time while the young­sters are at the re­sort’s kids camp or for a late-night chat while the lit­tle ones are snooz­ing. You may also want to take turns as the “adult in charge” while the other heads to the gym, takes a nap or grabs an hour by the pool with a great book.

2. IT’S ALL IN­CLUDED

Board a cruise ship or check in to an all-in­clu­sive re­sort for a stress-free get­away. You’ll have a clear idea of how your travel bud­get will break out while know­ing there will be plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties and din­ing choices for every­one in your clan. More com­pa­nies such as Dis­ney Cruise Lines and Beaches Re­sorts are putting ex­tra en­ergy to­ward mak­ing sin­gle par­ents feel wel­come. Ef­forts in­clude group din­ing, waiv­ing sin­gle sup­ple­ments and spe­cial so­cial events. In no time, kids will con­verge through sports, on the beach, and dur­ing arts and crafts, thus find­ing age-ap­pro­pri­ate friends with whom they can share new ex­pe­ri­ences. The bonus: solo par­ents dis­cover a win­dow for re­lax­ation.

Con­tact: www.Beaches.com; www.dis­n­ey­cruise.dis­ney.go.com; www.riv­iera­maya.grand­ve­las.com

3. PLAN AN AD­VEN­TURE

Board a “jack-of-all-trades” ves­sel, one com­fort­able and nice enough for grand­par­ents and par­ents, yet hardy enough for en­er­getic kids, and em­bark on a sea­far­ing ad­ven­ture. With an ex­pe­di­tion-style tone as back­drop, choose from Sa­fari En­deavor’s ac­tive itin­er­ar­ies in Baja Cal­i­for­nia’s Sea of Cortez or Alaska’s In­side Pas­sage.

Guides are trained to en­gage with kids of var­i­ous ages and abil­i­ties and will en­cour­age ex­plo­ration via kayak­ing, hik­ing, stand-up pad­dle­board and Zo­di­acs. Kids of all ages will thrill to the site of breach­ing whales in Alaska and the whale sharks and sea lions that thrive in the Sea of Cortez, the body of wa­ter Jac­ques Cousteau dubbed “the aquar­ium of the world.”

Con­tact: https://www.ad­ven­ture­smithex­plo­rations.com

4. CRE­ATE A CUS­TOM TRIP

De­sign your own or work with an ad­ven­ture out­fit­ter or travel agent to man­i­fest a fam­ily get­away that will be pic­ture per­fect. Choose your des­ti­na­tion, the de­sired level of ad­ven­ture and in­quire about ways for each fam­ily mem­ber to have the proper mix of down time and ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion. Con­sider adren­a­line-pump­ing hik­ing, bik­ing or raft­ing trips or itin­er­ar­ies that in­clude cul­tural ex­plo­ration in ur­ban ar­eas or far­away points on the globe. Your imag­i­na­tion and ex­pec­ta­tions paired with the ex­pe­ri­ence and knowl­edge of a travel pro will re­sult in a dream fam­ily va­ca­tion.

Con­tact: www.va­ca­tionkids.com; www.back­roads.com; www.oars.com.

5. BET­TER SAFE THAN SORRY

As par­ent, grand­par­ent or any adult trav­el­ing solo with kids, it’s best to carry the proper doc­u­ments that will en­able you to cross bor­ders, ac­cess med­i­cal treat­ment in an emer­gency and deal with un­ex­pected cir­cum­stances in a chang­ing world. In most cases, a signed and no­ta­rized let­ter pro­vid­ing con­sent from the ab­sent par­ent or par­ents should suf­fice. Dif­fer­ent coun­tries have dif­fer­ent re­stric­tions so in­quire be­fore you de­part to avoid dis­ap­point­ments.

Con­tact: https://travel.state.gov

NADEZHDA1906 Getty Im­ages/iS­tock­photo

Trav­el­ing with kids can be stress­ful, so make sure you have a plan.

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