Woman in purple smiles in front of a beach with palm trees.

How to Have an Awesome Vacation as a Single Mom

An awesome vacation as a single mom sounds like a dream, right? It is possible! I just got back from a mommy-daughter trip to Miami and the Keys and let me tell you, it was fabulous! Here are some tips for making it so! If you're not sure how to get balance in your life, be sure to read this post. I also liked this post from another mom, who travels a lot!

Pack light-ish for an Awesome Vacation as a Single Mom

So, this is a reminder to *not* do what we did: we packed way too many suitcases with way too much stuff! So don't do what we did! My daughter is a trooper and helped carry some of it, but don't expect many kids to do that. A good rule of thumb is, if you cannot carry all of it as the adult, then you cannot bring all of it! Yes, you can get a smarte carte at the airport but it is still a hassle bringing so much stuff. You'll find out what happened during our trip that made it a *huge* hassle, stay tuned!

But take Food, Snacks, Coloring Books, etc.

Yes, pack light but make sure you pack some food, snacks, coloring books, etc. During rainy times (which we definitely experienced, see our story below!) you will want some activities for your kid to do inside

Everything takes Much Longer Than you Think, Even on An Awesome Vacation as a Single Mom

It can be easy to forget, if you haven't traveled in a while, that everything on your actual travel days takes way longer than you think! But, you can still have an awesome vacation as a single mom! The plane actually getting to the gate and stopping, walking to the baggage claim, getting your bags, getting Uber, getting a rental car, etc. Also, factor in that you will have a child or two with you and it takes even longer! So, on days when you will be flying or driving to your next destination, do not schedule a really awesome tour at your destination because you might miss it!

Know your Limits And your Child's Limits

This goes along with not scheduling a tour at your destination on the day of travel….but don't schedule too many things back to back. This is really hard on kids, especially neurodivergent kids. They need to time to de-compress, eat, etc. They can get overstimulated. So, think of one, maybe two things you want to do on a day during your vacation and only schedule those. This is key to having an awesome vacation as a single mom.

Woman in poncho sits on a large tree.
It definitely rained on our vacation!

Know that There Will be Setbacks

Ok, story time: during our trip, there was a tropical storm warning! We had to stay inside during heavy rain and winds. Luckily, we were safe and the hotel was safe. But, our rental car was not safe! It malfunctioned and I couldn't use it. There were floods in Miami and we were norht of Miami but no one could come help us to tow or fix the car. They did let us go to the nearest rental car place to get a different car but there was miscommunication and for a brief time, I thought they weren't going to let me have another car! I bawled! Not my finest moment. But they took pity on me and got me a different car. Also, remember how I said you need to pack light? We had to lug our luggage (oh so that's why they call it luggage) across the whole rental car parking garage and my daughter actually had to carry a lot, poor girl!

Our first rental car…
Woman in red convertible car.
Our second rental car!

You May Wish you Had a Partner

At times like what happened with the rental car, I really got discouraged. I thought, I am never doing this again, I must travel with a partner! Or at least a grandparent! But, we survived and it made our mommy-daughter relationship so much stronger. The bad times during the trip did not last forever, and it's ok to want a partner when the going gets rough.

The Benefits of Going it Alone with a Kid to Have an Awesome Vacation as a Single Mom

So, we had done big vacations but brought the grandparents with so I had extra help with the kid, luggage, etc. This was the only time we went alone and also didn't visit relatives. It was truly a place we didn't know anyone and had never been. There are bonuses to this though…you get to do what you want! Obviously, within reason, you have a child with you! But, if the kid is well-rested and fed, they may be down for whatever you decide! On other trips, we had to negotiate what 9 people wanted to do!! What?! It took forever to decide on those trips…but this one was so special, we really just did what we wanted. Sleep some more, ok. Get something to eat, ok. Stay longer in shops, ok. And, it's nice having a kid there because you are not totally alone and have someone to enjoy it with. I don't mean to brag (who am I kidding, I don't get to brag much) but my daughter is one of the most enthusiastic people you will ever meet, so it made it so much fun to experience new things with her!

Woman on a boat.

If you Don't See Everything that you Wanted…

Tell yourself that you will visit again! It's not possible to see everything in a city and especially not in one visit. Also, with having a child in tow, you will take more breaks than if it was an adults trip. But take a deep breath and say, well now we know some of the things we like for when we come back!

Take time to Rest, Laugh and Enjoy it!

Hey, momma, you earned a break! Make sure that you are not just doing kiddie things but a mixture of some that are more grown-up related (although not too grown-up, you know what I mean?). See if you can narrow down a list of things that both you and your kids like, so you will all have a good time! And congratulations, you just had an awesome vacation as a single mom!

Ride off into the Sunset…

So, the ways to have an awesome vacation as a single mom are:

  • Pack light
  • But take food, snacks, coloring books, etc.
  • Remember Everything takes Much Longer Than you Think
  • Know your Limits And your Child's Limits
  • Know that There Will be Setbacks
  • You May Wish you Had a Partner
  • The Benefits of Going it Alone with a Kid
  • If you Don't See Everything that you Wanted…
  • Take time to rest, laugh and enjoy it!