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Tips for parents or grandparents traveling solo with kids

A visit to the Sydney Aquarium in Sydney,

A visit to the Sydney Aquarium in Sydney, Australia. Customize your solo trip with the kids so everyone has the right mix of activity and downtime. Photo Credit: Alamy /Frans Lemmens

Will you be traveling solo with kids or grandkids this winter? 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 his or her own holiday. Bring along a favorite auntie, your college roommate or another bestie who will relish some vacation time with you and your children. You can 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. More companies, such as Disney Cruise Lines and Beaches Resorts, now aim to make single parents feel welcome. Efforts include group dining, waiving single supplements and special social events.

INFO beaches.com; disneycruise.disney.go.com; rivieramaya.grandvelas.com

3. Plan an adventure. Board a “jack-of-all-trades” vessel comfortable enough for grandparents yet hardy enough for energetic kids and embark on a seafaring adventure. Choose from Safari Endeavor’s active itineraries in Baja California’s Sea of Cortez or Alaska’s Inside Passage. Guides engage with kids of various ages and abilities and will encourage exploration via kayaking, hiking, stand-up paddleboarding and Zodiacs.

INFO adventuresmithexplorations.com

4. Create a custom trip. Work with an adventure outfitter or travel agent for 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 downtime 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. 

INFO vacationkids.com; backroads.com

5. Better safe than sorry. For 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 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.

INFO travel.state.gov

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