If the thought of taking your children on a long-haul adventure as a single parent sounds about as enjoyable as a case of shingles, then we’re here to help.

Having been putting together family holidays (in whatever form a ‘family’ takes) for over a decade, and with many of our team having ‘test-driven’ our trips as solo parents, we know exactly how to ensure that your holiday is one that everyone – kids and parent – will enjoy.

It’s a big fat ‘yes’ to taking the hassle and challenges out, and putting the fun in, whether you’re travelling solo with your kids for the first time or wanting an alternative to the all-inclusive fly-and-flop.

It’s a big fat ‘no’ to having to dine in a restaurant filled with rowdy, larger groups. Or wondering who will look after the bags/ kids / Jellycat of choice while you nip to the loo? Or having to decide single-handedly what to do for every moment of every day.

If you’re wanting to enjoy the best adventure holidays for single parents, you’re in good company with Stubborn Mule. Here’s why.

1. Bespoke itineraries

Solo parent holidays - mother and son test out Argentina's Lake District

Stubborn Mule’s Helene Cooper trying out child-friendly activities on a solo trip to Argentina with her son

Every single Stubborn Mule trip is tailored around you and your family, with advice given on what destinations will best suit you, what activities you’ll enjoy and what accommodation will be best. Similarly, every single destination, activity or hotel has been personally tested by one of our team, so we are well-placed to know exactly what you’ll experience on a single-parent holiday and advise accordingly.

From trying out child-friendly activities in the Galapagos to finding out if children really do like riding camels through the desert of Oman, the lucky Stubborn Mule team and their offspring have test driven many of our holidays for single parents.

2. Accompanied by English-speaking driver-guides 24/7

Solo and single parent holidays in Tanzania - kids playing with the guide

Many parents tell us that their guide was a wonderful addition to the holiday, becoming one of the family

In many of our destinations we can include the services of an English-speaking driver/guide, a local expert who accompanies you and your family throughout your trip. As well as being an extra pair of hands (and eyes) to help with the kids, they’ll also transport you from hotel to activity and back again, taking you around the sites and giving expert insights and advice. (At the same time, they’ll intuitively know when to give you some family-only time, perhaps leaving you to enjoy meals without them or some free time on the beach).

We know from feedback that kids who might balk at being told by Mum / Dad that they need to wake up early doors for an excursion, completely take it on the chin when being told by a guide. We also know that having a driver-guide can be a game changer for single parents’ holidays, giving the parent the security and confidence to do something truly adventurous.

Destinations where we can arrange this include:
Sri LankaKeralaTanzaniaKenyaBorneo, and Cuba.

3. Self-drive solo or single parent holidays

Self-driving in South Africa’s Winelands and Garden Route can be an ideal solo parent holiday

If you are a more experienced traveller, many of our family holidays work well on a self-drive basis for solo parents. This is ideal for confident drivers or those who like having an element of control and independence. And with the assistance of satnav-savvy kids on board, navigation will be a breeze. We find our self-drive itineraries in Croatia, Costa Rica, Iceland, Mexico, South Africa, Namibia, Canada and the USA, offer the ultimate in flexibility. The parent can choose timings, places to stop – and also what tunes to play, without being beholden to a driver/guide. Rest assured you’ll have 24/7 emergency support and a friendly welcome waiting for you at the end of each drive.

4. Join up with a single-parent friend

Single-parent holidays - hiking in gorge with kids

A family adventure with a friend lets you mix up the activities to suit different age groups

If you’re really not sure about travelling solo with the kids, hook up with another family in your friendship group and head off together. You don’t have to do the same thing all the time; travel from A to B together, but if one family wants a lazy day by the beach, whilst the other needs non-stop activity it’s not a problem. You can head off separately during the day and meet up over dinner in the evening. Or mix it up; one parent can head off with older kids on an adrenalin activity (white water rafting anyone?) whilst the other can look after younger ones on a less white-knuckle excursion.

5. Jam-packed with activities

Guide in Brazil - hiking in rainforest

Single-parent holidays to Brazil can be action-packed, with everything looked after by the guides

Dread those ‘free days’ on holiday where you have to come up with something scintillating to thrill the kids? Stubborn Mule itineraries can be as jam-packed as you like, leaving all ages pleasantly exhausted at the end of each day. Our trips to Nepal, Costa RicaBorneo, and Brazil in particular are perfect for action-loving families. Here single parents do not need to worry about safety or logistics as all of this is taken care of by the local guides. And believe us, after a day of zip-wiring, hiking, kayaking, canyoning, and white-water rafting, everyone is going to sleep very well indeed.

6. Single parent friendly accommodation

Floating tents in the Cardamon Mountains in Cambodia - kids holidays abroad

A warm welcome at your hotel or lodge is especially appreciated on single-parent holidays

Most (although not all) of the accommodation we use has been chosen because of its flexibility, so interconnecting and family rooms can be arranged. We also like to recommend smaller, boutique family-owned hotels and guesthouses. Here the owner and staff are delighted to keep any single parent company, chatting at meal times and in between. Elsewhere, sometimes we choose accommodation where meals can be enjoyed communally with a group, where single parents can compare a day’s safari drive in Africa, or on a floating eco-lodge in Cambodia, or after a day on a ranch in Brazil, whilst the kids play with other children.

7. Experience in creating single parent holidays

Single parent holidays - travelling through the desert on a Jordan family holiday

Our own children span all ages and making solo trips with our kids is a wonderful opportunity to try out adventurous activities and enjoy some quality time together

As we’ve mentioned, Stubborn Mule families come in all shapes and sizes and we’ve years of experience in putting together itineraries for single parents. Don’t take our word for it, though, here’s what some of our travellers have said.

“We have just returned from Sri Lanka and had the most amazing holiday full of so many memories and experiences. The itinerary was perfect in so many ways and just the right balance for the kids (who are 5 and 8). The guide we had made the whole experience all the better and we sneaked in some extra activities along the way. We also appreciated having the flexibility in the itinerary and could change times suiting our moods and energy levels which was an added bonus and I am sure a contributing factor in making the whole experience and holiday such a success. This is the first time I have travelled alone with the kids since my divorce and I also recommend this trip for other single mothers travelling alone with their kids.”

“Wow, what an amazing holiday to Peru, thank you so much for all your careful planning and valuable advice! The kids and I have lived so many new, exciting adventures, and created many wonderful treasured memories.”

“We had an absolutely brilliant time in Nepal thanks so, so much. All the guides were great, drivers safe and reliable, and accommodation was fab. It was just amazing to go through the trip without having to worry about things at all as everyone was so lovely and reliable and all ran so smoothly. The trekking was absolutely brilliant and very easy whilst Bikram and our porters couldn’t have done more for us. Highlight for the boys? The fact that I let them drink coca cola for the first time ever! Highlights for me are too many to mention.”

Find out more about solo or single-parent holidays abroad

If you’d like to know more about how we can help create a single-parent-friendly itinerary, we’d love to hear from you. Call us on 01728 752 751 or use our website contact form.

Mother and daughter exploring Wadi Rum, Jordan, by camel