Traditionally, summer is the time for family vacations. Of course, traditionally, North Carolina summers see temperatures in the triple digits!
Additionally, many children in this area don’t have long summer breaks from school. And a single parent family, while not exactly unusual anymore, is not the “traditional” norm either. It can certainly be a challenge to vacation with children if you are outnumbered.
So never mind all the traditions!
OK, not all of them … even a shortened summer is a great time to plan a family vacation. If traveling as a solo parent feels intimidating (and that’s OK!), consider traveling with another single parent family. Choose a destination where all the children can have fun and be safe – maybe the “traditional” beach trip isn’t an option for one parent to take two young children who aren’t both strong swimmers, for example.
My family joined forces with another to head directly away from the beach this summer – we hit the mountains instead. All of the kids (and adults) enjoyed hiking and whitewater rafting (yes, they can raft as young as 2!). The highlight of our trip was exploring some trails and finding an incredibly beautiful waterfall – a bit downstream of the actual falls where we could slide down the smooth rocks into a swimming hole.
In the same area, the kids were entertained for hours (without spending any money), catching tadpoles in pools of water on the rocks. We lucked out with mostly great weather during our trip – one of the great things about the N.C. mountains is often, even when the weather is bad, it blows over quickly.
The great thing about traveling with another family is not only is there another adult around to help herd the children, but the kids have friends to play with as well. Our kids are still talking about their recent adventures, and already planning their next one!
Who needs the old standard traditions? We’re making our own new ones!
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She is an active member and former organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly on Wednesday.