Most kids enjoy vacations with their parents, at least before they reach their teenage years. We often can’t commit ourselves to our kids when we go to work and when they go to school. That’s why vacations are a perfect chance for parents to catch up with their kids after a stressful period at work.
Still, it takes some planning and organization if you want these special occasions to be joyful and beneficial for both you and your kids.
Single moms especially need to pay a lot of attention to details when planning trips and vacations with their kids. From budgeting and destinations to the means of transportation and packing, moms have a lot on their plate. Perhaps the following organizational tips will help you prepare everything on time and relax during your family vacations.
1) Save for vacations all year long
Single moms juggle chores, errands, and their work tasks every single day. It’s not difficult to lose organizational skills when you’re constantly on the go. This especially refers to your daily expenditure. Splurging too much money on groceries and things you eventually throw away or don’t use, respectively, saving for vacations will be much harder.
Therefore, collecting the vacation budget should be a year-long project. So, when you get your salary, take a pen and a piece of paper. You should plan your budget for the entire month. Take away the overhead costs, the amount you need for food, and to pay any loan installments or debt.
The sum that’s left can be allocated to your other needs. One of them will be your vacations. The amount you put aside for this purpose should be the same every month. And if you manage to make some extra money, in addition to your regular job, add it to the vacations fund.
That way, you’ll have all or at least most of the budget ready once the vacations come.
2) Avoid last-minute shopping
You can often see families or single parents hurrying to buy everything they need for vacations one or two days before the trip. If you want to become and remain financially organized, avoid such last-minute shopping tours. s
Instead of that, make a list of things you need to buy for your vacations at least a month in advance. Some more meticulous single moms might want to do it even earlier, but one month sounds like enough time to buy everything you need.
Also, you should avoid long shopping, but rather go for several shorter sessions. The more time you spend shopping at once, the more likely it is that you’ll buy things you don’t really need. And if you have no place to leave your kids, you’ll definitely spend more money than necessary.
3) Combine cooking and eating out
To cook or not to cook during the vacations, that is the question. There’s no universal answer, as well, but only potential solutions.
If you adore cooking, then it probably won’t be a problem for you to prepare one cooked meal per day.
However, many moms, both single and married, simply don’t enjoy cooking. And since vacations are meant for rest and relaxation, preparing food will be highly frustrating for you.
So, it wouldn’t be bad for you to make a meal plan for your vacations. If you make lunch one day, you could eat out the next two days.
On the one hand, cooking and eating in the apartment is a frugal way of thinking. On the other hand, you’ll get into the same or similar routine that you have at home. So, that won’t feel like vacations.
Buying ingredients for simple meals in your vacation rental or getting ready-made food might be a reasonable compromise for busy mums on vacations with kids.
Another option is booking an all-inclusive hotel, which will be discussed in the following paragraph.
4) Shop around for travel packages
While you’re planning your vacations with kids, you shouldn’t skip the option of staying in a hotel based on all-inclusive services. The thing is that such packages usually cost a lot if you decide to book them via travel agencies.
What you should do instead is turn to websites that offer package tours and combinations of flights and hotel stays, such as Expedia, Kayak, and other practical travel package websites.
They usually offer some significant discounts that can take you to exotic destinations that you might not have taken into consideration.
While you might not expect top world destinations in high season, such offers often include some interesting places that you can visit at low prices.
Similarly, if you book low-cost flights months in advance, you can get to visit interesting places *with your children at the fraction of a price.
5) Use additional help
Single moms know very well how stressful and physically demanding parenting can be for them. That’s why they should use some additional help, especially in the period before vacations. As suggested by childcare specialists from a British governess agency, kids should spend some time with their cousins, friends, and grandparents.
Apart from having someone else take care of your kids, think about joining forces with some of your colleagues of friends in additional business projects. Be it one-time gigs, part-time jobs or passive income, spending several additional hours working within in one week can result in a substantial amount of money on your bank account.
This isn’t a recommendation only to single moms with low average salaries, but with mums with higher incomes, as well. Keeping the spark of your creativity alive is a necessity for further professional and financial development.
Single moms and their kids usually have a great time on vacations by the sole nature of such a trip. And if mums make an additional effort to maintain their financial discipline all the time, the entire adventure will be even more interesting. So, save your money, make a plan together with your kids, and cherish your family time.
Author Bio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children’s welfare, as well as visiting sports events.
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Probably don’t eat out in 6 months or a year so that you can go to many places 🙂