Since single parents wear all of the parental hats in the family (mom, dad, mediator, disciplinarian, income earner, tutor, counselor, couch), we often find that it’s not necessarily a lack of finances that keeps us from planning an amazing vacation. Rather, it’s a lack of time. With all of the balls we’re constantly juggling in the air, the thought of adding another one can be overwhelming, especially given the planning that’s involved in, well, vacation planning. That’s a big part of the reason I really enjoy the idea of organized tours.
For those who don’t know, an organized tour is pretty much how it sounds. It’s a vacation where just about every detail is planned for you by the tour company. Of course, there are drawbacks, notably the lack of flexibility. But, for busy, outgoing single parents who like the idea of meeting other families who share the same interests, it can be ideal.
What to look for in a organized vacation tour?
So many tour companies offer so many different types of tours in so many places that sifting through them all can be a full-time job itself. So, before you even begin your search, narrow it down by focusing on a few key questions:
- What’s Your Budget?
- When do you want to go?
- Where do you want to go? (Safari? Dublin?)
- What do you want to do? (Broadway shows? Kayaking?)
- How much do you want them to plan for you? (hotel, meals, events)
What to look for in a tour company
Once you decide how much you can spend, how flexible you want to be in the details, and when and where you want to go, start looking into the tour companies that offer the types of vacations you want that are within your budget. Here are a few questions to consider when narrowing down the search.
- Do they offer family-focused vacations?
- Will there be other kids there?
- What child-specific activities do they have on schedule?
- How long have they been in business?
- What’s the cancellation and refund policy?
- How much experience does the tour leader have in the industry, and with this specific tour?
- What exactly is included in the cost?
- What kind of insurance do they have?
- Do they charge a single supplement fee?
On the subject of single supplement fees, there are tour companies that have special times of year where they offer discount specials for single parents. Generally it includes a reduced single supplement fee and/or a reduced rate for the kids. I would strongly recommend scheduling your vacation during one of those periods, if possible, because the savings can be significant.
Certainly, organized vacation tour are not for everyone. But, for single parents like us who could use some help planning an incredible vacation for our families, they can be a lifesaver.
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