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Thursday 3.00 - 3.30pm
BBC Radio 4’s first ever truly interactive radio travel programme.
This week
Thursday 5 July 2007
Listen to this programme in full
Gap year
This week: single-parent holidays
Contact Us
Send us your views,comments, criticisms and suggestions. E-mailpost a message, or call us on the afternoon of transmission (08700 100444.) with your tips.
If you’re a single parent and you’re looking for a holiday that caters for everyone’s needs, here's a list of web links and helpful tips to get you on the right track:

Single Parent Travel Club
A self-run group of single parents whose members organise holidays and outings. The low cost breaks, which take place through out the year, include camping holidays, trips with overnight stays at youth hostels, holiday camps, cottages and hotels breaks. As well as holidays in the UK groups have recently travelled to France, Florida, Spain, Greece and Slovenia. The range of holidays is only limited by member’s imaginations! It publishes four newsletters a year and they have an internet group site where members can communicate with each other and discuss ideas and make arrangements. Membership is £7.50 per year (if you join after July a reduced membership fee will be charged on renewal next January). 

Just Me and The Kids 
Provides holidays in Blackpool/Lancashire specifically for lone parents.

Small Families
Holiday company specifically set up to provide single parent family holidays, arranging escorted holidays for single parent families. Range from activity holidays in Norway, cruises up the Nile and around the Med, getaways to Morocco and Tunisia, visits to European beaches and excursions to Lapland at Christmas!

Single Parents on Holiday
Holidays exclusively for one-parent families. From winter sports in Austria, beach holidays in Croatia and Crete, activity holidays in Austria and Spain where excursions include horse-riding, golf, tennis, go-karting, summer tobogganing, quad-biking and mountain biking.

Mango Kids
Trips to Jersey, Mallorca and Cyprus with walks, boat rides, train and tram journeys, snorkeling, diving and beach games. The ski holiday to Romania in the February Half term has now run for three years. The package includes all ski hire, two ski lessons a day, full board and a trip to Dracula's castle.

Not specifically for single parent families but work sclosely with Gingerbread - the support organisation for lone parent families.  Arrival Survival is a facility provided on all Eurocamp parcs that helps lone parents to unpack and settle into their accommodation, giving them an extra pair of hands when they need it most.

One Parent Family Holidays
Founded by Gingerbread in 1975, but have been independent since shortly afterwards.

Acorn Adventure
Adventure camping holidays in the UK and France. Ideal holidays for making friends and feeling involved. There are lots of opportunities to try out new activities. They are also sensitive to the fact that as a parent you might enjoy some personal time, so they run supervised activities for children, so that they can continue to participate in all the fun!
For those who don't want the hassle of travelling by car, take a look at the inclusive Coach holidays on offer - perfect for removing the stress (and cost!) of long car journeys on foreign roads with restless kids!

H.E.L.P. – Holiday Endeavour for Lone Parents
Non-profit making charity run mainly by people who are, or have been, lone parents. Low cost, self catering and catered accommodation with entertainment packages that will allow any lone parent family regardless of income to both afford and enjoy a family holiday. They include the UK's big holiday park operators - Butlins, Haven and Pontins.

Youth Hostel Association
Offer specially discounted rates for single parents booking family bunk rooms.

First Choice
Offer specific advice for single parent families - 'Single Parent Savers' To book or to find out more call 0870 850 3999.

Free child places or reduced child prices are normally restricted to two-parent families, but Thomson's single-parent policy means single mums and dads qualify too. In the Skytours brochure this applies to around 30 apartments across the Mediterranean.

Only contract a few single rooms in each type of accommodation for which a single room supplement may be payable. If there are no single rooms left and/or sole occupancy of a twin or double room is necessary then the single traveller will have to pay for the total per room cost based on the maximum number of customers that could normally occupy such accommodation. This means that you might have to pay under occupancy supplements to be able to use a room on a single basis, which is usually sold for 2/3/4 people to share.

Ocean Village
Single parent deals in three and four birth cabins for Med and Caribbean cruises. 

Chateau Rigaud
Near Bordeaux is a beautiful medieval chateau with masses of activities for children. They host single parent house parties in autumn half term. There is a pool, cinema, huge indoor play area, children’s meals, outdoor play area, boules and mountain bikes.

Baby Friendly Boltholes


Families Worldwide
Take children from two upwards. Accommodation in triples or sharing a twin with another adult in the group, so no single supplements. They have a children’s board of directors to ensure that they stay in touch with what it is the children themselves want from a holiday. Trips include bear-spotting in Romania, big cats and sand dunes in Numibia, tiger spotting and elephant trekking in India. 08450514567

Aimed at families with teenagers, a couple of examples of the types of holidays they offer: 14days touring Cuba, 8 days kayaking in Turkey. 08703334001

Canvas Holidays
Trips for active children. 

Discounts for one adult travelling with children under 18. 

Huge range of activities for children of all ages. From golf, abseiling, archery, circus skills, climbing, riding, jewellery making, and lots more. There are a number of sites across the country. For your nearest Centerparcs visit their website. 

Deals for single parent families. They charge per person not per room.  0845 222 0282

Crystal Finest
Deals for single parent families

The National Council for One Parent Families
Publishes an annual guide, with advice, contacts and tips for single parent holidays - The Guide for Lone Parents is available free on 0800 0185026.

You can share your experiences and arrange to travel with other single parent families.

Top Tips

Always check in online so you don’t get separated from your children on the plane.

Go somewhere with a children’s club, so you can have a couple of hours to yourself during the day.

Travel light, as you’ll have to carry all your children’s baggage. Use the executive parking services that pick up your car at the terminal entrance.

Take a portable DVD player, as you may find yourself stuck in a hotel room after the children’s bed-time.

If skiing, book a chalet/hotel right by the slopes as you will inevitably end up carrying three (or more) sets of skis.

If camping, invest in a tent that springs up. It will save time and the children won’t get in the way or get bored trying to put up the tent.

When it comes to travel insurance single parents get offered all kinds of 'special' deals. So special that they often cost more than the same cover on a two-parent family policy. Some say 'kids go free' but it’s a matter of looking at the small print and working out exactly what you need from the cover.
We endeavour to make sure that all our information is accurate at the time of broadcast and whilst it is compiled in all good faith, we cannot be held responsible for any errors in information supplied to us. Please also bear in mind that details, although accurate at the time of original broadcast, may change over time.
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    We endeavour to make sure that all our information is accurate at the time of broadcast and whilst it is compiled in all good faith, we cannot be held responsible for any errors in information supplied to us. Please also bear in mind that details, although accurate at the time of original broadcast, may change over time.

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