Single-Parent Trips

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s a divorced father some years ago, I traveled a great deal with my two sons, just the three of us on cruise ships, in Hawaii and in Europe. It was mostly a lot of fun, being with the boys, but there were painful times as I saw children accompanied by both parents.

Life in these United States being as it is, fathers and mothers often travel solo with their kids. Until recently, I hadn't noticed very many travel programs tailored for the single-parent market.

But such programs are starting to turn up. In a recent article on TWcrossroads, there was a story that Islands in the Sun, a tour operator that specializes in Tahiti, is offering a seven-night package for single-parent families.

There are prices for one adult and one child and for one adult and two children, and the packages include activities that keep the kids busy while affording opportunities to the adults.

At the Moorea Beachcomber Parkroyal, there's a Kids Club where the children are looked after while their mother or father can go off snorkeling or take a four-wheel-drive trip to the interior of the island.

I recall how important it was to me in my "suddenly single" days to spend as much time as possible with my sons and how equally important it became on vacations for the kids to be with other children their age without me.

So when we cruised and there was a shore excursion for the younger set, they would go off under the watchful eyes of counselors while I stayed behind.

Finding a tour or cruise program that provides a combination of togetherness and separate time isn't always easy, and it isn't confined to single-parent families. Two-parent families need some space as well when traveling with kids.

Islands in the Sun is to be commended for recognizing the single-parent family's special needs.

If you'd like to get more information about the Tahiti program, the tour operator can be reached at (800) 828-6877.

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