I hope all of you got through the holidays okay. I know I received emails from some of you that were having a tough time. I hope I helped you work that through. Our holidays were nice. I didn't go overboard on presents for the kids and they actually enjoyed it! They got the main stuff they wanted, so they were happy. We had my family over on Saturday and had fun.
I'm taking a little break until at least next week on this blog, but don't go anywhere. I'll be back. In the meantime, I'll post things I find that I think can be useful to you as either widows, widowers or single parents, or just for fun. Today it comes from Single Parent Travel, which I vow to try and do more of next year. Here is a survey they did. Check out their site. It might give you some ideas for next year -- those of you who are ready to travel. The picture on this page is of Tuscany, Italy -- my dream destination. I'm working on it!
JET-SETTING SINGLE PARENTS
Survey of single parents offers some surprises
The days of the homebound single parent may be gone. In a recent survey of nearly 1000 single parents, Single Parent Travel, a company dedicated to discussing and offering the world to single parents, has discovered quite a few surprises. "Our last survey in 1998 revealed a few surprises as well and we felt that it was time to take the pulse of our community again," said John Frenaye the Chief Single Dad for Single Parent Travel.
"We have always done an annual trip to a Beaches® resort in Jamaica; a few years ago, several parents were clamoring for a more upscale experience. So we created some great trips for our upscale readers and they were a huge hit—we have been to Kenya, Peru, the Amazon, and my favorite was a Harry Potter trip to the UK." said Frenaye. The survey ran for three months from September through November.
Some of the surprises follow, but the detailed results can be found on the Single Parent Travel website.
· 61% are divorced
· 29% are single by choice
· 7% are either a widow or widower
· 68% have an income over $50,000 per year
· 72% have a college degree or a postgraduate degree
· 65% prefer a vacation lasting 5-7 days
· 85% prefer a varied itinerary encompassing an active vacation and a relaxing one
· 51% have traveled to the Caribbean in the past
· 54% spend more than $1500 on a typical vacation
SINGLE PARENT TRAVEL EXPERIENCE
· 88% are somewhat or very likely to travel with Single Parent Travel
· 8% have already traveled with Single Parent Travel
According to Frenaye, "The biggest mistake one can do is to underestimate or assume. We are constantly seeking feedback on our trips, our website, and our services so that we can provide exactly what our readers and travelers seek."
The Single Parent Travel website (www.singleparenttravel.net) is full of useful information for single parents. A lot of it pertains to travel, but a lot is just about good parenting. The company organizes approximately 25 group trips per year ranging from quick weekend getaways like the Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, NY to a 12-Day Grand Mediterranean cruise on the brand new Ruby Princess. "We try to have enough offerings to appeal to almost everyone, scheduling around school breaks is another issue altogether." said Frenaye.
The company was founded in 1983 by Brenda Elwell, a single mom and world traveler, who grew tired of the inequities single parents faced when traveling with a child or children. Singles are penalized in terms of cost because there is not another adult in the party. There are also some social "stigmas" attached when dining and interacting with more traditional families while on vacation. And the biggest peeve was the assumption that the presence of a "kids club" made a destination or a resort truly "kid friendly". Brenda's mission still loves today and Single Parent Travel seeks out the best value, the most single parent friendly, and the most kid friendly resorts and destinations. Frenaye elaborated, "We realize that travel is both an investment and an education in addition to down time and we plan out trips accordingly. Whenever possible, we try to make our trips 3 in 1. One for the parent (some down time alone or with other adults), one for the kids (with other kids), and of course one for the family. Our families love it."