Part 3: Where did our Experts go?

A European Vacation for Single Parents

Maria Jeliazkova (Pay Less BG) also opens us up to the idea of traveling to Europe:

"If you are a single parent than its very likely you have very little or even no time for holidays and leisure activities. But daily stress must be siphoned away at a point so touring agents got the idea to make exclusive holidays made especially for single parents and their children. It appears that Europe is a perfect destination for such families as it offers to them many interesting activities that will keep the kids and their parents occupied all day. There is a very big choice of family vacations and we can split them into two types - summer and winter holidays.

Summer holidays include many destinations in Europe such as Spain, Austria, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. Some of those destinations offer an adventure type of holiday (Austria), but the main accent of those trips is the seaside. Offers include resting in a beautiful resort on a Greek peninsula whit a private beach and luxury facilities. Hotels do offer children�s clubs where your little ones will have fun and you can socialize with the other single parents. Many resorts run theme weeks where they offer special discounts for single parents. Or if you like exploring something new, you might prefer sleeping in an 18-century windmill, which is transformed in a cozy family hotel in the beautiful Spanish city of Andalusia. How about traveling to Turkey for a week filled with loads of sea adventures on board a traditional gulet boat? If you like sports, than a trip to Andorra for seven days of cycling, walking and rafting in the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains.

There are many offers for a winter trip to the Austrian Alps as well. You can visit the beautiful winter resort Schladming and enjoy a perfect ski holiday with your children. What�s more, there will be people just like you, which will get to know in the evenings in the family hotel. This is what these special holidays for single parents are made for. They try to bring together children and adults whit a friendly and warm surroundings and team activities.

If you already like what you�ve read, you will be delighted to know that, then it�s time to start planning your next holiday."

South of France - Provence

Julie Mautner is a freelance food, wine and travel writer living most of the year in St. Remy de Provence, France. In addition to writing for magazines and websites in the US, UK and France, she produces the blog, here she shares some of her own beliefs.

"When it comes to day trips for families, flexibility is key," says Jane Satow of Experience Provence.

A lot depends on their ages. So tours are custom and private so they can be tailored completely to everyone�s interests."

"Boys and girls aged four to 18, for example, love the medieval ch�teau at Les Baux, where they stomp around on centuries-old stones and pretend they�re gladiators. They also love the olive mill where they see how the oils are made. A popular adventure is horseback riding in the Camargue followed by the beach at Saint-Maries-de-la-Mer. "We might even catch a bullfight," Jane adds, "but don�t worry�the bulls aren�t harmed. And everyone loves the magnificent 2,000-year-old bridge known as the Pont du Gard."

Because restaurant meals move slowly here and can eat up the better part of a day, Jane likes to plan a picnic instead, gathering fresh foods from local markets. A bonus? Your kids will expand their knowledge in foods like aborigine, saucisson, zucchinis and baguettes.

If you book a full-day tour, Jane will suggest solo activities for other days; client favorites include canoeing, kayaking and a working farm where you can feed lambs. A crocodile farm and a magical bamboo garden are also perennially popular.

Jane scans all the village calendars for the best local events. This summer she took clients to the Medieval F�te in Les Baux, an evening concert with fireworks at the Pont du Gard and the annual F�te de St. Remy, where gorgeous decorated horse-drawn carriages clippy clop all over town. Kids and adults all go crazy for the annual Transhumance, when the streets of St. Remy are flooded with sheep on their way to the mountains for summer grazing.

What if you need a little break from les enfants pr�cieux? This understanding mom will whisk them off to the playground or to a kid-friendly caf�, leaving you a few quiet minutes to hunt dirt-cheap antiques and enjoy that gelato in peace.

The Magic of Animals

Dana Rebmann of Ciao Bambino shares with us a secret piece of advice to successfully traveling with young children:

"I�ve spent the past twelve years traveling with my children every chance I get and I�ve loved every insane minute of it. Travel advice is valuable, but experience just can�t be beat.

"My girls were two and four years old when we took our first big family trip to Japan. What I learned helped me plan the next trip to Switzerland. Then came England, France, China - the list goes on and on. Being organized offers a sense of security, but be ready for and look forward to a surprise or two. Sometimes the best travel moments just happen.

"One thing I�ve found helps create the "magic" is animals. They don�t even have to be cute and cuddly. If they move, they�re fair game; snails in France, cows in Jamaica, and cats in Nerja, Spain. Kids and critters speak a universal language that stretches around the globe and can turn a boring travel day into a highlight of the trip."


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