It’s a pioneering first for long-haul holiday market, but facing the fact that one in four families in the UK are single parent families, Virgin Holidays and Elite Island Resorts Caribbean have partnered to offer single parents holidays of a lifetime.
The initiative is being launched with ten resorts across the Caribbean and could save families up to £1000 depending on the season and resort.
How do these holidays save the single parent money? The current pricing structure of long-haul holidays is normally based on two adjust sharing one room, yet as a single parent, this doesn’t take into account the fact that you’ll be sharing the room with your child. The new agreed pricing structure offers a reduction for the second occupant when they are a child.
The single parent family room rates are available from 1 October 2017, and are offering savings of up to £745 over the May school holidays next year.
Joe Thompson, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays commented: ‘At Virgin Holidays we believe that everyone can take on the world, and are proud to do our bit in helping single parents give their families the opportunity to explore some of the most exciting destinations across the globe.’
Find more information about the single-parent holidays on Virgin Holiday’s website.
The top 5 holiday destinations to visit with a baby:
Mallorca, SpainWith a flight time of just over two hours from the UK, this sunny island in the Balearics is ideal for families with small babies. The short flight means there is less time for your little one to become restless and it will be less tiring on the family.
Where to stay: Mallorca has some fantastic, family-friendly resorts such as Cala D’Or, Alcudia, Cala Bona, Ca'n Picafort and Santa Ponsa.
When to go: May and June are great times to visit, with temperatures comfortably warm (early to mid 20s) and resorts a little on the quieter side before the school holiday rush.
Mum-tips: It’s worth noting, though, that taxi drivers rarely carry child/baby seats, so if you do require transfers or a means of getting about, it’s best to hire a car or pre-book if you don’t have a car seat with you.
Photo credit: Sam Ross, view his site here: The Hammock Hombre
PortugalFavoured by families with small children, Portugal is a great holiday destination for those with a baby in tow. Also a couple of hours away from the UK by flight, it’s a short-haul destination that offers a wide variety of accommodation to suit a young family’s needs.
Where to stay: The Algarve is a good place to start your search for accommodation, as it’s a region that is really geared towards family breaks. Vilamoura is a really lovely spot for those with young children, as is Praia do Barril on the quieter eastern side of the Island.
When to go: Portugal is a good pick for February half-term trips, as it's beautiful in Spring. Temperatures might not be as warm as summer months, but it's much quieter.
TenerifeIf you’re willing to brave a slightly longer flight with your tiny tot, the Canary Island of Tenerife is around four and a half hours away by plane; which is still relatively short-haul and certainly manageable with a baby.
Where to stay: Tenerife has more family-friendly resorts than you can shake a stick at, including Playa de las Americas, Los Christianos and Costa Adeje, all on the South West coast.
When to go: When to go: You’re pretty much guaranteed lovely weather at any time of year, but the autumn and winter months will offer slightly more comfortable temperatures.
Mum tips: Look for a hotel that offers a self catering option, so that you can head out with your little one and enjoy the delights of the many beachfront restaurants and retreat to your accommodation when it’s baby’s bedtime so that you can indulge in some couple’s time watching the sun set from your balcony with a glass of vino.
South of FranceIf your budget can stretch a little further, the South of France is a beautiful destination. The region doesn’t have the nickname ‘millionaire’s playground’ for no reason, but there are ways to enjoy the spot on a budget and with baby.
Where to stay: If you steer clear of areas like Monaco and Cannes, your bank balance will thank you and they aren’t the most family-friendly places. Check out Nice, which has lovely beaches and a fantastic range of hotels that cater well for families with young children.
When to go: When it comes to the weather, Spring can be a bit hit and miss in the South of France, so head for the summer season, between May and October. It's worth noting, during peak times in July and August, expect hotels and beaches to be busy.
Mum tips: Of course, if you are heading to France there is always Disneyland Paris if you have slightly older children too who will enjoy all the benefits of the park.
Mainland SpainMainland Spain is a very cheap destination to visit, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. Just a 2-3 hour flight from the UK, it’s again a very doable destination with a young baby.
Where to stay: Costa del Sol and the resort of Torremolinos is an ideal destination for baby’s first holiday abroad. Many of the hotels offer great kids’ clubs that cater for babies too, so you can enjoy some well deserved adult time if you want a break. The Sol Principe Hotel is in a great position and is perfect for families.
When to go: June and September are probably the most comfortable times to visit Spain with a baby in tow, as during the heat of the summer, things can get a little too hot.
Tuscany, ItalyIf pizza, pasta and Italian sun sounds like a dream come true, visiting Italy with a tot in tow can be much less stressful than it sounds. With flight times under three hours, head to Tuscany for some summer sun.
Where to stay: Check out totstotravel.co.uk to find plenty of affordable villas where your tots can spend the days splashing around in the pool. Wander into the local village for ice cream and a slice of pizza or two, or learn how to create Tuscan recipes of your own with a cookery class.
When to go: The peak seasons see soaring temperatures that might be uncomfortable for your baby, so head to Tuscany in April, May, June, September, or October to have a relaxing break without the crowds.
Mum tip: The medieval town of Lucca is a great place to head, as unlike many of the other towns in Tuscany, it's completely flat, making moving round with a pushchair much easier.
Corfu, GreeceIt's become one of the most popular European destinations to visit in the last few years and it's easy to see why. With direct flights running throughout the summer from the UK, you'll be able to get there in around three hours.
Where to stay: The sandy beaches on Glyfada are beautiful on the west coat, as are the sheltered pebble coves of Paleokastritsa.
When to go: There's never really a bad time to visit Corfu, however during the winter months the sea will be far too cold to take your tots in. Aim for the shoulder season of May or September if you can, as the summer months can be busy.
Mum tip: There's a great open-air cinema for kids during the summer months, with the films playing in English with Greek subtitles.