In Praise Of Single Moms Who Travel



We interviewed many moms for the Traveling With Kids book, every one of whom had a unique story or perspective on traveling with children due to their own personal experiences. I remember being particularly moved by Karen H.’s story: she traveled through India alone with her two sons, then eight and ten. Having just returned from a trip to Mexico with my boys (my husband joined us mid-trip), I’m sure I thought “I bet I could do that”.

But this past week, my eyes were really opened to the practicalities of traveling alone with multiple children and I feel I should stop and take a moment to praise all the single moms who travel with kids or moms who, due to whatever circumstances, end up traveling alone with their children. You are my heroines.

For being patient with your early-rising child and still calm when your night owl doesn’t want to sleep yet.
For being willing and able to cherish your children even when they’re endlessly badgering you – and only you – all day long.
For working really, really hard to balance the interests of your oldest with the needs of your youngest.
For getting out there and navigating public transport while keeping your brood together.
For knowing when to have a day where all you do is stop at the playground and visit the ice-cream store (maybe even twice).
For managing long airport layovers necessitated by booking your flights with a limited budget.
For not flinching when one child starts vomiting but the others still want to play.
For accepting that the chances that you will get any time to yourself during your vacation are slim, but for choosing to travel nonetheless – and enjoying the time with your children away from the stresses of your daily life.

Long may you travel and if your path crosses mine, I promise to lend a hand if I can.


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About wandermom

". . .life is short and the world is wide" - Simon Raven I'm not sure I've ever consciously planned a trip based on this sentiment, but it definitely influences my subconscious! I've been traveling as frequently and widely as possible since I finished school. And I love it. I love the research, the planning, the fervent packing and the curiosity of exploring somewhere I've never been before. My husband & I are both Irish - as in born-in-Ireland. But we live in Seattle. We have two boys: wild, boisterous, regular boys. So, since becoming a Mom, I've been a WanderMom. Given our slightly-unusual family situation, routine "visits-to-Grandma" are international trips requiring passports, 10hr-flights and (oh joy!) airport transfers. I have rants, raves and opinions about how, where & why to travel with kids (start them as young as you can, I say!). I hope to learn even more by researching topics which other wandermoms may be interested in reading about on this blog. Passports, pacifiers, diapers and gameboys at the ready - off we go! Contact Info: Email Michelle: michelle (at) murphnduff (dot) org

7 thoughts on “In Praise Of Single Moms Who Travel

  1. Carolina

    Nice. I think the thing I learned real quick being a single mom is knowing that what you leave out of the travel itinerary is more important than what you put on it, a good lesson for all I suppose.

  2. American in Norway

    Super blog! It seems I often am traveling overseas with my kiddos alone… I guess I never really though too much about it.. I have been taking them with since they were itty bitty babies & I guess we have it down pat.. (knock on wood) : )

  3. jessiev

    how cool is this? i love this post. i haven’t traveled far w/o my husband, but i am always exhausted when i do it alone. excellent post.

  4. Judi

    Thanks to the great family who helped with the early riser/night owl! Those ice cream breaks are a little hazardous to the waist line but so fantastic for time out with the kids!I love you all so much for accepting us with open arms.

  5. Fran

    Really nice post. I am a long term travelling single mother, been travelling for 14 months with my eight year old daughter and still going. I ended up doing this trip alone because though we planned it together my daughters’ father and I split up a couple of years ago. I thought at first there was no way I could continue with the plan of doing this trip as a single parent, then came to the realisation that my plans and dreams should not come to an end for lack of a man! I decided to give it my best shot and it has worked out and we are still going strong.

    However I just have one child and that poses challenges enough, I too take my hat off to any mother out there who travels along with more than one child, or for that matter a father who travels alone with his kids.

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