Ten Tips for Single Moms Traveling with Kids for the First Time

While you might be hesitant to travel as a single mom, rest assured it can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It offers an opportunity to bond with your children and create lasting memories. However, we won’t deny that planning and executing a trip can be challenging, especially if it’s your first time traveling solo with your kids. Staying within the US can simplify your travel plans and provide a sense of security. One of the best destinations for such a trip is Pigeon Forge. With its family-friendly attractions, beautiful scenery, and variety of accommodation options, Pigeon Forge is ideal for a memorable vacation.

Here are some ways to make this vacation the best trip of your life.

1. Plan Activities in Advance

Planning your activities in advance can save you time and reduce stress during the trip. Pigeon Forge offers a wide range of kid-friendly attractions that can keep your children entertained and engaged.

Start by researching popular destinations like Dollywood and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Make a list of must-visit attractions and plan a flexible itinerary that allows for spontaneous fun. Advance planning helps you avoid long lines and ensures you don’t miss out on key experiences. Remember to include a mix of outdoor and indoor activities to accommodate different weather conditions and energy levels.

2. Book Comfortable Vacation Rentals

Finding the right accommodation is crucial for a successful trip. When it comes to vacation rentals Pigeon Forge, Aunt Bug’s Cabin Rentals offers a wide variety, catering to different needs and budgets. Whether you need a pet-friendly cabin, a rental with a pool, or a budget-friendly option, Pigeon Forge has it all.

Look for vacation rentals that provide ample space for you and your kids. Cabins with multiple bedrooms, kitchen facilities, and recreational areas can make your stay more comfortable. Consider amenities that can enhance your experience, such as access to a swimming pool, playgrounds, or proximity to major attractions. Booking a comfortable vacation rental ensures you have a relaxing base to return to after a day of exploring.

3. Pack Smart and Light

Packing efficiently is essential for a smooth travel experience. As a single mom, you’ll want to minimize the amount of luggage you have to manage. Focus on packing only the essentials and use packing checklists to stay organized.

Include clothing suitable for the weather, comfortable shoes, and personal care items. Packing light not only makes it easier to move around but also leaves room for any souvenirs or items you might pick up during your trip.

4. Set a Realistic Budget

Establishing a budget before you travel can help you manage expenses and avoid financial stress. Consider all aspects of your trip, including accommodation, food, transportation, and activities.

Look for discounts and deals, especially for attractions in Pigeon Forge. Many places offer family packages or discounted rates for children. Plan your meals and choose a mix of dining out and cooking in your vacation rental to save money. Sticking to a budget allows you to enjoy your vacation without worrying about overspending.

5. Travel During Off-Peak Times

Traveling during off-peak times can enhance your experience by avoiding crowds and high prices. Pigeon Forge can be quite busy during school holidays and peak tourist seasons, which can make the trip more hectic and expensive.

Opt for travel dates during the off-peak season when attractions are less crowded and prices for accommodations and activities are lower. This can make your trip more relaxed and enjoyable, giving you and your kids more space to explore and have fun.

6. Keep a Flexible Schedule

Traveling with kids can be unpredictable, so maintaining a flexible schedule is crucial for a stress-free experience. While it’s important to have a general plan, being too rigid can lead to frustration when things don’t go as expected.

Allow extra time for each activity, and be prepared to make adjustments based on your children’s needs and moods. For example, if they’re enjoying a particular attraction, don’t rush them to the next one. Flexibility ensures that everyone has a good time and reduces the pressure on you as the sole planner and decision-maker.

7. Prepare for Long Drives or Flights

Long travel times can be challenging for kids, but with the right preparation, you can make the journey more enjoyable. Bring plenty of entertainment options, such as books, games, and tablets with pre-downloaded movies or shows.

Plan for regular breaks if you’re driving to allow the kids to stretch their legs and burn off some energy. Pack snacks and drinks to keep them satisfied, and have a few surprises, like new toys or activities, to keep their interest. Preparing for the journey helps keep your children occupied and reduces the likelihood of travel fatigue and restlessness.

8. Safety First

Safety is paramount when traveling with kids. Make sure all necessary travel documents, including IDs, health insurance cards, and emergency contacts, are easily accessible. Discuss safety rules with your children before and during the trip, such as staying close to you and not talking to strangers.

Familiarize yourself with the local emergency services in Pigeon Forge, including the nearest hospital and police station. Knowing where to go and who to contact in an emergency can give you peace of mind and help you respond quickly if needed.

9. Make Memories and Capture Them

One of the most rewarding aspects of traveling with your children is creating lasting memories. Take plenty of photos to document your trip, and encourage your kids to keep a travel journal or scrapbook. These keepsakes can be cherished for years to come and serve as a reminder of the fun times you shared.

Engage in activities that your kids enjoy and try new experiences together. Whether it’s riding roller coasters at Dollywood, exploring the Great Smoky Mountains, or simply enjoying a meal together, these moments strengthen your bond and create a treasure trove of memories.

10. Stay Positive and Enjoy

Traveling with kids as a single mom can be challenging, but maintaining a positive attitude can make all the difference. Focus on the positive aspects of the trip, even when things don’t go as planned. A calm and patient demeanor can help keep the trip enjoyable for everyone.

Remember that the goal is to have fun and create lasting memories with your children. Embrace the adventure, laugh off minor mishaps, and make the most of your time together. Your positive outlook will set the tone for the entire trip and make it a rewarding experience for everyone.


Traveling with your kids as a single mom can be a fantastic adventure filled with joy and bonding. By planning carefully and choosing a family-friendly destination like Pigeon Forge, you can ensure a memorable and enjoyable experience. Remember to stay flexible, budget wisely, and prioritize comfort to make the most of your trip. With the right preparation, your first vacation with your kids can be a rewarding and unforgettable experience.