Solo with kids? Ride the rails or splash down a river

holidaytravels.caOn board Via Rail kids can visit the panoramic dome in the Skyline or Park car for a unique vista.

Traveling solo with kids? You’ll find minimal stress and maximum time together (and perhaps a little “me time”) during these family vacations.

Here are five possibilities:

RIDE THE RAILS

Train excursions provide one parent traveling with kids a relaxed and stress-free opportunity to enjoy one another’s company. On board Via Rail, Canada’s premier passenger rail service, kids will love visiting the panoramic dome in the Skyline or Park car for a unique vista. They also can join other junior explorers for movies and games. With discounts available for children, choose from cross-country adventures or itineraries that offer some gorgeous scenery. Or be a part of the Grand Canyon’s Centennial Celebration, arriving to this wonder of the world via the Grand Canyon Railway. It’s a trip back in time on board restored rail cars. Musicians and the antics of cowboy characters add an entertaining element to the scenic journey. Kids under 2 ride free.

IT’S ALL INCLUDED

Board a cruise ship or check in to an all-inclusive resort for a stress-free getaway. You’ll have a clear idea of how your travel budget will break out while knowing there will be plenty of activities and dining choices for everyone in your clan. More companies such as Disney Cruise Lines and Beaches Resorts are putting extra energy toward making parents traveling solo with kids feel welcome.

Efforts include group dining, waiving single supplements and special social events. In no time, kids will converge through sports, on the beach, and during arts and crafts, thus finding age-appropriate friends with whom they can share new experiences. The bonus: solo parents discover a window for relaxation.

GO GLOBAL

You’ll treasure the memories created when experiencing an expanded view of the world. Join other families in small groups to explore destinations from Turkey to Tuscany. Ride a camel in Morocco or explore Mayan ruins in Mexico. How many species can you spot on the Serengeti? You’ll dine, discover and stay in ways that will immerse you into local cultures. Check last-minute specials for great value.

CHECK OUT A DUDE RANCH

Join a cattle drive, learn to rope a calf, play games or enjoy a picnic in the hills. You’ll savor time together in a pristine setting with as much activity as suits your personal style. Join other families at mealtime or around an evening campfire to share stories and plan the next day’s adventures. Many ranches have kids-only programs that give grown-ups a chance to learn a new skill or recharge on their own.

RAFT A RIVER

Find your way to Idaho’s Frank Church Wilderness and commit to an unplugged week on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. As you float, fish and splash through 100 miles of spectacular scenery, you’ll be treated to unexpected luxuries. Relish the fresh air of morning as your crew delivers hot coffee or cocoa to your cozy tent. Later, warm up in a hot spring, dine on organic, seasonal specialties and plan for the next day’s adventure under a starry sky.

Tribune Wire

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