Single Mothers With Children Traveling: How Hard Can It Be?
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This dissertation considers single parents, especially single mothers’ perspectives of a holiday trip with their children. Currently the tourist industry is looking at this phenomenon. The traditional nuclear family with two heterosexual parents, have very different needs compared to a single parent family. The experience of taking children overseas presents many challenges for a single mother. However, increasingly single mothers have selected to travel with their children, owing to the emotional benefits of holidaying as a family. There is little research literature on single parent tourism, and far less concerning a single mother’s perspective. In order to fill the gap in single mother tourism, this study conducted exploratory qualitative research to collect information on the experiences and perceptions of single mothers through 15 blogs with 20 participants of different countries. Qualitative data was coded and classified using thematic analysis. Emerging global themes resulted in answering the various research objectives. The findings of this research study found that many different elements can affect the experiences of a single mother. Before traveling self-doubt and sometimes family and friends’ criticism can act as deterrent for single mothers. Meanwhile, when traveling, social cognitive biases, safety considerations, the demands of children and an immature market bring pressures to bear on the single mothers, regardless of financial, physical or emotional considerations. This dissertation summarizes the implications for single mothers traveling abroad, from a theoretical and practical point of view, to find ways to reduce the pressures on single mothers, and find ways to cater for their unique needs.