Who deserves a vacation more than the hard-working single parent? And yet, when it comes to family travel, solo moms and dads often get slammed with extra fees -- the dreaded "single supplement" charge for uncoupled adults, which can add up to 40% to the cost of a trip. Some Caribbean resorts, though, are finally tapping into this market, catering to single parents with promotions that include fee waivers and special activities.
Club Med Punta Cana
Club Med Punta Cana, on the Dominican Republic Island of Hispaniola, bills itself as a "tropical family paradise." This beautiful resort, located on a white sandy beach and surrounded by tropical flowers and coconut palms, has numerous family-friendly amenities. Childcare is available for babies and toddlers, while older kids have supervised activity clubs and teens have their own special hangout called The Lab at the Ramp where they can learn to edit videos, dj and dance, or just chill by the beach. This Club Med resort will sometimes offer special promotions for single parent families with lower rates and no single supplement fee.
Franklyn D. Resort
At the Franklyn D. Resort in Jamaica, each family is assigned their own vacation nanny. This trained childcare professional can go along on outings to keep an eye on the kids, or care for them on her own so a frazzled parent can get some "me time." Children also have their own Yellow Birds Kids Club, with activities such as video games, arts and crafts, dress-up parties, snorkeling and a daily kids' buffet meal. During certain seasons, the Franklyn D. Resort will also waive the single supplement for a parent traveling with children.
Sonesta Maho Beach Resort
The Sonesta Maho Beach Resort in St. Maarten never charges a supplement fee for single parents. Up to two children ages 2 through 12 get to stay for free with a parent, and special teen rates are available for children 13 to 17. This resort has a kids' pool and a playground, and the Smile Kids Club offers activities such as sand castle contests, treasure hunts and storytelling. Each Friday night there is a kids' pizza party with karaoke, movies, games, crafts and goodie bags.
Special single parent fun months are offered in the fall by all three Beaches resorts -- Beaches Negril and Beaches Ochos Rios in Jamaica and Beaches Turks and Caicos. During this promotion, not only is the single supplement waived for families, but each resort puts on special events just for single parents and their kids. These activities include a family beach bonfire, a beach Olympics, a family Xbox Kinect game night, dive-in movie nights and the opportunity to march in a parade with Sesame Street characters.