The $7.6 trillion travel and tourism industry needs to start serving single moms


This is my latest for Forbes: Why Does that $7.6 Trillion Travel Industry Ignore Single Parents? I would LOVE to hear your experiences traveling as a single mom. Do hotels, airlines, resorts, cruises, car rental agencies, tours, etc., accommodate you? Which companies are you loyal to as a single mom or dad traveler? What makes traveling as a single parent (or grandparent, aunt, uncle or godparent) really challenging? Share in the comments! 

As a single mom, Kayt Sukel traveled with her kid. A lot. The freelance science writer and partner at TravelSavvyMom and her son, now 8, have visited more than 25 countries — and a whole lot of resorts, hotels, airlines and tours.

Sukel is often frustrated by the lack of options for single parents.

“A lot of family destinations are great at providing childcare options now — a kid’s club or camp on site,” says Sukel, who lives in Houston and continues to travel extensively with her new husband and stepdaughter. “But they aren’t as good as providing singles options. I don’t want to go to the dance club, nor am I interested in a couples massage by myself. Let me know that I have options, as a single, beyond heading back to my room and reading a book.”

As a single mom myself, I feel her pain — but it doesn’t stop at just lack of resort activities for uncoupled people. Start the list with scourge of the unmarried traveler: The singles supplement, which can nearly double the price of travel for traveling on cruises and organized tours. Then there is the social aspect. I’m happy to hang out with two-parent families on vacation, but there are so many single-parent families in the world. In fact, more than a third of children in the United States grow up in single-parent homes, not to mention those who have a parent who is deployed or working nonstop, or grandparents traveling alone with grandkids. It boggles the mind that the $7.6 trillion global tourism industry (according to the World Travel & Tourism Council) does not market to me and my tens of millions of fellow single parents … Click to Forbes for the rest of the post.

Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour,, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.

Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.

A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.

2 thoughts on “The $7.6 trillion travel and tourism industry needs to start serving single moms

  1. I always ask for the super-secret-special-single-parent discount when I check into hotels. And they always smile and give me a discount.

    Single parent vacation I would love: yoga retreat in the mountains with awesome childcare four or five hours of the day.

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