Lifting

MANGO Single Parent Families Holidays was set up in 2003 by Jackie Lewis and Steve Barber. Jackie and Steve had given up their jobs a few years before to set up a walking holiday company Tracks n Trips (www.tracksntrips.co.uk). Both Jackie and Steve had been single parents themselves and recognised that there was very little provision for single parents to holiday together as a group. Their walking holidays attracted mostly single people and many of those had children and suggested that the group holiday format used for the walking holidays would be perfect for a group of single parent families.

Jackie and Steve agreed and so MANGO Single Parent Families Holidays was born. In the first year the holidays were in the UK and often involved staying in hostels and barns, which were good fun. But it was clear that many Mango guests were professionals who preferred a little more luxury and definitely wanted to travel overseas.

Our first overseas destination was Mallorca, where Jackie and Steve had run many successful walking holidays. They were very familiar with the beautiful unspoilt North Western part of the island. The resort used for Tracks n Trips walking holidays was Port de Soller, a fishing port and ideal for families. The Hotel Marina, a lovely Spanish-style family-owned hotel was friendly and right on the beach front, with a pedestrianised walkway in front, an ideal place to run Mango holidays to Mallorca. Mallorca is today still one of Mango’s most popular holidays for single parent families.

With an expanding market, MANGO Single Parent Families Holidays has searched for new destinations and holidays to suit the many budgets and interests of single parent families. In the summer we have added Malta, where we have an English coordinator who lives on the island. We also now visit Cyprus, Jersey, Lanzarote, Croatia and Slovenia. We have a Turkish Gulet cruise and a Moroccan adventure. We have more recently set up a joint initiative with the Adventure Company, collaborating on some trips to provide dedicated Mango Single Parent Holidays with the Adventure Company. Destinations include, Egypt, the Serengeti and Thailand and we are hoping to add more. We have another link up with Manor Adventure to provide activity holidays in the UK and from their Chateau in France.

Mango also has some dedicated trips for Single Parent with Tots (pre-school age children). These Mango Tots holidays for Single Parent Families with pre-school children are run in term time when it is a little cheaper, quieter and less hot, ideal for little ones. Devon, Jersey and the Isle of Wight are popular destinations for these Single Parent Holidays with Tots.

An early request by Mango guests themselves was for a MANGO Single Parent Family ski trip. Jackie and Steve were not skiers themselves, so set out to find an ideal resort for beginners. With the help of a Romanian friend, they found a perfect place to learn to ski in Romania. The resort of Predeal is the highest in Romania and the nursery slope is adjacent and at the rear of the accommodation. The slopes are opposite the front of the ski lodge and so no transport is required to travel to the slopes. The trip includes all the tuition and ski hire and is full board. Lessons are in the morning and in the afternoon. This is a great place to learn to ski and great value. Skiing has proven very popular and we have since added some new ski destinations. Bareges in the French Pyrenees was added as a ski destination in 2009. Bareges provides a vast skiing area and is therefore ideal for beginners and intermediates alike. Bareges is much quieter than resorts in the Alps and offers better value. Borovets in Bulgaria and Les Houches in the Chamonix valley were added to Mango’s ski destinations for Single Parent Families in 2010. Bulgaria, like Romania is a great value destination and we have put together a package offering Half Board, ski hire, lift pass and ski lessons. Mango has chosen the Bulgarian Ski Resort of Borovets, staying at the 4 star Rila Hotel, with swimming pool and Jacuzzi and right at the bottom of the ski slopes enabling Mango guests to ski out and right back to the hotel. Borovets is a great Alpine ski resort with lots of Après Ski. Les Houches in the Chamonix valley is a popular ski destination for those who want a little more luxury, though it is inevitably a more crowded resort. Our chosen hotel offers great food and is planning a swimming pool for 2011.

In the UK MANGO Single Parent Families Holidays has a holiday at the seaside resort of Woolacombe, North Devon. Woolacombe has a three mile award-winning sandy beach where we can relax and play games, as well as many other attractions to visit. We also have a MANGO Single Parent Families Holiday on the Isle of Wight. Mango has a Christmas Party weekend each year, and ideal time to reunite with other Single Parent families, who Mango guests met on their Mango holiday. But it is also a great way to sample the Mango Single Parent Holiday experience for the first time. The Mango Team are all on hand to make sure it is a great weekend of fun.

And in August we stay in some cottages around a courtyard on a working farm in the Brecon Beacons, from where we can do some easy walks, visit local attractions, villages, organise cycling, a visit to the nearby climbing centre at Llangorse, go pony trekking and visit the Big Pit (National Mining Museum).

Holidays for lone parents and their children can often be a nightmare if you are surrounded by two parent families and feel left out. With MANGO Single Parent Holidays, parents join in the fun too and meet other adults in the same situation.

Jackie and Steve have also recognised that sometimes Single Parents have a break from the kids and want to get away for the weekend or longer. Mango Holidays now has another venture called Just4You Holidays, offering accompanied Group Holidays for Singles and Solo Travellers. Check out the Just4You Holidays website at www.just4youholidays.co.uk for Group Holidays for Singles and Solo Travellers.