Going on holiday sometimes works differently for single parents than for parents who are still together.

For example, you can be faced with unpleasant surprises if you cannot show written permission for the trip from the other parent.

What should you prepare for a single parent vacation?

"People who go on holiday with their children for the first time after a divorce often find it very exciting," says Loes Arends, head of reservations at single-parent holiday travel agency Estivant.

There is therefore quite a bit involved in setting up such a journey.

For example, single parents who travel abroad with minor children are obliged to ask the other parent for written permission.

If this does not agree and you take the children with you, you can be prosecuted for international child abduction.

"In child abduction it often happens that a parent takes the children abroad under false pretenses," says a spokesperson for the Center for International Child Abduction (IKO).

"For example, the parent says they're going on vacation, but then doesn't come back."

That is why the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee checks permission forms extra strictly during the summer period.

A separate form must be completed for each child.

This includes the agreed travel period, the contact details of the parent left behind and the holiday address.

The military police can also ask for a copy of the other parent's passport to verify the signature.

Control of child abduction stricter abroad

Some countries check for child abduction more strictly than the Netherlands.

"For example, South Africa. You need a stamp from the South African embassy in the Netherlands, otherwise there is a chance that you will not be allowed to leave the country with your child after your holiday," says the spokesperson for Centrum IKO.

Therefore, always inquire at the embassy or consulate of the holiday country whether additional documents are required.

Those who go on holiday by car and stay within the European borders have less chance of being checked.

But permission is also required within the Schengen area.

If the other parent has died, you must be able to prove this with a death certificate.

The strict supervision seems to be having an effect.

The number of child abductions decreased last year.

This was the first decline in four years.

Where 288 children were abducted in 2017, there were 221 last year. This amounts to a decrease of 23 percent.

The Marechaussee checks additional documents extra carefully for parents who take children abroad on their own during the summer period.

The Marechaussee checks additional documents extra carefully for parents who take children abroad on their own during the summer period.

Photo: ANP

You must be able to show these documents

  • Consent from the other parent

  • Copy of the other parent's passport or identification card

  • Extract from the municipal Personal Records Database (BRP) of the child

  • Extract from the custody register

  • Any death certificate of the other parent

More divorced parents are booking a single-parent holiday

About a third of all Dutch marriages end in divorce.

More than half (55.5 percent) of all divorces involve minor children.

Since 2015, the number of divorces has been gradually decreasing.

In that year, 34,232 married couples broke up.

Two years later, there were almost fifteen hundred fewer.

Despite the fall in the number of divorces, travel agents for single-parent holidays are seeing a growth in the number of bookings.

This is confirmed by providers Estivant and Maris Life.

Both organizations do not want to give exact figures.

"But it concerns thousands of parents and children every year," said spokesperson Emma Blanchard of Maris Life.

View at Ouders van Nu what you are entitled to in a financial sense as a single parent.

Family discount sometimes only valid for families with both parents

Arends explains that divorced parents on vacation often have different needs than families that are still intact.

"The relatives of a family with both parents will mainly spend time with each other. If one of the parents then disappears, the other parent will sit alone in front of the tent in the evening."

For example, as the only parent it is difficult to find childcare when a party is being held at the holiday destination in the evening.

Or to take advantage of family discounts at amusement parks or accommodations, which sometimes only apply to families with two parents or families of at least four people.

"That's why we make price agreements in advance for activities that we book," says Arends.

"On location, we make sure that an activity team can look after the children and put them to bed when the parents are out for dinner. You are among like-minded people who have been through the same things as you."

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