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Katy Holland: Holidays for single parents

Are we there yet? How to avoid paying more because you are a single parent

Single dad Keith Middleton has sent me an angry email. "It's impossible to find a family holiday for just one adult that doesn't involve paying through the nose. Why is there always a catch? Companies charge adult prices for children if there aren't two parents ... so I end up being penalised just because I don't have a partner."

Keith, you're not alone. Thousands of single parents across the country feel your pain: when it comes to trying to book a family holiday, you can't afford to be single.

There's still a long way to go before lone parents get a fair deal, but some of the more progressive companies out there are doing their best to make things easier for us. (And about time too: after all, 25 per cent of families in the UK have only one parent.)

The launch this year of www.singleparentholidaysavers.com was a real breakthrough; any lone parent in search of a cheap family holiday should make it their first port of call, because it offers good deals to hotels in Spain and Mallorca without charging single adult supplements.

For some really exciting offers, long-haul family adventure companies such as Exodus (0845-863 9600; www.exodus.co.uk), which specialises in small group travel, also offers a variety of single-parent departures. Next year's new trips include the Amalfi coast as well as China.

And here's some exclusive news: I've just been talking to the lovely people at Small Family Holidays (0845-900 0895; www.singleparent.travel) who are planning new things for 2009, including a 14-day trip to Ecuador, which includes a seven-night cruise off the Galapagos islands. There's only one catch: you must be single.