As a single parent, planning (let alone paying!) for a family vacation, solo, with your kid or kids can seem daunting, but with the right preparation, your trip can be a pocket-pleasing score for the books. In this mini guide, we will provide you with essential tips to help you plan the perfect Prague getaway.
Select Dates That Best Suit You
Sadly, every parent has the same plan — travel with your kids during spring break, the summer and winter holiday breaks. So you can imagine, the price for airfare and hotels are generally at peak levels — especially during July and August. Instead, travel during off-peak periods, including April and May (April may still coincide with spring break). However if you’re stuck traveling only during the standard school vacation seasons, you still may be able to snag some good deals if you:
1. Book between 3-6 months in advance
2. Set up a price alert in your favorite booking app to notify you when there’s a price drop for airfare and hotels
3. Plan to depart your town or city of origin on a Tuesday (as prices are generally lower on Tuesdays)
Book for the Weather You Can Weather (Get It?)
Of course, visiting Prague during the summer months of July and August is an ideal option for families, as the weather is generally between 79-86°F and sunny, making it excellent for visiting huge attractions such as Prague Castle and Petřín Hill. On the flip side, it’s also peak tourist season, so you’ll have to contend with larger crowds and higher prices for accommodations and attractions. Instead, consider going between May and June when you may have to don an umbrella since you’re in the rainy season, but at least you won’t have any problems getting in and out.
Plan Around Unique Experiences, Events, and Activities
If you are planning your trip in December, taking your littles and not-so-littles to experience the Christmas markets of Old Town Square (Staroměstské náměstí) and Wenceslas Square (Václavské náměstí) is definitely a must-do. And if you are heading to Prague in January, be sure to celebrate the end of winter in traditional Czech fashion, by participating in Masopust. This is a Mardi Gras-styled carnival where attendees dorn fancy masks and costumes – a visual spectacle not to be missed. But if the cold weather isn’t your family’s thing, consider taking your 3-8 year old to Prague’s Children’s Island in July, your teenager for Letní Letná in August, and young adults for Designblok in October.
Set a Budget that is Comfortable
Now of course none of this works without a reasonable budget (which, of course, is subjective), however as single parents it’s clear we are never trying to break the bank. The good news is you don’t have to, by traveling during off-peak periods, leveraging points from your travel rewards credit cards such as American Express Platinum and Citi Premier card, and including free attractions and activities into your itinerary.
Here is a typical budget breakdown for a single parent and one child during the summer months of July through September:
- Flight per person (one round-trip ticket from US to Prague): $600 – $1,100 apiece
- 3-4 star accommodations per night (one bedroom with two twin size beds): $80 – $150 per night
- Transportation per day per person – 24-hour ticket offers unlimited rides on all public transport: $5.50 (visit Prague Public Transport website for more fares information)
- Sightseeing and Activities – 72-hour Prague Visitor Pass for 1 adult + 1 child: $190 (this pass will give you unlimited access to public transportation, as well as free entry or discounts to attractions – visit Prague Tourist information for more information)
- Meals per day per person: $25 (e.g. fast food lunch + Italian restaurant dinner)
Choose Safe, Family-Friendly Accommodations
Prague 1 (Old Town) is our no.1 recommendation for the best area to stay in Prague. This is the heart of Prague and provides easy access to many of the city’s attractions. It has a charming atmosphere with historic buildings, picturesque streets, and the famous Old Town Square. Families can visit the Prague Castle, Charles Bridge, and enjoy various family-friendly activities. Tripadvisor rates Hotel Residence Agnes as the top hotel in Old Town for families, and it’s easy to see why. Besides boasting incredible customer service, the hotel has won stunning reviews from families for its amenities, as well as great and safe location.
Create an Itinerary that Everyone will Enjoy
Engaging your children in the planning process can make them feel involved and excited about the trip. Involve children of all ages in selecting activities and attractions, and allow them to research and learn about Prague’s culture and history. When planning your itinerary, identify the top attractions and activities that are suitable for families of all ages including the Astronomical Clock and Vyšehrad Fortress. Allow for flexibility in your itinerary, as this will give you the opportunity to rest and enjoy downtime with your family. With an itinerary in mind, consider purchasing tickets for attractions and activities in advance, as this could save you between 15-30% on ticket prices.
Research Local Transportation
Like most major cities, Prague has an extensive public transportation system that includes buses, trams, and a metro. Travelers should purchase the Prague Visitor Pass for unlimited travel within a validity period of 2,3, or 5 days. The Prague Visitor Pass also offers a host of free entry passes and discounts to attractions, and can be purchased online, or within most hotels. A 3-day Prague Visitor Pass for 1 adult + 1 child costs $190 and can be purchased here. Alternatively, Uber and Bolt are the 2 most popular ride hailing apps in Prague, though most travelers would agree that public transportation is the best way to get around. Google Maps, Prague Visitor Pass and Citymapper are the most handy apps to have with you for navigating the city.
Research Family-Friendly Restaurants
Prague is known for its delicious local cuisine, with many restaurants offering traditional Czech dishes such as goulash and schnitzel. Lokál Dlouhááá and Restaurant U Pinkasů, located in Old Town Square, are 2 options that are very popular with families. There are also several restaurants in Prague that are particularly appealing to children. Located near the Wenceslas Square, Vytopna Railway Restaurant features a unique concept with model trains delivering drinks directly to your table. This never fails to leave the kids fascinated. And if your kids enjoy watching pizza chefs toss dough, Pizza Nuova is a must visit. Situated in the Vinohrady district, Pizza Nuova is a family-friendly pizzeria that offers a lively and colorful atmosphere, as well as a play area with toys to keep them entertained. Also, in Prague, it is customary to tip around 10% of the total bill.
Staying Safe and Preparing for Potential Emergencies
In Prague, the emergency services can be reached through the following phone numbers:
- U.S. Embassy in Prague Emergency Contact Number: +420 257 022 000
- Emergency Medical Services (Ambulance): 112
This number can be used in case of medical emergencies, accidents, or if you require immediate medical assistance.
- Police: 112
Dial this number to report crimes, emergencies, or if you require police assistance.
- Municipal Police: 156
The municipal police can assist with non-emergency situations such as lost property, minor incidents, or general inquiries.
- Tourist Police: +420 12444
The Tourist Police is a specialized unit that assists tourists with various issues, including lost passports, theft, and general safety concerns.
Planning a trip as a single parent with your child can be both an exciting and rewarding experience. By following the tips we have shared with you above, you will be able to create lasting memories, and a memorable vacation for both you and your children in the beautiful city of Prague.