We all like to travel, but when you have four kids you expect this part of your life to be just that much more difficult. Well let me introduce you to the original “Super Mom” – Marishka from Mom Just Saying! When she wants to go on holiday, not even her husband’s busy schedule will stop her. She recently packed her four kids in the car took them on a week-long solo parenting road trip detour through some of the most remote parts of South Africa. Alone. That’s right … just her and her four kids, all under the age of 9 years old! Super Mom! How’s that for Family Travel inspiration??

The embodiment of #RealMomsWhoTravel – Marishka Mansil of Mom Just Saying!

She’s no rookie when it comes to packing her four kids in the car and hitting the open road. She’s been doing it for years. Solo parenting road trips are her thing. Her husband works a lot, he’s a workaholic and that’s what works for the. But when her urge to travel and get away from reality led her to make the decision to not wait for her husband but to go it alone. Well, she did just that!

That’s my introduction to this amazing lady that I am proud to call my friend (in real life). We have quite a short history of friendship, but sometimes I feel like I’ve known this amazing lady, on some level, my whole life. And I miss her terribly. We lived in the same housing complex in a small town in the Free State of Central South Africa, for nearly 3 years, but only ‘clicked’ about a year before I left. So much wasted time.


Anyway, when I re-launched my #RealMomsWhoTravel series, I knew I had to have her be a part of it. So without further adieu, here’s her side of the story.

Her Background Check! I don’t just let anyone in you know … lol

Tell us about yourself Maris …

I’m a South African wife and mom to four kids, all born in less than five years and no, there are no multiples. I don’t know what to call myself: A mom, a blogger, a small business owner… honestly I’m all of the above some part of each day. I juggle all the balls best I can and although I do drop a lot of them, I am a firm believer that my balls can’t break, like ever, they bounce. 

pofadder south africa

What was your best family holiday to date. Where, when, what?

Gosh really? Only one? Every holiday is my best holiday. I absolutely live for holidays and make plans to get away every three months. Some time ago, I decided to live while I am alive and I started my solo parent travelling journey. I wish I started writing back then but I didn’t.

I love every holiday but if I have to choose one I would have to go with Mauritius. The post is still in my drafts. I guess life got in the way but if I can sum it up in a quick and easy way: imagine lying next to a pool, with a cocktail at 10 am while your kids are being entertained by amazing caretakers with tons of friends from around the world, no cooking, no cleaning, literally just lying there frying in the sun. That’s my dream holiday.

That was my dream holiday. Both times we went to Mauritius I actually rested.  Oh, and my husband was there for both of those too.

Give us your top 3 bucket list destinations for future family travel.

We have three places in mind and we want to visit these soon.

  • No. 1 would be the Maldives and although we heard it’s not really a place to take kids, I found a resort that does cater for families with kids so we want to go there.
  • We also want to go to Greece and Sicily soon. You can see we enjoy the sun and island living holiday style.
solo parenting road trip

What is your number one piece of advice for solo parenting family travel with kids, road trip or not, based on your experience.

If I could give advice on travelling with kids it would be JUST DO IT. Don’t be afraid. Don’t wait till they are bigger. And don’t wait for more money or better circumstances, just go ahead and do it now. Every year that goes by is a year you could have seen new places with the kids.

I still learn with every trip we make, but that’s part of the fun. My best memories are with my kids on the road and they become little professionals. There is no better feeling, no better way to build those relationships. I could live doing only this.

real moms who travel

Role Model Material!

Never mind that this amazing lady should be the next Mrs South Africa, she’s a proud, strong, brave, God-fearing, perfectly imperfect woman, wife, mother, entrepreneur and friend. Did I mention she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro last year!! Yes, she did!

If you want to find out more about her amazing solo parenting road trip from the Free State, through the Northern Cape down to Cape Town with her four kids, then check out the posts she wrote on it.

From one road trippin mama to the next …

Thank you for being a part of this series Maris, and for hopefully inspiring other parents to just go, just do it. Travel, and teach your children about the world around them, both near and far! And don’t let solo parenting put you off a road trip.

real moms who travel solo parenting

Additional Resources