Kid-Free Travel: Should You Go on Vacation Without Your Kids?
A Trip Without the Kids Doesn’t Have to Result in a Guilt Trip
Traveling with your kids is, of course, an exciting and interesting experience, but it is different in so many ways than traveling solo or as a couple. Once you are traveling with kids, you will spend most of your travel time doing things where the kids can be included. We’ve taken our 3-year-old daughter all over the world and on many different adventures, but those trips still must involve kid-friendly activities, plenty of breaks for naps and play time.
You may miss those days when travel was more carefree and relaxing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t vacation from time to time without the kids. Being a mom, it can be quite difficult to carve out any time for yourself, or for your spouse. Planning a vacation without your kids can be a refreshing and rewarding experience, especially if you are feeling overworked and overtired.
We’re taking a look at the why, when and where of vacationing without kids.
Why Vacation Without Your Kids?
When I first became a mom, I didn’t leave my daughter for an entire year and it really wore on me. Since then, I’ve been known to dart off to Vietnam for the weekend, or spend a couple nights in a downtown hotel every few months so I can soak in the bathtub in peace. I’ve certainly benefited from the alone time and my daughter has also benefited greatly from the times I’ve taken trips without her.
It’s been a great time for her and her dad to spend time together and make their own memories. As I’ve been a stay-at-home mom her whole life, she has had much more alone time with me than with her dad, so the trips I’ve taken have been good bonding time for the two of them.
Taking a mom vacation without kids means you can relax in your room, watch TV shows that aren’t kid-friendly, get a massage, spend the whole day at the spa, eat at fancy restaurants where the kids would cause a ruckus, or, if you bring along your husband, enjoy some much needed romance!
However, even knowing the benefits, it can feel a bit unnatural to travel without your kids. Guilt can easily set in. However, once you get in the habit of taking some time away from them, and realize that everything will be okay while at home, you will be able to move past it. You can rest assured that planning a trip away from your kids is well worth it and you’ll be a better mom for it.
When Should You Start Traveling Without Your Kids?
When to leave your kids behind to go on vacation is a very personal decision. For a breastfeeding mom, it may be hard to leave much before your child is weaned, although pumping bottles may work well for some. It’s easy to feel like you are the only person who can meet your child’s needs.
Some working moms may be much more accustomed to being away from their children for part of the day, and leaving them overnight may be less of a stretch than it was for me. As a first-time mom, it was hard for me to conceive leaving her for a few hours, much less overnight when she was an infant.
So, for us, it didn’t really work well for me to travel alone until my daughter was past a year old. For others, the age that works for them might be different. It really depends on the specific parent and child, but I would encourage you to consider it as early as you feel you can.
Where You Should Travel on a Vacation Without Kids?
For your first trip, you may want to start off close to home. Get a hotel room nearby and do all those things that you’ve wanted to do but couldn’t with the kids. Sleep in, see an R-rated movie, and shop all day without worrying about packing a bag of snacks and activities, taking endless potty breaks and cutting your shopping trip short due to an inpatient child.
After you’ve warmed up to the idea a little with a staycation in your own city, you can start going a bit further afield and leaving the kids for a longer amount of time. You might choose to have a girls getaway with some of your closest friends. Alternatively, reignite the romance with a weekend away with your spouse.
It’s certainly special to be able to focus on your marriage without having the kids around. Another option is to fulfill some of your bucket list adventure dreams such as trekking in Nepal, scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, or whatever it is that you’ve been putting off because it isn’t kid-friendly.
Plan a a solo adventure trip, a fun girls trip with your best girlfriends, or a weekend getaway with your spouse and you will be glad you started traveling without the kids.