A beautiful time in my life has arrived. Our boys are old enough to live their lives relatively parentless most of the time, and we don’t yet have grandchildren. For years and years and years we’ve waited for this time, and it is now upon us. A glorious window of freedom.
Vacations without the children!
Whoo-freakin’-hoo! It's clear: traveling without the kids is the perfect reward for all those years we traveled with them!
Now, we love our boys. And trust me, we’ve provided them with plenty (PLENTY) of amazing holiday travel experiences over the years. I won’t go into them all, because it kind of sounds sort of bragging, but they’ve been there, done that, got the T-shirts (and a whole bunch of other souvenir crap).
But we’ve started to go away without them. It makes getting older worthwhile.
7 great things about vacation travel without the kids:
1. No need for check-list attractions
That means, no more family-focused waterparks, theme parks, zoos, rides, playgrounds … phew. Talk about saving money, saving sanity, saving time!
We’ve replaced the doing-the-Disneyworld-thing with leisurely-drives-in-wine-country. Switched out the Great Wolf Lodge with the charming (and quiet) inns. Etcetera.
We still have the option to go to more major kid-friendly attractions, of course … but we don’t HAVE to.
2. No more schlepping of kid paraphenalia
From strollers and diaper bags when they were toddlers, to games and toys when they were school aged, to electronic devices and attitude when they were teenagers … traveling with kids means a whole bunch of stuff tagging along for the ride.
Extra trunk space, extra baggage charges, extra potential of forgetting something, extra sherpa work by parents: be gone.
3. Adult meals – real food, and only 2 of them
When out and about with children, it can seem like a never-ending quest of looking for food to satisfy the little angels and their growing, seemingly always-hungry, bodies. And those little angels can be kind of picky about what, and when, they eat.
It gets kind of boring, expensive, and repetitive.
With an adult couple out and about on their own, options open up seemingly exponentially. Standard meal times don’t necessarily apply. Food choices abound – exotic… unfamiliar … trendy … comfort … street … whatever … the meal world becomes your oyster. Which you can now have, without a little angel sitting beside you saying “yuck!” while dipping yet-more chicken fingers into plum sauce.
4. Are we there yet?
No longer heard from the back seat.
5. Less labour intensive
Many happy memories are made when traveling with the family. It’s what life is made for, certainly. But let’s be clear – it is a lot of work too. Applying sunscreen. Re-applying sunscreen. Staying within arms-reach. Emergency protcols. Lost and Found. Bandaids and blisters and polysporin. Endless reminders to keep the hat on, don’t forget your bag, stay in sight, watch where you are walking, use your inside voice.
And that’s when you GET to the destination. Previous to arrival, there is the labour-intensive work of preparing to get there – packing, arranging for missed homework, all that jazz.
Makes traveling with my husband a piece of cake. He only needs to be reminded about sunscreen once.
6. No Time Constraints
Get up and out of a hotel before 8am? Totally doable. Or sleep in, uninterrupted, until noon? Ditto. Want to stay out late, have a few drinks, come back to the room in the wee hours of the morning? Also completely within the realm of possibility when you don’t have to plan for alternative arrangements for the underage minors in the group.
7. A room of your own
Of course, possibly the biggest benefit of traveling without the offspring is the increased opportunities for private time. Sharing a vacation with kids isn’t always a recipe for romance. Sharing a hotel room with kids isn’t terribly conducive to intimacy.
A romantic dinner over candlelight? Sure! A walk in the peace and quiet to catch the sunrise or the sunset? Great plan! A long-overdue heart-to-heart conversation? Yepper!
We’ll travel again with the kids, of course – though they are young adults now, not so much kids anymore. They are good company and lots of fun. And I’m totally looking forward to doing it all over again once we are grandparents. But for now, it’s a bit of a relief to experience some travel adventures without them in tow. They are certainly invited to follow along with us … from my social media feeds!
Speaking of which, if you wanna' follow along with me too, my profiles are below. Or drop me a line and let me know where your vacations are taking you - with, or without, the kids!