It’s nice to have your kids with you on holiday, but sometimes you need a break! Here are some Super Ways to Get Grown-Up Time on Your Next Family Vacation.
My husband and I stand in the foyer of my parent’s rented condo, suitcases still in hand, slightly stunned by our good fortune. “Like now?” I ask. “Can we go now?” My husband blinks and asks my dad to repeat himself.
My folks had booked another room for us in the same Banff resort and were keeping our kids overnight so we could spend some grown up time, just the two of us. Just the thought of unexpected together time left us feeling dazed and a little giddy. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are hilarious and awesome, and a big downside of vacationing without them is how much I miss their smirky little faces. The downside of vacationing with them is that it is exhausting. Carving out time for the adults while on a family vacation is the very best of both worlds.
Family Affair My husband and I returned to the family lair after our vacation-within-a-vacation feeling refreshed and ready to tackle a holiday with our extended family with a good attitude (not something I can always be accused of having!) I realize not everyone chances into such good luck holidays, but there are ways you can build a little adulting time into family vacations. If traveling with extended family is an option, and you are lucky enough to have the kind of family that will watch your kids, you should take advantage. It is good for your kids to get to spend time with uncle/cousins/grandma, and I don’t need to convince you about the perks for you!
Peer Pleasure If the thought of traveling with your parents or in-laws sucks all the joy from a holiday, maybe you have friends with kids that would make good travel companions. You don’t even really have to travel together, but if you are at the same place at the same time, you can trade child minding time to let the other couple have some time together. On a summer camping trip last year, our friends took our kids to the campground playground for an afternoon while we sat at the beach, then we took the kids the next morning while they secretly went for kid-free ice cream. Now that my kids are of an age where they don’t require constant adult vigilance to keep from choking on LEGO or falling down stairs, the value of having them occupied by friends is something to be exploited. I call it “peer babysitting” so it doesn’t sound so negligent.
Traveling with other people can be hard to organize, and finding the RIGHT people to travel with can be even tougher, but there are ways you can still sneak in some adult time even if it’s just your immediate family.
The Right Place for a Good Time Many resorts and cruise lines are cashing in on the family travel segment with kids clubs and special fun aimed at the youngest demographic. Researching what resorts offer what activities, to which age groups can ensure a great time for the littles while you have a great time of your own! Kids Clubs you may want to explore include Camp Ocean on Carnival Cruise Lines, Beaches Turks and Caicos, and Paradisus Palma Real Resort, Punta Cana.
Make the room work for you. Ask for a room with a balcony when you check in, and think of it as your own evening terrace. After the kids go to bed, sit out there with your significant other and enjoy some wine and not being interrupted by shrieks of “You’re not my brother anymore!” If your budget can afford it, splashing out for a suite can pay dividends. Having a bedroom where you can put the children to sleep and close the door opens up the possibility of an evening watching grown up shows on TV in the living room. Or other mommy-daddy activities, if the thought of a hotel couch doesn’t skeeve you out completely.
Work your Resources If your hotel doesn’t offer a Kids Club, talk to your concierge about arranging babysitting for an evening out, or helping to find a drop-off child-minding spot. Many indoor playgrounds offer an occasional “kids night out” and you don’t need to be local to use the service! If you are hitting the slopes, it may be worth your while to search out hills that offer daycare. Some hills run day camps that combine lessons and indoor activities so you can do your black diamond runs while the kids perfect their snow legs, and meet up at the chalet for some family après-ski.
You don’t have to leave your kids at home to have a break on holiday, sometimes you just need to get a little creative. You are going to have a great vacation, trust me!