travel without children
Travel Tips,  Traveling

Should You Travel Without Your Kids?

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We all know the emotional rollercoaster that comes with a family vacation. Whether it’s those vacation meltdowns that always seem to happen even when you take steps to try to prevent them or the fact that the children are very adept at pushing your buttons. Maybe you are considering planning a couple of vacations a year; one with your children, and one traveling without kids. When you look at this from all angles, is going on vacation better with or without your children? Let’s take a look at some of the pros & cons of family time.

How much do you do for your kids and not yourself?

If you are someone that skips that small group tour you’ve wanted to go on to do an excursion that is more geared toward your kids, I totally get it! Family vacations are all about compromise. Yeah, we could have left our younger children in the kids club on the cruise ship so we could parasail or go wine tasting, but instead we thought maybe next time we’ll do something without them.

But if you think about it, if you are doing everything for your kid’s sake, and not doing any activities that you enjoy, is there any point in actually going on vacation? Of course, it’s important when on a family vacation to create lasting memories, but it is also important for everyone to enjoy themselves. Plus, would it even be a vacation (time spent away from work & your daily life to recharge) if you forgot about relaxation. So I wish I could give you kudos for doing everything for the children’s benefit; however, I think it’s really important to meet some of your own needs in order to be your best self.

 

adult beach vacation

How do you and your family get along on vacation?

Okay, so now let’s address the elephant in the hotel room; are you the family that continues to bicker from the moment you step out of the front door all the way to the hotel and it just feels like the tension escalates over the course of a few days? Do your kids whine about when, what, where and everything in between when you take a family vacation? If so, then it’s hardly a surprise that you’re giving thought to traveling without them. I have teenagers, so believe me… I totally get it! The older they get, the more they want to voice their opinions. And boy do they think that the activities that parents want to do are boring or embarrassing (like the time we went gold panning and I wanted to take pictures dressed in old western outfits!).

Well then perhaps you should spend time away from said teenagers! It’s easier than ever to keep in contact with each other with apps like Facetime & Life360. So if the area is safe, why don’t you split up for the day and let your older kids do an activity they want to do; like hanging at the beach for the 4th day in a row. Just think, you may have some interesting things to share about your day during dinner that night, but you also get that all-important time away from the bickering to relax & recharge.

 

How much time do you spend together at home?

We live in a world where everybody has a million things to do, and the only family time together is at the dinner table. If you don’t spend much time together then taking family vacations is the perfect opportunity to get that time in. A vacation as a family can be such a blessing as you come together for a shared activity. And a trip together really creates the opportunity to reconnect with your children.

If you’re not spending much time together, then you should use the family vacation to have some fun, but also get back in contact with each other on a more intimate level. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but if it’s the one time of the year you get together as a family, then you should definitely take advantage of it!

Family Trip or Adult Trip?

Time as a couple is really important for a marriage, but so is family time. So how do you decide whether to travel with your kids? Since every family dynamic is different, I recommend taking that into consideration. As well as thinking about what you have gotten out of past family vacations. Did you have a great time or did you arrive home feeling drained or disappointed? 

In considering these factors, think about what would work best for your family. Maybe compromising on what activities to do on your next family vacation. Or perhaps plan a family trip that’s geared 100% for the kids and then a couples trip focused on all the adult activities you’ve been wanting to do.

In my experience, I think planning two separate vacations is ideal; if you can afford it. If only one vacation works within your schedule or budget, then figure out how you can fit in activities so everyone can enjoy the trip. Sometimes it helps to vacation with relatives or another family so that you can let the kids spend time with others while you & your spouse can do some fun things together.

How have your family trips turned out? Are you thinking about your next vacation and whether you should take the kids? I’d love to know your experience & thoughts, so please share them in the comments. 

Should you travel without your kids? Every family is different, so here are some factors to consider. #marriage #familytime #vacationtips #familyvacations #weekendgetaways

39 Comments

  • Elizabeth O

    Sometimes it’s healthy for our overall health to travel without the kids. It will give us plenty of time for ourselves and fully enjoy the experience.

  • Sanjota Purohit

    Travelling with kids is really difficult. But if you travel without them most of the times you cannot enjoy because all you do is keep thinking about them. Hence it is good to plan to places where everyone can enjoy.

  • Grace Esedeke | Today Was Fab

    I don’t have kids yet except my 3 year old nephew who I travel with whenever I have to. Traveling with kids helps expose them, gives them millions of experience they won’t get from screens, broadens their minds and imaginations and help them become more intelligent.

  • Anagha Paul

    This is one of the good topics. I hear my friends with kids having this confusion whether to take kids with them or not . It is difficult for couples to find alone time together.

  • Kriti

    i dont have kids yet, But still i feel how difficult is to travel with kids !! but totally agree family trip is beyond words !! thanks for sharing

  • Jaana McEntee

    I love traveling with my kids! I would spend all my time with them, after all, the time when they are kids is limited..

  • The Travel Bunny

    I don’t have kids yet. But, in about 2 years, we’ll be there :)) We travel a lot, because of our jobs. And we will probably be moving every 6 months / year until the child goes to school, at least. Of course, we’ll take the child(ren) with us. I’ve also switched to working from home, to be able to be there for my future child(ren), because the grandparents will be away. However, during the holidays, we intend to leave our children spend them over at the grandparents’ places, to bond with them while they can. That’s kind of when travels on our own will take place 🙂

  • Joanna

    I think that parents should travel with children because it opens up their minds and lets them discover new things and cultures. However, I also think that they should prepare their children for the trip so that they learn instead of just being difficult.

  • Sonja Hoff

    I don’t have kids myself,but I have two young nieces. It’s hard traveling with the young kiddos, but you’re so right that it’s definitely dependent on what kind of vacation it is. Parents definitely need their time away, but I always enjoyed our family vacations when I was a kid! It wasn’t always drama free… especially when there are 6 kids! Thanks for sharing!

    • arun

      Yes, it’s important to take your kids with you on vacation and spend some family time together. But yes, once in a while it’s necessary to spend alone time and take time for yourself .

  • Lisa Designs LifeLisa

    It’s a toss up, it’s so exciting to take your kids to see different places in the world but on the other hand, couples can really benefit from time away to themselves. Everywhere we have travelled in the past few years, my husband and I are shocked at how many people travel with little ones though!

  • Polly Amora

    Hi Jenn, I hope you’re having a good day. I don’t have kids yet. Family vacations are fun but for me, it’s okay to travel without the kids sometimes because you have been spending way too much time taking care of them and I think the parents deserve a time together too, just you and the hubby.

  • aisasami

    I don’t have kids persay but my sister is visiting me this summer here in Japan. We do bicker from time to time but we mostly have fun.

    • monica.m

      This is a great post, makes me think.
      I’m a little torn on this topic. The idea of traveling without the kids is nice but I know I will miss them terribly. Everything will remind me of them and I don’t see me enjoying myself as much. I take my kids on vacation (we’ve gone on 2) and they seemed to love it, even when we weren’t doing the things that focused on them. Just seeing the new things is good experience for them, I think.

  • Goldfish and Gin

    I love taking family vacations. We are a family of 7 and we homeschool all 5 of our kids so we are always together and for the most part, always tend to get along. There’s a bit of bickering here and there but that’s it. That being said, it’s nice to just have an adult vacation every now and then for my husband and I to connect and be alone.

  • A Nikole

    I don’t have children myself, so I honestly don’t get why some parents feel as if they always have to take their kids with them everywhere (even places where common sense should dictate that they should have left their children at home). I feel like a family should do both–it’s healthy for the family as well as maintaining the relationship between the parents. Plus, don’t parents need a real vacation, too?

  • Streamed TV Fan

    I have been travelling with my kids since they were three-month old. It’s not always easy but over the years I’ve learned to make it work. We always choose a destination where we can do both adult and kiddy things.

  • vivirewellness

    We do both. Sometimes we travel as a family, as that is much needed. Sometimes we travel as a couple, much needed as well.

  • panushwari

    Okay, I may sound like a bitch, but PLEASE travel without kids – because its a major hassle for those around you, especially if your kids are unruly.

  • Aga

    I don’t have kids, so I can’t really contribute to this topic. But I’m planning to go on vacation with my cats since I don’t have family or friends who would take care of them. It’s different from going on vacation with kids, but it’s an obstacle nonetheless 🙂

    xxxx Aga

  • viewfromthebeachchair

    I think it depends on the venue. I try to take a few short trips with my husband and leave kiddo at home. But we do travel a lot with her. Some trips can be fun and some she needs to learn to control herself and adjust to the grownup world.

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