Now that my oldest one is getting more self-sufficient — at 7, he’s constantly telling me how the world works — I’ve noticed that moms on the playground with similar aged children seem to be planning more trips.
Without the little ones.
One couple friend took a long jaunt to California. Another went to Hawaii for two weeks, and still another recently booked a getaway to Europe.
My husband and I have gone away for the weekend alone a few times, thanks to my mom living within a two hour’s drive. Next month, we’re heading to Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires for some time alone together. (Psyched!) But we’re yet to get on a plane, fly to some exotic locale and forget about the kids for awhile.
I have a few friends who have whispered that they couldn’t do it, and when I try to pinpoint why, I’ve heard a mix of responses: They have no one to watch the children. They don’t want to get on a plane without their kids — just in case. One confided that she worried she wouldn’t have anything to say to her husband if they were alone for a week. (Of course she would, I reassured her.)
My husband, John, and I haven’t traveled without our kids for one reason: When we had our first child several years ago, we vowed that we’d be the kind of parents that showed our kids the world. No matter the age, we wanted to turn them into little explorers so they could see different topography, meet people from all types of backgrounds, and we wanted them to be comfortable deeply immersed in nature and cities alike. So every time we think about going somewhere — Costa Rica, Italy, Peru — we want them there. Part of the fun of parenting is sharing this great big wide world with them. And while we’re only starting to check locales off our bucket list, I can’t imagine doing it without them.
Still, some of my friends swear by the rejuvenating aspects of traveling without their little ones.
I’m so curious what other people’s experiences are: Where have you traveled without your kids — and do you consider it an essential part of keeping up a good marriage? Or, do you prefer to take the kids in tow?