Getting Away Without Kids

Aaah...vacation. Sit in the sun and relax. Go sightseeing at a leisurely pace. Enjoy wonderful meals out. Maybe not if you're taking the kids. I've written about the joys of family vacation here, but this post is about taking a trip alone, just me and my husband.

Last summer, it worked out that every one of our kids was at a summer camp the same week. We decided to not let this glorious circumstance pass unnoticed and took a vacation to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Here we are in Montreal, footloose and fancy free!


We're going to get away again in a few weeks! We'll already be in the Northeast dropping three children off at camp, so we're going to travel on to Boston and then Portland, Maine. Honestly, it wouldn't matter where we were going because everything is a treat when you get to spend time as a couple.

Four Benefits to Vacationing Alone

Time to Reconnect: I love our family life and I love our kids, but someday it will be just me and Steve again. I want to be able to look forward to that day with happy anticipation. Getting away from home and family responsibilities allows us to see each other at our best again. It gives us the time to focus on and rediscover that person living in the same house we do!

Choose the Destination: A lot of the places that interest me do not interest my kids. When they go on vacation, they want the beach or an amusement park. They're looking for entertainment, not relaxation. When we're by ourselves, we set the agenda without guilt and can do things the kids would consider completely boring.

My kids would not be awed by this pretty city view!

Feel Younger: Remove me from parenting responsibilities and I feel ten years younger! It's an amazing feeling to only have to think about yourself for a little while. All of sudden, I'm not a suburban mother of five...I'm young and hip!

Eat What You Want As Long As You Want: Mealtimes become a special event. There are no chicken fingers, french fries, or hotdogs on the menu. If we want appetizers and desserts, no problem! We can linger at the table and finish whole conversations uninterrupted.

I fell in love with this fruit and cheese appetizer in Montreal.

The first time we got away by ourselves after we had kids was when my oldest was a year old. It was hard to leave her even though it was just for one night. In fact, the only reason we went was because of positive peer pressure! Friends that were further along in the parenting process planned it and insisted it would be good for us. You know what? They were right! Since then we've tried to take little weekend trips away once every year or two. Last summer was the first time we planned a whole week!

Always, without fail, I dread any trip we take alone right up until we leave. It's hard to plan childcare and I worry about what might happen when I'm gone. There are so many little things that fill my mind and I hate saying goodbye to my children. Truth be told, I'm kind of a mess! But also always, without fail, I start to relax when we're on our way and end up having a great time!

Your turn. Have you gotten away without the kids? Was it wonderful? Did you need some friendly peer pressure to take the plunge, too?


44 comments:

  1. Hi Marie!
    I love this post . . . and totally understand - and agree with - everything you shared!
    I'm actually going away this weekend with my husband to celebrate my 40th birthday. I'm so excited to get away and spend alone time with him (it's been too long), but I feel nervous too, as I'm working on getting the house in order to be gone.
    Getaways/vacations with your spouse is a great way to reconnect and enjoy down time together!
    I hope you and you're husband have a wonderful time . . . and that you come home feeling refreshed.
    Sending happy thoughts your way,
    Suzanne

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    1. Happy Birthday, Suzanne! How exciting to get away and celebrate! I hope you and your husband have a fantastic time!!! :)

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  2. I hope you guys have a great vacation! It's always nice to get away and relax. I hope you guys have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks so much Leslie! We're looking forward to it!

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  3. Love this Marie! I actually have a similar post in the works :) My hubby and I have always tried to get away by ourselves. For some reason it's gotten harder as the boys have gotten older. Hope you guys have a great time!

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    1. Thanks, Lana! We don't leave for a few weeks, but the preparations have begun. I know what you mean about it being harder as the kids get older. My older two are busy with jobs, etc and it's not as easy as just dropping them off at Grandma's like when they were little!

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  4. I haven't taken a trip without the kids yet... and we've been doing this parenting gig for 6 years now. You "sold" me on its merits though.

    Lovely post... oh how I long for those relaxed meals.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the SHINE Blog Hop).

    Wishing you a lovely weekend.
    xoxo

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    1. Thanks for hosting, Jennifer! Hope you can plan a trip soon!

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  5. I don't have kids, but my sister will not travel anywhere without her kids. Every time she takes a vacation, it's the entire family. I really admire her ability to fly around the world with babies and toddlers in tow...now her kids are a little bit older and can walk on their own and follow orders and carry their little backpacks at the airports. But still, I don't think I can manage to travel with preschoolers. My sister said she would be worried sick about something happened to one of her children while she was elsewhere and couldn't make it back in time. Her peers and friends are all this way...So she never goes away one night without taking all her kids with her. My brother-in-law fortunately has the exact same mindset. He said he had spent enough vacations alone with my sister when they were dating, and now they wanted to see the world with the kids before they grew up and refused to go anywhere with them. I'm not sure if they will let their kids go to camp when they grow older. Hopefully they will:) Enjoy your couple time:)

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    1. Thanks, Ordinary J! I appreciate your comment. Maybe your sister will change her mind as they get a little older.

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  6. So far i have never been away from my six month old son for a night, the most we have been separated was 5 hours at a spa where I could hardly relax because of guilt! Guess when is older and I have to start resume work it will strengthen me to go on a vacation without him. #weeklinky

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    1. I think it will get a little easier as he gets older. He's so little now, I wouldn't be able to leave him either! :)

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  7. We go away without our kids at least once a year - I think it's essential for my husband and me. Our favorite place to go is New Orleans, although we like to discover new places too. Having just returned from a family vacation this morning, I am looking forward to our trip to NOLA in October! Have a great time in Boston and Portland - those are great cities to visit as a couple.

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    1. Thanks, Dana! Glad you get the chance to get away, too. New Orleans sounds like a fun trip!

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  8. I'm same way-- a big mess (and filled with worry) until actually GOING. But you are so right. It's always needed. hopped over from Motivation Monday -thanks for sharing!

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    1. Good to know I'm not the only one worrying before I go, Mitzi! :)

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  9. Hope you have a fabulous time in Boston & Maine, Marie! Have been to Boston a couple of times and it's one of my favourite cities to visit. If you have time I can recommend The Freedom Trail, followed by a trip up to the Skywalk Observatory at the Prudential Center.

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    1. Thanks, Izzie! We're looking forward to it! I've been on the Freedom Trail and that was very neat. I haven't done the Skywalk Observatory. I'll have to check it out!

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  10. We don't have any family members nearby, so we've never been away without our kids. In nearly 11 years of marriage...lol. Sounds heavenly! (Visiting from the Manic Mondays linky)

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    1. That's a long time, Selena! I hope something will work out soon!

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  11. I cannot imagine getting away as a couple without our kids - we don't even get a night off! It'll come, although I think we have a way to wait yet - you're very lucky to be able to do it regularly :)

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    1. Yes, we've been fortunate to be able to get away and leave them with family or at camps that we trust. I hope that something will work out for you to get a night off, too!

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  12. Hello there, o wow-you are making me nostalgic as we went to Boston as part of our 'babymoon' and are desperate to go back! We are debating whether to go again this year though the flights with a very lively toddler in tow could be a challenge! We haven't been away without little man yet but I can quite see the benefits of some grown up time. Hope you are having a wonderful time xxx

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    1. Thanks, I'm looking forward to getting away! I hadn't heard of a "babymoon", but it sounds fun! :)

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  13. Such a great way to spend some time together. I must confess we try to for a couple of nights a year too, Time well spent

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    1. I agree! Glad you've been able to get away, too!

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  14. I am a total advocate of vacations without kids once in a while for so many of the reasons you stated - but mostly for re-connecting.

    When our eldest was 1.5 my husband and I went to France for 10 days for a wedding. We'd originally planned to bring her, but the more I looked into it, the trickier it would be - and it wouldn't have been a holiday. We began to consider just me going (my friend) and my husband staying home with our daughter until our really good friends (now Godparents to our youngest) offered to take our daughter for us so we could both go and really enjoy the trip. I was completely paranoid about leaving my daughter (the Internet didn't help). But she was absolutely fine and the trip was fantastic and a wonderful way to remember us as a couple.

    A great subject - and a great post! I hope you have a fabulous trip - Louise

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    1. Wow, your trip sounds amazing! I'm sure you'll always treasure the memories!

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  15. What an amazing opportunity to get away with your hubby! We are guilty of not doing this, ever, but after reading your post I think I will try harder to get away with my hubby. I worry too much about leaving the kids and use that as my excuse. I tell myself when they get older I'll do it, but like you say we need to reconnect and just enjoy each other now as much as when we're older. I'm sure the kids would love a little get away too! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. It is hard to leave the kids, but once you get on your way everything works out. I have to almost make myself go through with a trip, like a doctor's appt or something, because I know it's good for us and I'm always glad I did! :)

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  16. Good for you! It's so important to put your marriage first because the kids will be gone one day.

    Unfortunately, I'm currently breastfeeding and she doesn't take a bottle...so I'm stuck for at least another 6 months! But I would love to get away for even one night and make it happen at least once a year! We left our oldest daughter for the first time when she was 16 months old, and I cried when I saw a baby crying! It all turned out fine, and she had way more fun with my parents than she would have had if she went with us! HDYDI

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  17. I agree it's great to get away just the two of you, being able to do as you please, even do nothing. I hope you have a wonderful time on your next trip.

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  18. Yes, yes! We had our first weekend away since EITHER of our children this year (that's four and a half years *gulp*) and like you I was a mess before we left - I thought about them both all the time but it really was a wonderful opportunity for the two of us to reconnect as a couple. And your point about finishing conversations - so true! Visiting you from Mama and More's All About You linky *waves*

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  19. We have had the odd child free night over the last few years but it is hard to coordinate. Maybe when they are older we will be able to have some more alone time, I can see that it is a huge benefit to a relationship. To be able to stroll around a museum and see what interests me and not have to spend hours at the child friendly exhibits would be fantastic!

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  20. Hope you had an amazing trip just the two of you. It's always a must in a relationship to make time for eachother. Good for the kids to have time apart too. I am the same I would be very nervous to go away and it would be stressful to sort all the childcare and everything they need before you go and get yourself ready so i can imagine a lot of work beforehand. Way to go you for getting organized and taking your much deserved trip for two. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

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  21. This is a great post one day I hope to do the same with my hubby - 24 years next month. Hopped over from Katherine's Corner.

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  22. I love your post and I agree it is always a good idea to make time for your partner without the kids. #TurnUpTuesday

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  23. Enjoyed your post...we are celebrating 30 years soon! Thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog hop!

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  24. I love this post! It is so important to get away and have some time with out the kids!
    Come link up with me today!!
    http://thediaryofarealhousewife.blogspot.com

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  25. Totally get the time alone needed! It is! We try at least once a year to go away alone either for a long weekend or week trip. I hope you continue to get your "getaways"! They are important!

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  26. I'm so glad you're getting some couple time. On occasion I wonder whether some time as a couple would have helped avoid or delay my divorce. Since my husband was a soldier during wartime, we were only together a few months at a time, and it felt really important to maximize the time the kids got to spend with him... but now that amounts to only a few days a year. :(

    Thanks for linking up at HDYDI.

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  27. this is so something my hubby and i ought to do!

    thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments x

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  28. We love getting away together as a couple and do it a few times a year! Thanks for linking to All About You

    Mama-andmore.com

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  29. Thanks for sharing this useable article - I really increase your acquisition.it is really very informatic post for young people, and hope they will enjoy well after reading this post.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from you!