Curious what it would be like to travel alone with the kids? Before mental images of tears and lost teddy bears fill your mind, try these 7 reasons you should do it on for size.
Dad has to work and mom has time off. Mom has to work and dad has time off. The work schedule of your friends or family shouldn’t interfere with you and your children being able to travel…
Before I became a mother, I was a traveler. I was fearless. I was… younger. Most of my life had been filled with older mothers telling me that, if I had kids, my life would change and I’d have to stop traveling. Those words terrified me. A lot. I almost didn’t reproduce and when I did, I was in my mid-30s. It turns out, however, they were wrong, Wrong, WRONG. My son is now 4-years old and I take him everywhere with me (everywhere I’m allowed, anyway). Sure, there are hard days, but if you make a conscious effort to pack the suitcases well, lighten the activity schedule, and change your negative “this sucks” and “I can’t do this” attitude, you’ll be right as rain.
Here are some of the best things about traveling alone with the kids:
You can share YOUR interests with your kids– Every day of family life is filled with negotiation. You compromise with your friends, your partner, your family… it never ends. If you travel alone with the kids, you cut that negotiation down to almost nothing. You can easily introduce the kids to your interests, and they can show you theirs. Unlike on larger family trips, there is no outside compromise needed as every decision made between you and your offspring.
- It’s cheaper – Leaving your friends, family and significant other at home equates to… instant savings! A vacation flight can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars so, by just taking you and your spawn, the savings quickly add up. Other financial benefits include, smaller hotel accommodations, less mouths to feed, less park fees to pay, and more!
- Visit friends and family in Peace – Sometimes, you understand your friends and family better than, well… anyone else does. And the kids, meh, they likely think Uncle John is a riot (while others think he’s nut-so). Travel alone with the kids and enjoy a relaxed visit with your parents, siblings, high school buddies, etc. Without a friend or spouse along, you won’t have to hear them complain about the little idiosyncrasies that make your loved ones… unique.
We all need a little alone time – According to Psychology Today, solitude allows your you to reboot your brain and unwind while increasing concentration and productivity. They also add it enhances the quality of your relationship with others. With all of these perks, taking the kids so your partner has alone time (and vice versa) sounds like it should be a regularly scheduled event.
If you have a significant other, close friend, or family member that helps you take care of your kids, they would probably love a week or two of ‘time off’ while you’re off trekking the world with your flock. When you travel alone with the kids, your “frequent helper” can enjoy their own vacation or even veg-out with a staycation. This alone time is great for everyone involved. Think of all the mornings you’ll sleep-in when they reciprocate and take the kids out themselves, giving you some alone time!
Make precious memories – There is NOTHING more precious than those Peter Pan moments – the ones where you find yourself alone with your child, in a new place, exploring and learning. If you travel alone with the kids, you will learn so much! You’ll encounter things you normally never get to enjoy on solo travel and learn so much about your little cubs. Take these moments to slow down and enjoy watching them. Right before your eyes, they’ll grow into their own unique, strong personalities. Traveling and other significant changes in pattern often brings on rapid development and new understandings in your children… pay attention, make notes, and record what you can. The time goes so fast!
- Conquer your fears – How does that anonymous quote go? “Sometimes what you’re most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free.” This quote perfectly fits my love of traveling alone with kids and I’ve searched and searched for the its origin but can only find Twitter references. Pfft! Anyway, whoever first said it, had a solid mind. You are the one holding yourself back. Traveling with kids to Dublin is not much different than traveling with kids to the zoo… if you plan ahead properly. It’s nothing to be afraid of, though fear the reason most of my friends say they’d never do it.
You can do this. Your kids are amazing. You are amazing. And you can make this work.
7. Others don’t have time off – You can spend your whole life waiting for your loved ones to have the time and/or money to travel with you. As Seuss says, avoid that waiting place! Waiting for others to go with you is one of the main reasons many people never take off towards adventure. Just because other adults can’t go, doesn’t mean the kids won’t enjoy a little time on the beach, at festivals, or exploring the waterfalls of Croatia! And hey… you’ll meet new friends along the way. Maybe even some other parents who are traveling alone with their kids!
So go ahead mom, or dad, or auntie… umm, or other precious care givers… book the tickets, pack the bags, and get on your way. A world of reimagined adventure is waiting for you…
With proper packing, planning, and a positive mental attitude, anything is possible… and maybe, even better than possible!
The idea of this post came from my many friends who ask me how I can enjoy myself while traveling alone with my little boy. For a moment, I was a bit confused. Though I love solo travel and family trips, I love Love LOVE traveling alone with my toddler. Exploring a new destination with him, or even a destination I’ve visited before, is like stepping into a new world. We can spend a half day on the beach, just turning over rocks or looking for sticks. Then, after our nap (which is very important when traveling with kids (or me)), we’ll take off to local cultural or food destinations. Imo, life couldn’t be better than when I’m traveling alone with my little guy.
Do you have any questions about traveling alone with kids? I’d love to help so just leave a comment about it below!