Monday, October 5, 2009

Traveling Without Your Kids

First let me say that I know Wiggle Bean is way to young for us to even consider traveling without her.  We have not even been able to leave her overnight yet (much to my sister's dismay, sorry!). 

In 2006 my husband and I took our first real vacation since our honeymoon.  I say real vacation because it was the first trip that was not traveling to see family or a trip that included other family members.  We went to Disney World with a bunch of my husbands family and even though I loved the Disney part, the trip was not all that relaxing or vacation like.  For our first real vacation we went to Jamaica for 8 days.  We stayed at a fabulous resort, Couples Sans Souci and loved every minute of the trip.  One reason we selected this resort is because it was adult only.  I know what you might be thinking, and no by adult only I do not mean like Hedonism. I mean that they only allow guests over the age of 18 and you must be traveling as a couple, no singles allowed. The Couples Family of resorts are some of the highest rated in the Caribbean.  In 2009 Travel and Leisure named all four of the Couples Resorts among the Top 8 Resorts in the Caribbean on the World’s Best list.  The resort was beautiful, the staff was so friendly, the food was to die for (and drinks were free!!!), and we met some really great people.  One thing I really like about the Couples resorts is that it truly is all-inclusive, you are not allowed to tip any of the staff  (with the exception of the Spa staff).  Employees can actually get in trouble for accepting cash tips.

We had such a great time that my husband took us back to Jamaica and Couples Sans Souci for my 30th birthday in 2007.  This time we went for 2 weeks.  What an amazing birthday, he will be hard pressed to ever top it.  Again, we had a wonderful time. Some of the staff that we met the first year were still there and amazingly remembered us from our first trip.  We would have our favorite drinks ready for us when we arrived at the beach, staff members would greet us by name and were always asking what they could do to make our trip more special.  To my surprise, my husband mentioned that it was my 30th birthday trip to guest services and when we went to dinner on my birthday, they had made me a cake.  The restaurant piano player sang to me and my husband arranged for the jewelry shop to send over the most beautiful bracelet that the server delivered with my cake.  It was an amazing birthday and an even more amazing vacation.  We still refer to it as our second home.

We met so many people that were traveling without their children.  They explained to us that they take a "couple" trip every  year to reconnect as a couple and then a family trip with the kids.  Since we did not have children at the time, a "couple" vacation sounded reasonable but now that I have Wiggle Bean, I am not sure that I could travel with out her.  I understand the importance of staying connected as a couple but how do you leave your baby for a week or two at a time.  I might be able to do a few days but when it takes 27 hours  (from leaving our house, waiting at the airport, flight time, a zillion layovers, trip through customs and shuttle drive to resort) to get to our resort, anything less than a week just does not seem worth it.

Would you consider traveling without your children and at what age is it appropriate?  If you have traveled without your children, how long did you leave them?


Michele said...

Hmmm, that's a good question. My daughter is 5 and I have never travelled without her. I had considered a week long trip when she was 3, and although she would have been staying at her Dad's house, I still couldn't bring myself to be "away" that long.

I know several parents that have gone on 2 week vacations when their children were only 6 months old. So, I suppose it would depend on your comfort level, who you are leaving them with, and if you "personally" are able to handle being away that long.

I don't think there is any certain age you have to wait for... I say, if you want to get away ~ go for it!!
And that's my two cents for the day LOL


Hobo Mama said...

I also would have a really hard time traveling without my son. Granted, he's still nursing, but even after, until maybe 8-10 years old or so? That's just my gut estimate of when kids could really handle the separation. My brother and his wife leave their daughter (now 7) with my parents a lot while they travel for a long weekend, and started doing so when she was a baby. At this age, she does all right during the day but takes it pretty hard at night, even if it's just for a day or two. At her age, I could see leaving her overnight, but I can't imagine leaving for a week-plus. My husband and I loved traveling before kids in a backpacking across Europe way and I do miss it, but I'm willing to find a way to travel as a family for the foreseeable future.


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