Vacations are both a dream and a nightmare for parents. The idea of exploring a new place with new experiences, or just of a sandy beach with peace and tranquility… ah, heaven. But then comes the dilemma.
To bring the kids or not bring the kids?
On the one hand, not bringing the kids sounds like a great idea. They can be watched by a relative and we can stretch out on the beach and not worry about being responsible for someone else, if only for just a little bit. Parents know they’re safe at home and they're just responsible for themselves. #Bliss.
But on the other hand, they know they’ll miss them. There will be moments they know their kids would love and they’ll become anxious at the thought of being in a different place, far away from their kids. Will the anxiety end up becoming so heavy that it outweighs the bliss?
The truth is, there are plenty of reasons to leave our kids at home during vacation and plenty of reasons to bring them. It all depends on the timing, the kids, the vacation, and the couple. Here are some reasons some parents shouldn’t feel guilty about needing some time away and some reasons that kids being included in vacations may actually be a great idea. The decision is ours!
20 Kid-Free: Connecting With Your Partner
If you’re parenting with someone else and maintaining a romantic relationship with them, it’s important to keep that connection up too. It can be hard, at times, since the kids always have to come first, but it’s important that you have some time to connect with your partner – and a vacation away with them can do just that!
You will parent much, much better with someone if it’s obvious you two have a strong connection on your own and sometimes, a little work has to go into maintaining that.
19 Kid-Free: It's Important Not To Become Dependent On Your Child's Company
You’re going to get used to having your child around, but it’s important to be away from them sometimes because one day, they’re going to leave the nest, too. As they get increasingly older, they’re going to make friends, have their own social life, eventually go on their own vacations – and eventually leave home.
It’s wise to make sure that you’re keeping up your own life too so you’re not lost when that happens, and have your own identity outside of just being a parent.
18 Kid-Free: You Need To Spend Time With Your Friends
Vacations might be a great way to reconnect with friends that you don’t often get to see because you’re busy parenting.
When a friend becomes a parent, they often lose their social life because parenting is hard and it takes up a lot of time. Sometimes, it becomes impossible to maintain friendships. But you need people your own age around you, people who aren’t dependent on you, even people who you can lean on, so taking some time to spend with your friends is nothing you should feel guilty about.
17 Kid-Free: Some Vacation Activities Are Not Kid-Friendly
There are certain vacations you might dream of that involve activities your kids can’t really accompany you on. Maybe you’re an adrenaline addict who wants to go skydiving, or an animal enthusiast who wants to swim with sharks.
Whatever the activity, the truth is, some of them just aren’t suited for kids. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your dreams! You can still get out there and do those things. A balance needs to be maintained, and your child will understand (eventually).
16 Kid-Free: It's Important To Give Yourself A Break
Sometimes it’s just as simple as it being important to take a break from parenting. The truth is, parenting can be one of the hardest jobs in the world. It’s also the most incredibly rewarding, but there are times when you just want to step away and scream into your pillow. There are times when it’s as simple as you just need a break, and making sure you aren’t parenting every minute of every day for 18 or more years is a necessity for staying happy.
15 Kid-Free: Sometimes Your Kid Would Actually Benefit From Staying At Home
Sometimes it’s not you who would benefit from a child-free vacation – sometimes it’s the child.
There may be a time when the child is honestly happier not going. Maybe you’re reuniting with old friends in a cold place where your child would be miserable, or somewhere isolated where there would be nothing for your child to actually do. Consider the location itself when wondering whether or not to bring your child, and don’t just think about yourself – would the child actually enjoy it there, or have a happier time at home?
14 Kid-Free: Self-Care Is Needed To Be A Good Parent
Self-care is needed to be a good parent. It’s a fact. If you spend all your time parenting and don’t take a break or take care of yourself, you’re going to burn out. This could lead to you being snappier than usual with your child, more bad-tempered, or even just something as simple as not having enough energy for them any more. The good intentions of never taking a break can actually turn out worse for everyone involved.
Make sure you do something just for you every once in a while!
13 Kid-Free: Sometimes Traveling To Certain Places Can Be Bad For Some Kids
Sometimes travel just might not be a good idea for the child regardless of location. For example, if they’re at a point in their life where they have a weak immune system and you’re considering whether or not to bring them on vacation, should you be taking them on a plane where viruses spread much quicker? Or if they’re going through a stage of anxiety, is forcing them into a new place always the best idea?
It just isn’t always the best idea to travel with a child.
12 Kid-Free: It Gives Your Child Time To Bond With Other Relatives
It gives your kids bonding time with other people. Presumably if you’re in a place to take a child-free vacation, you have someone to look after your child – a family friend, maybe with kids too, or a relative of some sort.
This gives your child a chance to bond with the other people in their lives that aren’t their parents. It's a chance they might not have had otherwise. Leaving the kids with grandma and grandpa isn’t always a bad idea. Sometimes it might be a thoughtful one.
11 Kid-Free: It Teaches Them Independence
It’ll teach your child not to depend on you as much as it’ll teach you not to always have your child around. Your child needs to learn that although you’ll always be there for them, you might not always be physically by their side, and a few days away at a time is a good way to gently ease them into the idea. This doesn’t mean you should be taking frequent vacations away! But one every now and again isn’t always the worst idea.
10 Kid-Friendly: It's Important To Experience Other Cultures
It’s important to introduce your child to other cultures, and the best way to do this is for them to actually see the other cultures themselves. Your child will start out with a very narrow view of the world, and it’s your job to teach them that there is so much more than meets the eye. You can do this by actually taking them to exotic places, teach them a little about the people there and the language... Doing this will make your child more cultured!
9 Kid-Friendly: It's Important To Get Them Used To Different Modes Of Travel
It will also get them used to different modes of travel. Airplanes eventually can be stressful and scary for even some adults who have gotten on them lots, let alone a child who is only just growing used to them. Chances are, they’ll want to travel or have to when they get older, so it's better to get them used to this now by bringing them on vacation and making sure it’s a safe, joyful experience. They’ll thank you for it later.
8 Kid-Friendly: It's Important They Don't Feel Abandoned
It’s important not to leave your child at home all the time or they might start to feel abandoned. It’s understandable that parents might want a vacation alone sometimes—as mentioned above, there are many benefits!—or have to work a lot but at the end of the day, your children should still always, always be your first priority. Children can sense when they aren’t, and this could really hurt them emotionally. Make sure that they always feel loved and wanted by you.
7 Kid-Friendly: They Can Experience New Things With You, Forming New Bonds
Experiencing new things together is important because you might actually be able to learn together. As important as it is to introduce your children to new cultures, it’s also important to learn together – this could create a bond that you’ll always look back on because you might have the same first memories of the place or culture!
Your child doesn’t have to think you already know everything. Don’t be afraid to explore together. It’s fine for them to know you might be finding out things for the first time, too.
6 Kid-Friendly: There Are Child-Friendly Activities To Do On Vacation
In most places, there are plenty of child-friendly things to do. In fact, most tourist attractions are child-friendly – and places often have things geared towards them specifically, such as petting zoos or other things that your children might find exciting. If you don’t have your heart set on adrenaline-filled activities, it should be pretty easy to take your kid along and find things that they would love to do! Vacation spots are pretty good at ensuring that they’re family-friendly; they know their market.
5 Kid-Friendly: Kids' Clubs At Resorts Can Be A Great Experience
Hotels at some resorts also have kids clubs. There are clubs your kid can join—to give you a couple of hours by the pool—that organize activities for the children to do together. This might involve arts and crafts, pool games, or just other things around the hotel that the guides think the children might love. It gives everyone a little break from one another.
This could be a good balance between bringing your child on vacation and having some alone time there, too. Kids clubs are specifically there to give parents a break! Take advantage!
4 Kid-Friendly: They Could Make Lifelong Friends
In these clubs, and in other places, your child might actually make lifelong friends. Although they might be pretty limited in the travel they can do at the moment, they might stay in touch with friends and end up in the same place as them later, or be so close that they visit them. I know personally, I actually have friends that I’ve met on vacation, so it’s possible for everyone – give your children the opportunity!
At worst, they’ll make friends for a week and build their social skills while there, even if they don’t end up staying in touch.
3 Kid-Friendly: It Brings Out Their Curiosity
Taking your kids on vacation will encourage them to be curious and question things. It’s good for children to ask questions and not take everything at face value, and this comes hand-in-hand with widening their view of the world.
“Curiosity killed the cat”? Not true at all! Curiosity is a handy tool in life – no one would have explored anywhere or found out anything about the world without it. It’s good for your child to want to find out more information about anything they can.
2 Kid-Friendly: It Encourages Them To Try Something New
It’s also good to encourage children to try something new. Kids seem to dislike getting stuck in the same routine; for example, eating the same foods over and over, or staying in the same places time and time again. It’s hard to encourage children to embrace change, but it's important to because life is all about change.
But taking them to new places that they might love can help them become more adjustable, from the experience of travel to the experience of a new place itself. And that can only be a good thing.
1 Kid-Friendly: You'll Have Great Memories Together For Life
Vacations are some of the best ways to create memories. They’re new places without work or stress, just having new experiences and making the most out of a few days or weeks. What better way to create amazing family memories than bringing your kids along and making the memories with them, memories that you can always look back on fondly?
Sure, you’ll always have moments with your kid that you love, but why not make some that are as memorable as possible?