Planning a vacation that doesn’t involve having your kids in tow can be a prospect that gives many parents mixed feelings of both excitement and guilt. This is totally normal – after all you wouldn’t be human if you weren’t excited about the idea of having a break, but it’s natural as a parent to worry about being separated from your child. But, it’s good to see the positive side of things – as a parent you’ll get some much-needed free time, and your children will have a vacation of their own whilst they stay with somebody else. Plus, it’s also a great opportunity for your kids to spend time with other family members such as grandparents or aunts and uncles and can help them to strengthen their relationships.
Get the Legal Stuff in Order
There is absolutely nothing pleasant when it comes to thinking about worst-case scenarios but it i something that definitely has to be done. Firstly, you should make sure that all of your finances are in order should anything happen to you whilst you are away, for example life insurance policies and a long-term guardianship plan in place for your children. It may seem dramatic, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry and by doing this you’ll create a layer of protection for your kids that will eliminate any worries and anxieties which could wreck your vacation.
You should also ensure that your kids are able to access medical attention whilst you are away by putting in place a medical release form and temporary guardianship form. This means that you legally give permission for the people looking after your children to have access to medical information and obtain non-emergency medical care for your kids if needed.
Put Together an Info Pack
Putting together an information pack to give to your child’s temporary guardian can go a long way in making thing easier for both them and your child. The pack should include important documents such as your child’s birth certificate and passport, along with crucial contact information such as the telephone number for your child’s school, doctor’s office and dentists. You should also provide information on your own travel itinerary, contact information for your hotel, and other important phone numbers abroad. It’s a good idea to also include some personal information on your child such as their typical routine and information on any food allergies.
Telling Your Kids
Depending on how old your children are, you might need to give some thought as to how and when you’re going to tell them that mom and dad will be leaving for a while. If your children are quite young, you may not need to tell them much more else other than ‘we’re going on an airplane’, as kids tend to have a different sense of time than we do – two weeks to us may not seem that long, but to a child it seems like an absolute age!
Whilst you are away, you can keep in contact with your children via FaceTime or Skype, which can be used easily over Wi-Fi or if you have a data package on your phone for traveling. This will help both you and your children to relax as you’re staying in touch and each know that the other is OK. Don’t forget to make sure that your child has plenty of familiar, comforting items whilst they’re away – if they’re staying at the home of a relative or friend, a few personal items such as their own dinner sets or favorite teddy bears are a must.
Once you have gotten everything planned, it’s essential that you spend the time enjoying yourselves – after all, you may not get another chance to take a holiday without the kids for years! When you’re a parent, precious time together without children distracting you can be hard to come by, which is why it’s important to use the time that you have to relax and have some fun, rather than worrying about your kids.
Take the time to take part in activities that you’ve been wanting to try for ages, or do things that you couldn’t do if the children were there such as going to a nightclub or checking out the Niagara Brewing Company (if you’re planning to go to Niagara Falls!).
Taking a vacation without the kids can seem pretty scary at first, especially if you’re used to having them with you at all times. But with the right plans and someone you trust to look after them, everything will be just fine!