Tips in finding quality alone time with your partner while traveling with the kids. By Erin Bender
Keep romance alive. (Flickr: Samuel Hearn)
If you travel with your kids there is no need to compromise on your relationship with your partner. Here are some great tips from a seasoned family traveler who went around the world without forgetting the original first love of her life.
Try to keep a regular bedtime for your kids when traveling. It gives the kids a more regular routine and allows you to have alone time too. This is so much easier if you book a hotel with interconnecting two rooms.
Go on a cruise. (Flickr: Adam Selwood)
As regular daters throughout our marriage, nomadic travel was a jolt to our relationship. There was no time for us to go out and just be us, not “Mom” and “Dad”. Then we took a cruise. Our kids fell in love with the kids’ club and for for days they did not want to come out, except to eat dinner with us, and go to sleep. During our travels in 2013 we took three cruises. Our kids absolutely love spending all day in the on-board kids’ clubs, which gave us much-needed opportunities to explore beaches together, swim in the adults pool, eat a quiet meal casually for a few hours instead of minutes. Similarly you can find hotels with kids’ clubs that I bet the kids would love when compared to sightseeing, market shopping or temple hunting.
(MORE: Find kid-friendly cruise ideas for your next family getaway.)
There are plenty of locations that offer quality nanny services at reasonable prices, including Bangkok and Bali. Most of the agencies in these cities offer references from your country of origin and loving, wonderful ladies. It’s nerve racking at first, but make a mobile call back to your nanny every couple of hours or how often your nerves allow, and soon you will realise that there are caring people in this world who can love your kids as much as you.
Utilize the bathroom for some quality alone time. (Flickr: faungg’s photo)
If you’re sharing a hotel room with the kids, the bathroom is perfect spot to spend some quality alone time. Don’t be ashamed to utilise the bathroom to the max. There is a host of parents who have taken their Chinese takeaway and a laptop into the bathroom for dinner and a movie while the kids are asleep in the bedroom.
My daughter asks everyday, “Is this a kids’ day or a mommy and daddy day?” Not every thing on holiday needs to be about the kids, let them know there are days when they get to go to the zoo, a water park, or a theme park, but there will be days when you want to see temples or go shopping as well. If you can keep a balance between kid days and parent days you will find yourself enjoying your holiday as much as your kids.
Family friendly restaurants
Find a restaurant with a kids play area. (Erin Bender)
Can’t remember the last time you had a leisurely meal alone together without screaming, yelling or leaving within half an hour because the kids are bored? Try finding a restaurant with a kids play area or head to a restaurant on the beach. Your kids will be so preoccupied you will feel like you’re having dinner all alone. Well, almost.
(MORE: Find more helpful tips on traveling with kids.)
Find other families on holidays
When kids have other kids to play with it’s almost like parents don’t exist. We often meet other traveling families in parks or by the pool, and the kids end up playing together for hours. You can get real adult conversations with other parents, without regular interruptions. Feeling human can be a big bonus to helping a relationship stay alive.
Ask about each other’s day
Spend some time alone even when you’re on vacation with kids. (Flickr: Ricardo Mangual)
So you are traveling together all the time. That doesn’t mean you know what’s going on in their head. After a long day, when you are finally lying in bed together and the kids are asleep, ask. How did they like that statue? What was their favourite ride?
Erin Bender of Travel With Bender contributed this to MiniTime.