A few months ago, my husband and I celebrated our tenth anniversary. Ten years felt like reason enough to take a just-the-two-of-us vacation, so we started calculating airline miles (the ONLY upside to hubby’s work travel) and ranking the destinations on our short list.
My husband and I are big proponents of adults-only vacations. Don’t get me wrong — we still go on regular family vacations, but we have made it a habit every 2-3 years for just the two of us to get away. It is important for us to see each other as actual human beings, not just as “mom” and “dad”, and to remember how much we like each other when we’re not stressed out by teething and soccer schedules. For us, it takes at least half a day to drop the mindset of regular, family/working life and to get into vacation mode. And regardless of the hiccups and hassles that you inevitably encounter when you travel, we always return home feeling more connected and grounded.
Our first trip away as a married couple was a dream trip to Paris that we somehow managed to finagle on our shoestring budget (eating baguettes and bottles of wine on a park bench within view of the Eiffel Tower felt very romantic and not at all cheap!). Then, we took a hiatus while we had Thing One. Our next trip happened to fall when I was a few months’ along with Thing Two, so we spent a long weekend in Boston (most memorable because it coincided with the World Series Playoffs between our beloved Birds and the Red Sox). Then, we spent a long weekend in DC a few years later when I was expecting Thing Three (also memorable because it was days before the 2016 election…).
So, ten years rolled around. We had the airline points to go most anywhere reasonable. I was not nursing or expecting anymore Things, and I desperately wanted to go somewhere warm and sit on a beach. So, we settled on Aruba, since the weather hovers near 80 degrees year-round, neither of us had ever been there, and it is well outside of the hurricane belt (our anniversary falls during hurricane season).
The trip was great — the weather was perfect, we had just enough reading material to lose ourselves in, and just enough activity not to get bored. There were only minor catastrophes at home with the Things, and both sets of grandparents got to dote on them while we were away.
There are plenty of excuses to nix just-the-two-of-us trips once children come into the picture, but the effort is so worth it. Your trip doesn’t have to be week(s) long — a long weekend can be the perfect amount of time to fit in some r ‘n r and sightseeing. The location doesn’t have to be exotic — getting a nice hotel room and playing tourist in your own city can be fun (it’s the perfect time to break out your “places to try” list and go for the trendy bars and restaurants that are NOT family-friendly).
One of the surprising best parts of an adults-only vacation (at least for those of us with one or more offspring), is how easy the packing can be. Why did we ever think that packing for vacation pre-kids was difficult? Or required more than 20 minutes?! And whether you road trip it or hop a plane, traveling together as adults is downright delightful (you don’t have to hide/share ANY of your trip snacks and the only bladder that you are responsible for is YOUR OWN!).
You and your partner deserve to invest the time and money in your relationship, so leave the guilt behind, along with the diaper bag. 😉