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5 Tips for Taking Vacations Without Kids

Do you take vacations without your kids? I do! Most of our vacations last only two nights because of work schedules. We’ll take what we can get!

Last week my husband and I took a much-needed vacation without our kids to New Orleans. IT WAS AWESOME. Today I tell how we escaped for the weekend! I also include some of the places we’ve gone together. Sometimes we stayed in a hotel close to home, sometimes we flew across the country. One day (I hope!) we’ll take a quick sail together across the world!

Here’s how we got a quick trip to New Orleans:

1. Flew in Family to Watch the Kids

After looking into all the childcare expenses, we realized it was cheaper to fly in Grandma rather then hire someone to watch our kids for the weekend. She was ecstatic and invited Grandpa along! The kids definitely felt like they traded up!

2. Made Each Day Count

We flew in on Thursday and left Sunday night. It wasn’t much time, but it’s amazing how much we did! With kids, I schedule one maybe two activities a day with a ton of down time. But my husband and I fit in around 5 or 6 activities a day without any tantrums! This was my favorite part of the trip. We took naps when we wanted to, we ate late at night, we watched whatever we wanted on TV.  While we would have loved to stay an extra day or two, we had to get back to work. But the truth is, four days was just enough. It doesn’t have to be a long getaway!

3. Wrote Out Schedules and Left Important Documents

Oops! I didn’t do this step. But I wish I would have! I briefly told the grandparents the school schedule, but writing it out would have been better. Plus including tips like, “Bring snacks when picking up the boys from school! They are starving bears!” wouldn’t have hurt. Also, I didn’t even think about leaving important documents like a consent to medical treatment and a Will. I’m an optimistic person by nature, but I should have thought it through. Next time I’ll reread this article for more details about the legal documents I should leave behind.

4. Flew Home Late at Night After The Kids Were Sleeping

I loved coming home to a dark quiet home and getting a full night’s rest before seeing my kids. It was a great way to ease out of vacation mode and back into mommy mode. Being greeted by the kids the next day and handing them presents made the morning feel like Christmas.

5. Bonus: The Older the Kids = Less Work for the Sitters

One of the benefits of having kids over the age of 4 is that things start to get easier. All my kids are potty trained. They know how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They pour themselves a glass of milk 75% of the time without making a huge mess. They are in school from 8:30am – 2:30pm on weekdays. They sleep through the night. I’m not claiming it’s effortless to take care of them, but kids certainly come with a few perks.

How often do you vacation without your kids? How do you work out the logistics of it all? Where do you go? I put some of the places I’ve gone with my husband in a slide show.  I recommend all of them! Where do you recommend? Grandma and Grandpa keep your bags packed! We’ll be flying you back soon!


  • Los Angeles 1 of 8
    Los Angeles
    My parents invited us to meet them in LA before they sailed off on a cruise. I adored discovering LA for the first time. The shopping, music scene, and weather made me want to stay longer than a weekend!
  • Mt. Shasta, CA 2 of 8
    Mt. Shasta, CA
    We stayed in a small town called Weed for the weekend. It took us 7 hrs drive here, and we only stayed for two nights, but it was worth it. It was fun to drive up the mountain and explore the park. I would love to take the kids back here!
  • San Jose 3 of 8
    San Jose
    This was a true stay-cation. I found really good rates at the Fairmont Hotel and decided to take a weekend geteaway with my husband. We actually had a great time walking downtown! We swam, ate good food, and watched a movie. I was pleasantly surprised how much I liked downtown San Jose!
  • New York City 4 of 8
    New York City
    My husband and I flew to NYC last year to find a place to live. It turned out to be a fun excuse to take a trip together! I love that I got a crash course of city living before introducing my kids to it. After living here a year, I still feel like I'm on vacation. There's so much to explore.
  • Mendocino County, CA 5 of 8
    Mendocino County, CA
    We once took a weekend trip to Mendocino County. It's a couple hours north of San Francisco. The rolling hills, the ocean views, and the slow pace make this the perfect place to visit!
  • New Orleans 6 of 8
    New Orleans
    We stayed in the French Quarters. I ate a lot of crawfish and beignets! Not together of course! The food was delicious, the people we friendly, and the city had some many stories! It left me wanting more. I have to go back!
  • San Francisco 7 of 8
    San Francisco
    It was easy to take a weekend vacation in San Francisco when we lived there! We dropped the kids off at the grandparents house and checked into a hotel. We stayed in, ordered room service, and enjoyed our time together. It was super easy to find good deals on hotels by being locals.
  • Chicago 8 of 8
    Chicago
    Ok, we've never actually taken a trip to Chicago, but I really want to go! I don't know if it's the pizza, Millennium Park, or the giant ferris wheel at Navy Pier, but I'm craving an excuse to go. Quick--someone plan a wedding in Chicago and invite me!

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