My husband and I are going on a trip for a week without our two kids. We’re heading out across the country for a wedding in Las Vegas and then to San Francisco for some sightseeing. While this idea first made me nervous, since we have never been away from our kids for so long or so far way, I told my husband to book the trip before we changed our minds.
Our friends told us there would be childcare available at the wedding. We decided we had no desire to bring a 2 year old and 6 year old to Vegas. Plus, being out west would give us the opportunity to take that trip out to San Francisco and wine country. The trip that we never took six + years ago because I realized I was pregnant. (You can’t really appreciate wine country while pregnant.)
So, as I make my final preparations for the trip, I decided to write down a few tips I came across online and/or through just talking with other people for making travel easy without kids.
- Talk about your trip before you leave. Preparing your kids ahead of time could make a big difference once you leave. Talk about where you are going, when and why. Talk about who will be taking care of them, assure them that they will have their regular routines and that you’ll be back.
- Make a list of all the normal routine things your kids do so that your caretaker can keep things status quo while you’re gone. Things like bed time, dropping off and picking up for school and other everyday activities are normal for you, but they might not be for the person watching your children. Kids, especially younger ones, appreciate their routines. They also will adjust better without you if their routines aren’t interrupted.
- Leave a medial release form in case something happens and your kids need medical attention. You can download a simple medical release form online. This action also forces you to write down all the information your caretaker needs while you are gone. (I know I’d forget some of these details.) It’s also a good idea to leave a medical insurance card. You just never know.
- Check in regularly when you’re gone. Little ones will want to be reminded that you love and miss them. They’ll also appreciate the opportunity to tell you about their day and hear about the fun things you are doing while away. My husband and I are planning on calling before bed time each night while we’re gone. My six year old is already looking forward to it.
- Don’t forget to have fun. A lot of parents, especially us moms, feel guilty for leaving their kids at home while they go out and have a good time. I know I feel a little of that guilt as I prep for my trip. At the same time, I know they will be in good hands and that my husband and I deserve some nice alone time every now and then. We’ll miss them, but it’s not like we’ll be gone forever!
- Bring back souvenirs! For your kids and for the people that helped take care of them while you were gone. Spread the love and how everyone how much you appreciate them.
I hope I’m not missing anything! Right now, I’m just trying to pack in lots of work, packing and prepping before leaving on Friday. Wish me luck.