6 Things to Do Before You Go on Vacation Without Your Kid for the First Time
You made the plans, you've booked the tickets, and you're ready for some much-needed adult time away from your little ones.
But before you jet off on your first vacation sans kids, there are a few things you should do to prepare both yourself and your children for the experience.
Talk to your kids openly about your plans
Explain to them why you're doing it, how long you'll be gone, and what they can expect in your absence.
This will help to ease any anxiety they may have about being separated from you, and it will also allow them to start getting excited about the time they'll have to themselves.
Find the right caregiver while you’re away
Whether it's a grandparent, family friend, or professional sitter, make sure you're leaving your children in the care of someone you trust.
This will give you peace of mind while you're away and help to ensure that your kids are in good hands.
Related: Should I Book a Holiday or Stay at Home?
Set expectations for everyone
Before you go, sit down with your caregiver and go over your expectations for their caretaking role.
This will help to avoid any misunderstandings while you're away and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Make sure they have everything on hand such as:
- Contact details of the place(s) you're staying, in case of an emergency
- Any medical information or prescription medications they need
- A list of activities or places they're allowed to go to, any plans already in existence that they need to attend.
Put together a care package
Before you leave, put together a care package for your kids to help make the transition easier.
Include items like:
- Pictures of you and your family
- A list of things they can do while you're away
- A special toy or blanket
- A handwritten note from you expressing your love for them.
Stay in contact
We're sure we don't really need to say this but: Even if you're just sending a quick text or video chat, staying in touch with your kids while you're away will help to ease their minds and make them feel more comfortable.
It will also allow you to stay up-to-date on how they're doing and what they're up to.
Leave the guilt behind
This is much easier said than done (we know), however, it still needs to be mentioned:
Feeling guilty for leaving your little ones behind for a bit of adults-only R&R helps absolutely no one...
As the cliché says, you cannot pour from an empty cup, and taking some time for yourself is crucial to maintaining your sanity as a parent.
So, do everyone (but mostly yourself) a favour and leave the guilt at home.
How can I prepare my child for me being away?
The best way to prepare your child for your being away is to talk to them openly about it. Be clear about your plans, talk it through with them, let them ask questions, and explain to them how long you'll be gone. This will help ease any anxiety they may have about being separated from you, and it will also allow them to start getting excited about the time they'll have to themselves.
Who should I leave my child with while I’m away?
This should be an easy answer; someone you trust implicitly and whom you know will do the right thing when it comes to taking care of your little ones. Ideally, it will also need to be someone that your child knows and feels comfortable with, however, it is also possible to hire a professional, if necessary.
What are some tips for staying connected with my child while on vacation?
We are thankfully no longer limited to landlines and snail mail when it comes to communicating wit our loved ones and, as such, there are now a plethora of options available to us. You can easily stay in touch with your kids while on vacation by sending them texts, video chatting... You may even want to set up a daily call schedule. Whatever you do, just make sure you check in with them regularly so they know you're thinking about them.
Will my child be okay without me?
This is a question that only you can answer as it will depend on your child's individual temperament and personality. However, in most cases, the answer will be yes; they will be just fine without you for a little while. Just remember to leave them in good hands and to check in with them regularly.
How will my absence affect my child’s behavior?
Again, this is solely dependent on the individual child, but in most cases, being away from you for a short period of time will not have any significant effect on their behavior. There could be a few tears and a little bit of sulking at first, but they'll soon get used to the idea. Just be sure to talk to them about your plans beforehand so they know what to expect and can start getting excited about the time they'll have to themselves.
What are some tips for dealing with separation anxiety?
If you're feeling anxious about leaving your child behind, then it's likely that they will too. The best way to deal with this is to talk to them openly about your plans and reassure them that you'll be back soon. Let them know that you're just a phone call or video chat away, and try to schedule regular check-ins so they don't feel too isolated. Finally, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation; this time apart will allow you both to miss each other a little bit and appreciate each other more when you're finally reunited.
When Is It Ok To Go On Vacation Without Your Baby?
Going away without your baby depends on a variety of factors, including your child's age, temperament, and the length of your trip. In general, it is usually ok to go on vacation without your baby if they are over the age of six months and if you will be gone for less than two weeks.
What age can a baby be away from mum?
Ideally, you'd wait until your baby is at least six months old before leaving them for an extended period of time. This will give them enough time to develop some sense of separation anxiety and to get used to being away from you.