Arranging for Kids when on Vacation
I don’t have kids, so this is not something I have to deal with, but many people do. Our regular readers certainly know “Ways to Save for a Vacation” and “How to Spot a Winning Vacation Destination.” So, for those with kids who want to take a vacation on their own, here are some ideas on how you can manage, without feeling guilty for the duration of your vacation.
- Leave them with Grandma. What better time for your mother or mother-in-law to get reacquainted with kids than when you’re off several hundred or thousands of miles away? Sure, you’ll miss them, but Grandma and Grandpa will relish the opportunity to play with them, tuck them in at night, and read to them, like they did to you when you were a kid.
- Leave them with a trusted friend. We stress the word “trusted” here. It should not be someone you have recently met, or anyone whose past or reputation you cannot vouch for. Check them out, if in doubt, but it’s best to leave kids with someone they know well, and whom you know very well. No need to add worry to your list of “to do’s” while on vacation.
- Bargain with your babysitter. If you already have a trusted babysitter, ask them how they would feel about putting in several extra hours of time “house sitting” to make more money. Some kids would love this sort of opportunity. Find out how much they would charge and even offer bonuses for a smooth experience. Sometimes you have to pay extra in the short run. But the long-term benefit of having your kids in comfortable (in their own bed) and safe surroundings is worth every penny! Have them take your kids to the park to play, arrange what foods they will eat, and make sure and go over any rules or other details you need to with the babysitter before you leave.
- Put them in camps. It sounds kind of heartless, but it’s not! There are lots of week-long camps, such as band camps, cheerleader camps, athletic camps, game camps, and even technology camps nowadays that you can enroll kids in. They will love it and you can enjoy your vacation without worry, knowing they are among professional camp leaders and other kids their age that they can learn from. Always just check out the camp first and make sure it’s something you feel good about for their future and that it’s backed by people you trust.
- Take them with you. Okay, if you decide you just don’t want to do any of the other things we mentioned, we understand. So take them with you. You do realize, though, that a vacation with kids looks a lot different than a vacation without kids so be prepared to change your romantic dinner reservation into a trip to McDonald’s, your trip to the historical museum, to a go-cart facility, and a few other minor changes here and there!
Everyone loves their kids. But, sometimes you just need time away too. When planning a vacation without the kids, consider your own kids and their ages, needs, and other factors and decide if you can leave them with trusted friends, babysitters, or summer camps and enjoy your trip. If you decide to take them with you, plan accordingly. It’s totally up to you. It depends on whether you want a family vacation getaway or some quality time alone. Happy trails, with or without kids on your vacation!