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Tips for a Romantic Getaway WITH the Kids!

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Want to sneak away for a romantic trip for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary but can’t (or don’t want to) find a sitter to stay with your children? Bring the kids with! Here are a nine tips to help you and your other half keep your relationship merry by squeezing some romance into a family vacation!

Spring for a Suite or Connecting Rooms
Nothing zaps romance faster than lack of sleep. If your child is a light sleeper – a room with a separate door is a must unless you want to turn in at the same time as your kiddo (pre-sunset though it might be!). My friend, Stanna Stone de Rumpf, a Travel Mama from Colorado, did not learn this lesson until a sleep-deprived trip sharing a single hotel room with her husband and her toddler, Ava. Stanna told me, “I can’t believe we actually paid for the room as we slept in it for only one and a half hours!” A suite allows for privacy after bedtime. Make sure you know what you’re getting when you book the room as sometimes a “suite” is simply a larger room with a sitting area.

Book a Room with a Balcony or Patio
This can make for a great retreat for conversation and a relaxing drink with your honey after the kids are in bed for the night. A balcony or patio also enables parents to enjoy the outdoors while young children or babies nap during the day. 

Choose a Hotel with a Kids Camp
Enjoy a respite for romance while children are busy with activities like crafts, scavenger hunts, and local fun like hula dancing in Hawaii. Examples of hotel with kids camps include Beaches (23 months through teenagers), Club Med (four months to 17 years), Four Seasons (five years and older at most locations), and Hyatt (age three to 12).

Cruise into Romance
Family-friendly cruises offer fun activities for everyone and provide childcare to allow for couple-time. According to Cruisecritic.com, some of the best cruise lines for children are Disney, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line. For privacy after the kiddos go to bed, it’s best to book connecting rooms. Otherwise, the Disney Cruise Line offers a handy “privacy curtain” between the grown-up bed and the children’s sleeping area.


My husband, Phil, and I celebrating our wedding anniversary aboard a Disney Mediterranean Cruise that we took with our toddler daughter (2007)

Invite Family
Vacations are a great opportunity for your child to bond with grandparents and other family members. All the better if grandma and grandpa can pay their own way and they are willing to watch the kids so you can duck out for a night or two on the town! Just be sure to bring up babysitting before you leave home to make sure everyone has the same expectations.

Frolic with Friends
Co-vacations work best with friends who have the same number of children, with similar ages as yours. This way the kiddies will enjoy spending time together, allowing for some adult conversation at mealtime! Plus, you can take turns watching the kids so each couple can steal away for an evening alone.

Hire an In-Room Babysitter
A sitter allows you to indulge in a date night sans children. Most hotels and resorts will provide you with a list of recommended sitters or childcare agencies. Prepare before leaving home by checking references in advance. If you plan to go out more than once, April Fink, my friend and fellow Travel Mama from California, advises you book the same sitter for several visits during your stay. This makes leaving little ones less stressful for everyone. April’s sitter even took her daughter, Isabella, to the childcare program at the Four Seasons Lanai. Their Kids for All Seasons program allows babies and toddlers under age five if accompanied by an adult.

Bring Along a Trusted Nanny or Sitter
If you do not mind sharing your vacation with your sitter, bringing her along will provide the most flexibility for enjoying adult-only activities. Full-time childcare providers are typically paid their usual weekly rate plus any meals or entrance fees while away. The sitter often sleeps in a connecting room with the children. You may be able to convince a part-time provider to tag-along to a fun destination in trade for room and board if you provide the sitter with some free-time during the trip.

 

Make “We” Time
Even if a suite or babysitter is not in your budget – do make “we” time while on vacation. Whether you take a moment to clink glasses in a toast over a family dinner, or you snuggle with your spouse after the kids are asleep, vacations are a time for relaxation and reconnection. Every vacation needs a little room for romance!

How do you make room for romance while traveling? Let us know in the comments!

About Colleen Lanin

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments
  1. http://karen says

    So many times on family vacations we neglect to have a picture of Mom and Dad together. However, getting those snuggly pictures of the two of us brings back warm memories of our couplehood on our warm vacation.

  2. http://Vessa says

    In Las Vegas, we used Grandma Dottie’s babysitters. Grandma Dottie sends over a “Grandma” to watch the kids for $10 per hour. Just about all her grandmas have been working for her for ten years.
    (4 hr minimum)

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