Going on holiday without the kids
Here are 10 tips to help make your child-free holiday go smoothly:
1. Leave your child/children with someone you trustHaving a break away from your child/children is going to be a surprisingly emotional experience for you both. The first point you must consider is who you will ask to care for your child/ children. The number one choice for many will be grandparents as most of them cannot think of anything they would rather do! If grandparents live a little far away, perhaps you have another relative you could ask or a good friend. The main criteria is that your child feels comfortable with the person you choose.
2. Tell your child your plansYour child will feel more confident with your plans if they know them! They can be told a few days in advance, if they will be excited about spending time with their grandparents and will feel happy that you are spending time together because your relationship is important. If you think that your child will be unhappy, it is probably best not to tell them until the morning of the big day so that they do not have time to fret.
3. Plan for your child to be cared for in your homeIt certainly makes life easier if you don’t have to pack for your child as well as yourselves! Your child will feel happier in their own surroundings and in their own routine too and of course everything is on hand for your sitter from the full range of foods, all clothes, plenty of toys and the buggy.
4. Write out a timetable for your sittersThis may sound like a strange thing to do, but it will be really helpful for your sitters to known when are meal times, bedtimes and what routines you have for both. It is also worth listing any particular foods that they do and don’t like.
5. Prepare a list of useful contact numbers.Your sitter will fnd it very helpful to have a telephone list pinned on the fridge with contact numbers for your doctor, the kindergarten etc – just in case they are needed.
6. Take time to plan your holiday too!It is very easy to get carried away with preparing everything for your sitter that you might forget to plan your holiday so that you get to see the things you want to see.
There are plenty of great places to visit for the weekend including cities like London, Bath, Cardiff, Dublin and Edinburgh plus the beautiful Lake District, Devon and the New Forest. Perhaps you both enjoy surfing so Cornwall could be high on your list or cycling in the Scottish highlands appeals.
If you are having just a weekend away, choosing a fun European city break can be ideal as everything is usually within easy walking distance. All the UK regional airports offer flights to a variety of European destinations. Paris is always the popular choice, but all the European capitals are fun to visit – especially Barcelona and Rome. In the warmer months, Venice and Prague are great to visit. A number of other cities are becoming increasingly popular including Bordeaux in southwest France and the pretty city of Porto in Portugal- where you can check out the new white ports!
7. Keep in contact – but not too much!Of course you will want to telephone to find out how everything is going, but don’t ring too often otherwise it will unsettle your children and make your sitter feel that you don’t trust them. The important point is that you and your partner are away from home and enjoying time focused on each other.
8. Don’t pack any feelings of guilt!While it is natural to feel guilty or to worry about leaving your child for the first time, you will be surprised and delighted how well they manage without you! They will enjoy spending time with their grandparents – especially if they get little treats such as enjoying a baking session or being allowed to watch the television before bedtime! Time away from you will help your child to become more confident and independent.
9. Plan a romantic dinner for when you are awayImagine being able to enjoy a beautiful candlelit dinner together without having to clock watch for babysitting times! This will certainly be the highlight of your holiday without the kids – and you deserve it!
10. Don’t forget to buy some little pressies!It will be fun to wander around the shops to find a gift for your sitter and also some little pressies for your child – as both will really appreciate having a gift to open and will end your holiday on a really good note so that you will be able to go away again…..