4 Tips for a Child-Free Vacation

by Holly Johnson
Originally Published: 
A baby in an orange dress and an oversized straw hat is sitting in a brown suitcase which is located...

Let’s face it: a vacation with your children isn’t a real vacation. Many of you would argue with that, of course, as you sleep six people to a room and drag your crabby kids through Disney for photo ops to one-up your Facebook friends. And maybe it truly feels like vacation since you’re not dealing with the daily grind of your 9-5 or the coworkers you hate. But it’s just an illusion.

After all, a real vacation should involve carefree wonder, exploration, and no whining. No ass-wiping either, and fancy restaurant dinners shouldn’t be spent picking French fries up off the floor. And for Christ’s sake, no quietly trying to get it on without waking up your toddler. That’s just disgusting (I do it all the time). Nope, you’re free to have sex like your kid-free counterparts. Can you imagine enjoying two whole minutes of passion without worrying about the kids busting in the door?

And, as far as I’m concerned, if I’m woken up by crying, it is not a fucking vacation. When I’m on vacation, I want to be woken only by a pounding hangover headache or the soft ocean breeze blowing into my room. And I want to lay on the beach without having sand thrown in my face while trying not to scream, “I wish you would STFU while I try to read 50 Shades of Gray on my kindle!!!”

But, I digress.

Although going on vacation with your kids can be “vacation-like,” in many ways, it’s just not the same thing. So, how do you get away without the kids? Try these simple strategies for the kid-free vacation of your dreams:

1. Ask the ‘Rents. It’s time to call in some favors, my friend, and your parents should be stop numero uno. Of course, other family members who love your kids are fair game too. And unless you ask, you never know who might be willing to watch your kids while you get away for a few days.

Of course, drastic times may call for drastic measures. If you don’t have any takers, implying that you’re having marital problems might just seal the deal. (HINT: It works.) Remember, white lies hurt no one, especially if the end result is you getting a butt massage on the beach in Cancun.

2. Do a Kid-Swap. If no one is willing to watch the kids out of the kindness of their heart, try bartering. Chances are good that you have a family member or close friend who would also enjoy a kid-free trip. And maybe, just maybe, they’d be willing to trade responsibilities to make this happen. Of course, this trade would probably work best with someone you know and trust. Someone, somewhere must owe you a favor. Find that person.

3. B.Y.O.B. Of course, I am totally in favor of bringing your own booze on vacation. I think that’s a given. But the strategy I’m suggesting here is different. I’m talking about bringing (and paying for) a babysitter for your trip. My husband I successfully employed this method during a vacation last year and it worked like a charm. In fact, it was the best of both worlds, allowing us to simultaneously enjoy our children and pawn them off, depending on our moods.

4. Go All-Inclusive. As the mother of two small children, I am always on the look-out for new family vacation ideas. And after taking a few kid-free trips in the last few years, I’ve discovered something: all-inclusive resorts.

In a lot of ways, they’re like a regular resort, but with the added bonus of all of your meals and drinks, including alcohol, included. But the amenities don’t stop there. Many of the all-inclusive resorts out there happen to offer the holy grail of adult vacation enjoyment. They’re called kid’s clubs and they’ll actually babysit your kids for you, usually for a fee. And although I’ve never employed this strategy, it’s becoming a possibility as we plan our vacations for 2014.

“One of us would have to stay sober enough to pick them up at the end of the day,” my husband recently pointed out.

“Yeah, you,” I snapped. “Let me know how it goes.”

God I love that man.

Happy vacationing, folks!

This article was originally published on