Wondering how to keep romance alive while traveling with your kids in tow? We’ve got some great strategies to help you out.
When you ask people what they imagine when envisioning a romantic vacation, the results can be varied – camping underneath the stars, strolling through the streets of Paris, cuddling in a Vermont bed-and-breakfast, and reclining by the side of a pool with a margarita in hand – one common theme though is intimacy and being alone with one another. So how do you keep romance alive when vacationing with children? Below are tips on how to keep passion alive while ensuring that the whole family has a great trip.
1) Find lodging that has babysitting or organized group activities for children, most commonly found in resorts and cruises. Destinations like Disney World offer parents easy access to babysitting services and day camps, though the concierges of most large hotels have a list of recommended babysitting services you can contact for an extra hand. Another way to find some alone time is to vacation with another family. Parents can take turns watching the brood, allowing couples to temporarily wander off together.
2) Some places simply ooze with dreaminess and beauty, making it hard not to feel the love. Imagine you walking hand-in-hand with your companion through soft sands as the children play in the gently lapping tide . . . how could romance not be in the air? Therefore, choose your destination wisely, as it will need to have enough to keep children enthralled and yet set the mood for the two of you as well. Needless to say, some locales can be more stressful (and less romantic) than others, and expect elevated levels of tension when navigating crowds with little ones; perhaps forego New York City’s Times Square in favor of naturally scenic and relaxing Hawaii or Yellow Stone. When visiting iconic sites, try to see them early in the morning before hordes of tourists swoop in.
3) Once upon a time, romance meant ritzy restaurants, a setting where you will now be stressed trying to keep your young ones well-behaved. So, for a truly charming meal with your partner, skip the extravagant establishments in favor of the great outdoors. You and your family can spread a wide picnic blanket and dine on ingredients bought from local farmer’s markets; while the kids are off being kids, the two of you can lie back together and soak in the natural loveliness around you.
4) More often than not, children become the focus during a family trip so parents have little attention to give to each other. Therefore, taking the time to do something extra-special for one another that says “thinking of you” can go a long way. Ideas include sneaking cute notes into the other’s pocket, giving a morning massage while the children watch TV, or buying a gift while he or she isn’t looking that you can present after the children go to bed. Finding ways to subtly flirt might not always be easy, but embrace the challenging aspect and treat it like an innocent game.
5) Loud, fussy children easily ruin any dreamy setting, so make sure that you don’t overextend your children’s limits during your getaway. Having a centrally-located hotel will allow quick naps in between activities (and some alone time for the two of you) and having their favorite snacks on hand will fend off hunger pains in case they aren’t a fan of the locale cuisine. Another item it’s wise to carry is some small games to keep them entertained and not needing to be continuously entertained. While the idea of aimlessly wandering through the sunlit streets of Venice might not sound so bad when it’s just the two of you, getting lost with kids can add unnecessary strain, so make sure you are always equipped with a map and clear itinerary.
As many parents have discovered, intimacy doesn’t have to dwindle when children are thrown into the mix. Instead, it might merely take on new dimensions as ideas are redefined. After all, your little ones were created from the deep bond you share, and isn’t that romantic?
About the Author: For the first half of her life, Rina Shestack had never left the United States or traveled west of Virginia. However, all this changed when, at 19-years-old, she flew to London and a strong desire to see the world was planted at her very core. In the last twelve years, she has been to three other continents and, now a married-woman and mother of two, she doesn’t plan on slowing down.