Image source: Flickr - Dragunsk Usf
While romantic trips are often thought of as something shared between two people, the truth is they don't have to be. For couples with kids, it's completely possible to have a romantic getaway without leaving your children at home. All it takes is a few essential tips and creative ideas to keep those warm fuzzy feelings flowing. To help you plan your trip, here is a guide on how to travel with kids and still keep the romance.
Tip: One thing that will help romance bloom on vacation is having peace of mind that if anything goes wrong you're taken care of. This is where travel insurance comes in, as injuries, lost luggage, cancelled flights, and other travel mishaps are no longer things one needs to worry about.
Many hotels offer Kid's Clubs that go beyond simply putting children into a room filled with toys. For example, the Ritz-Carlton is a luxury hotel brand known for their immersive Ritz Kids programming focused around water, land, culture, and environmental responsibility, offering everything from making your own movie to creating your own culture to sports like football and tennis and beyond. Club Med is also known for their stellar youth offerings, with clubs for infants, toddlers, and adolescents up to 17 years old. These types of programs not only provide peace of mind that your child is safe, but also that they're having an educational and fun vacation. Moreover, you and your significant other can have some adult-only alone time to help grow your relationship while traveling.
Along with Kid's Clubs, you'll also find hotels offering private babysitting services. Unlike Kid's Clubs which typically have set times, babysitting services offer more flexibility, allowing you and your honey to savor a candlelit dinner or sunset hike on your own time.
Romance is all about sharing experiences that grow your bond with one another. While typically romance evokes thoughts of wine, chocolate, and roses, trying something new as a family can still evoke those warm feelings of love. Go on a scenic bike ride, learn how to snorkel, take a cooking class, or harvest honey with a beekeeper for interactive and memorable experiences. Remember, romance doesn't always need to include flowers, as it's the memories you make together that will truly strengthen your love.
Dinner and wine. Rose petals in the bathtub. Chocolate-covered strawberries in bed. These are a few of the stereotypical romantic experiences we all think about. Unfortunately, these are not typically moments appropriate for sharing with children. Instead of nixing them completely, revamp. Have your kids assist with making dinner, and serve it with some alcohol-free cider. Take a chocolate-making class as a family. Have your child help you plan the perfect bouquet for your significant other and even write the card. These are the types of moments you'll both be sure to remember.
Especially in this day and age where emails and text messages have almost driven the love note to extinction, these letters of affection will be much appreciated by your significant other. Leaving love notes in hidden places where they will find them - their jacket pocket, on their pillow, in their toiletry kit - will evoke a feeling of being cared for.
If you'd like to get your kids involved, you can have them help write the note, or at least illustrate it to let mom or dad know there is more than one person who appreciates them enough to put it on paper.
A special date or gift doesn't need to be over-the-top to be special. Instead of thinking of surprises in terms of dollars or wow-factor, focus on being thoughtful and creative. If your husband loves seafood, forgo the seafood-dinner-for-two and instead book a boating trip that includes the kids where you can catch your own meal. If your wife loves jewelry, work with your children to create something homemade that reflects the destination you're in, like a shell bracelet in the Caribbean. Use your imagination. Or, better yet, get your kids to do the thinking - also great for their creativity - and you can do the orchestrating.
A scrapbook. A journal. A recipe. Preserving your memories together and reactions to the destination you are visiting are great ways to bring you and your special someone - and your children - closer. Again, forget the candy and flowers as being the quintessential definition of romance, and instead think of how you can share new experiences and show the other person you care. Bonus: What you end up creating together can be looked back on forever. Imagine perusing that photo album you made after your first family vacation when you're 80? It doesn't get much more romantic than that.
What are some other ways to have a romantic trip with kids?
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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