I happen to be an occasional reader of “Parents” magazine. I’ll be honest, it’s not my cup of tea, and I get bored easily by too many “baby” articles. But few months ago, one particular story caught my attention. Apparently, there has been a lot of controversy with Prince William and his wife taking a vacation by themselves and leaving their young son with grandparents.
Everyone had an opinion and “Parents” magazine even did a poll, where they asked people’s thoughts on whether it’s appropriate to go on trips without your kids. So, since I seem to have an opinion on everything, you may or may not wonder what I think on this whole controversy. What the heck, I’ll tell you anyway.
It is none of my concern how people choose to travel. Whatever helps you keep your sanity is OK by me. If you need a week alone with your spouse, go for it, and don’t worry about what others think about it. Who cares? In fact, I practice what I “preach” and just helped my cousin-in-law plan a trip to Hawaii for just her and her husband. I’m so jealous.
However, just like with this hobby, it’s not the case of “one size fits all.” I have said before that at this time, my husband and I only go on very short getaways, and always within driving distance. In fact, even our recent couple’s getaway suddenly became a “plus one.”
My in-laws booked a stay at Nickelodeon Suites in Orlando and planned to take both kids with them for 2 nights. Meanwhile, my husband and I redeemed my free night certificate from a promotion for a stay in Crowne Plaza in Tampa. The idea was to do something fun as a couple.
However, just a few weeks prior to that, we stayed without our kids for one night in one of IHG PointBreaks hotels. We left in the evening and came back in the early afternoon, so the time without kids was minimal. But it was enough to make our son extremely depressed. My in-laws mentioned that he cried non-stop and kept asking for us. Unlike my daughter, who is extremely adaptable, he is attached to his routine. And he is very much a mama’s boy.
So it was decided that we would take our son with us on our no-longer-couple’s getaway. I’ll be honest, I was bummed, since I was really looking forward to some peace and quiet. Being a SAHM is very challenging for me at times, and I need a break to keep the remnants of my sanity intact. But what can you do? We had to make the best of it.
And the most unexpected thing was: We ended up having tons of fun. My son is used to competing with my daughter for attention, but he didn’t have to this time. He was better behaved and had a smile on his face the entire time, basking in the glory of undivided attention from his parents. He loved swimming in the hotel’s pool and playing with a kid from Spain, who happened to be the same age as him.
We ended up getting a free upgrade on our already free night certificate that we got from a promotion a while back. Naturally, it was due to my Platinum IHG status that comes with their co-branded credit card. It’s funny, when I was checking in, the reception desk manager said to me: “You should stop traveling so much!” I was a bit puzzled, and he said :”Well, the Platinum status…” Ahh yes, about that!
The next morning we had a breakfast at IHOP, located right by the airport, so my son got to watch planes right from the restaurant. Afterwards, we took him to Parrish Railroad museum and went on a train ride. He is a train fanatic and literally can’t get enough of them. It’s an obsession, like me and this hobby.
If he ever gets a Chase Sapphire Preferred, he will only redeem points for Amtrak travel, I’m sure of it. When we got him a toy at the museum shop, he kept saying : “My beautiful train, my beautiful train!” That kid was in heaven.
So, even though the trip didn’t go as I planned it, it was still a success. That said, we are going on our anniversary trip this weekend.
Without kids. I think.
Readers, have you had something similar happen to you?
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.