Parents deserve time to themselves.
Finding time for romance strengthens your relationship. It is one of the key ingredients to a happy family.
But life happens!
Work, school, homework, sports, lessons, family & friends all put demands, welcomed or not on our time. Well meaning "date nights" often give way to kids chauffeur service.
Vacations offer us an escape from real life. It is the perfect time to focus on romance with your partner.
Naturally parents tend to focus travel plans on the children. Obviously if the kids are happy then parents will have less stress to handle. Many parents think a romantic escape and a family vacation can't possibly happen at the same time.
In fact, with the proper planning, the impossible can become reality....
Set the right expectations - This is NOT a honeymoon. If this is the type of romantic trip you desire then by all means leave the kids with Grandma and bonvoyage. Parenting and compromise are two synonymous words. Parents can take a vacation, but if you bring the kids, you can't take a vacation from parenting.
Balance - Everybody deserves a true vacation. Yes, absolutely the kids should enjoy themselves but parents deserve a little adult fun too. Seeking the services of a professional travel planner will help. You may plan one vacation a year. Travel agents plan hundreds. They simply have more practice and experience. They know vacation options you might not have even considered.
Child Care - if mom & dad want a little down time for romance, choosing a vacation that offers child care makes sense. Family Cruise lines and all inclusive resorts offer complimentary child care. Generally the age requirements allowing kids into these free programs are ages 4-12. There are some that do allow younger children for free. Infants and young toddlers require more attention. Cruise lines offer infant programs for a fee. A handful of resorts do offer complimentary infant nursery care but these resorts do come with a higher price tag. If you're planning a different type of vacation that doesn't offer complimentary child care, then consider bringing your nanny or another adult guardian to travel and stay with your kids. Even Disney offers evening babysitting programs for a fee allowing parents precious time alone for a romantic meal and a fun night together.
Plan for Privacy - if you're looking for romance, then it makes sense to upgrade to a suite that offers parents a private bedroom. Often these suites come other romantic perks like Jacuzzi tubs. With hotels, you need to purchase a specific room or suite that offers a connecting door to children's sleeping areas. If we simply "request" connecting rooms, this is never a guarantee with a hotel. You may or may not get your request because it's based on availability at the time of your check in. On cruise ships, all passengers come and go at the same time. With cruises, you CAN choose your exact cabins and insure there is a connecting door. Whether you want a suite or connecting cruise cabins, two words of advice...plan early! About 1 year in advance is best, especially if you'll be traveling during a school holiday. Remember, there are plenty of other parents looking for romance too. If you don't book early, they will be getting some and well, you won't.
Off Season - Romance does come with a price tag. Upgrading to private suites, romantic chef dinners on the beach and some after hours child care does cost more. Again, it bears repeating to plan early for the best pricing as well as availability. If your schedule permits,take advantage of traveling off season. Family vacation spots will be less crowded and stressful but most importantly, your travel dollars will go twice as far. Everyone loves affordable romance.
Invite Others To Join You - Wait!, What were you thinking? I mean, invite family and friends to travel WITH you. Relatives who don't get to see your kids often will relish spending time with them. This allows you time to go off and spend time together. if you travel with other families, each set of parents can take turns supervising all the kids one night while other couples have a date night.
Divide and Conquer - A family vacation doesn't mean 24/7 togetherness. Remember the definition of romance is a quality or feeling of excitement and remoteness from everyday life. This can be accomplished even if mom and dad make time for themselves separately. See how much your partner appreciates you when you take the kids off to the beach or on some fun outing while they enjoy some time scuba diving or some pampering at the spa.
Appreciation - Surprise your partner with a present or love letter in their suitcase. Tell her how much she means to you by arranging flowers in your room or giving her that necklace she admired in the shop window. Arrange for a photo shoot of the two of you and the entire family. You will both be forever grateful that you documented these important family memories. Vacations are a time to remember why the two of you fell in love in the first place. It's a time to celebrate that love with public displays of affection....especially if it grosses the kids out.