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Recently I had the luxury of traveling by myself for a few days to the Georgia coast. While I’ve traveled plenty, this was only my second trip without the kids or husband (and the first was for work.) It’s not often we moms put ourselves first and I reveled in the fact I had an entire hotel room, with a balcony, to myself. It hit me on this trip that I felt guilty, missed my kids, yet still enjoyed every part of my solo adventure. That in fact, it’s okay to travel solo.
Why You Need to Travel Solo
The number one reason to travel solo…guilt. While doing research for this article, I found a lot of moms deal with guilt while leaving your children. I get it, I do. But I know we also hear time and time again we need to take time for ourselves, you can’t fill from an empty cup, etc. That extends to travel too. I’m not here to tell you to not have guilt. Have it. It means you care. But also learn from it.
You also need to rediscover who you are, before spouse, before kids. It’s important as your kids grow older they start to see you as a person with interests, rather than the person who does everything for them. You are the person they can befriend when they reach adulthood. It may seem a long time away, but it’ll happen before you know it. Being the person you are, not only mom, will be the person they confide in and trust.
Obviously, we all feel it. And we all deal with it. If you don’t want to take my word for it, read on:
Elizabeth at WanderMum echoes my statements:
Being a mum can be all consuming and it is only when you have some distance from your children that you can really relax and rediscover a bit more about the person you were before you become a mum.
LeAnna at Economical Excursionists says:
Alternatively, I’ve heard many a mamas say that the guilt of going on a vacation without kids isn’t because they are OCD about routines and schedules and that it’s not even that they have anxiety about leaving their toddler for a trip. Instead, it is that these parents are hard working adults with jobs and that they already feel guilt about the (lack of) time they feel like they are giving to their children.
Marta at Learning Escapes explains why she didn’t have guilt:
I didn’t feel mom guilt not because I am a bad mom, but because there was nothing to feel guilty about: the kids were having a ball with dad and grandparents and I was seeing a friend – where’s the guilt in that?
This mama, Yashy at Baby & Life, even spent Mother’s Day away from the kids:
This Mother’s Day I will be up in the sky by myself with no one but strangers and the clouds to keep me company. And I’m okay with that.
Another added benefit of going off on my own, spending quality time with my kid, albeit on the phone. One afternoon while I was gone, I called my 13-year-old son. He homeschools and I wanted to check in on his progress. He’s not much of a talker on the phone, but we spoke for over 30 minutes recapping our days. If we were together all day, as we often are working and schooling, we wouldn’t have felt that need to connect. Being gone helped us be closer.
This will vary for everyone depending on your home support network, spouse schedule, the age of kids etc. My how to relied on friends to pick up my kid from school and bring her home, as well as a flexible husband who went to work late to bring her to school. Yours might rely on grandparents, neighbors, older siblings. Use your network, they want to help you.
Of course, weekends are a fantastic time to schedule time away as well. Your spouse may be home and can plan something special for the kids to give you a much needed time away.
Eileen at FamiliesGo! takes business trips as an opportunity to extend into a mom-cation:
Taking this extra time makes is the difference between coming back from my trip stressed and time-crunched or reenergized and ready to face whatever is waiting for me back home.
If you’re dreading going off on your own and dealing with mommy guilt, be sure to fill your days with something you enjoy. Leona at Wandermust Family made sure she kept her days filled with interesting people and things to do.
If that sounds like work, I suggest scheduling yourself a spa appointment. Nothing works better to relax you than a facial or a massage at your resort.
Connecting with your family while traveling is still important. I use an app called Picniic to connect with the family. Here we can share our own personal news feed, share photos, calendar and even create meal plans and store recipes for the spouse and kids. Also, if you have older kids, it allows them to check into a location so you k know where they are, or when they’ve arrived. All in all, I love the functionality this app has for a family on the go, especially if mom is traveling by herself!
You’ve taken the leap. Solo Travel is for you. Now, where to go? If this is your first time out, I suggest a destination within driving distance. Not only is it easier (and cheaper) to get to, it also adds to the vacation. Imagine, your Road Trip Playlist is all your own!
Here are a few more ideas to travel solo:
- City Breaks – museums, exotic dining, luxury hotels
- Beach – seafood, ocean views, relaxing vistas
- Yoga Retreat – healthy living, reconnecting with yourself, practiced meditation
- Women’s Retreats
I highly recommend using Retreat Finder. Listed is every possible type of retreat, both to travel solo and family related. You can search for personal or join a group if you don’t want to be completely on your own.
When you’re a mom, solo travel is not only important, it’s necessary. You give your all to your family and this is one critical way to get some of it back for yourself.
Have you done solo travel as a mom? Where did you go? How did you feel? I would love to hear more. Leave a comment and let’s start a community of solo traveling moms!