How to have Couple Time when Traveling as a Family

How to have couple time when you're traveling as a family

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It’s not always easy to have couple time when traveling as a family. Of course, part of why we travel is to spend more time with our children, create family memories, experience new things and so on…

Okay, don’t get me wrong. I love spending time as a foursome. But with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I’m reminded that before there were four, there was just the two of us. And someday, it will be just the two of us again. As my children get older, it’s easier to find some alone time with my hubby. But I remember the days when they were babies and toddlers and it wasn’t as easy to have a few minutes together (let alone myself!)

We have a few things we do to make sure we have couple time when traveling as a family. But I thought it would be great to see what other traveling families do as well. So I reached out to a few of my fellow travel bloggers and here are their tips and tricks.

Hire a Nanny or Babysitter

Kevin at Wandering Wagars says hiring someone for a few hours is well worth the money.

My wife and I love SCUBA diving and whenever we travel to a location that offers it, we plan ahead and research local nanny services. Hiring a nanny gets us a few hours away to slip under the waves and enjoy some much deserved peace and quiet. We’ve worked with nanny services in Iceland, Grenada, Mexico and Jordan and both we and the kids have had amazing times.
We’ve found that the nanny time has been great for the kids. It lets them join in games, socialize with other children and they always come back with painted faces, temporary tattoos or some kind of toy that they’ve either made or discovered. At the same time we get a chance to do something together that we absolutely love, but aren’t able to involve them in yet.

Kevin and Christina – The Wandering Wagars – Aren’t they cute?

The Kids Clubs

Kids recharge differently than we do and spending time away from us meeting new people is a great way for them to learn. Corinna at The Mommy Clause agrees. If you’re in a nice resort, chances are the kids’ clubs are more than just video game centers. Corinna says:

I know, I know, it’s a family vacation – but there are several nice resorts that offer kids programs to guests throughout their stays. You can spend the day as a family and then utilize the kids’ club to have a romantic dinner together. Alternately, drop the kids off for a few hours after breakfast and try a game of tennis or a round of golf before picking up the kids for a family lunch and time spent on the beach together.

Most cruise lines in the industry offer programing for kids every day. Not only are the clubs included in your cruise fare, there are daily schedules filled with activities that correspond to what is going on throughout the rest of the ship. This makes it very convenient to balance family time with alone time. You can choose to have meals together and spend a couple of hours in the afternoon by the pool as a couple or attending a show in the evening after dinner.

Corinna on finding couple time when traveling as a family
The smile of a happy mama!

Bedtime is Date Time

I love this idea from Allison at Fun Family Vacations. We do this even now that the kids are older.

When we go on Vacation we always bring (or purchase) a special bottle of wine to share one evening after the kids go to bed. Bedtimes are often ignored during holiday, but one night we will make sure the kids are in bed by 8pm. This is usually on an evening we have splurged for a fancy meal. If we are renting a condo or vacation home equip with a kitchen, we will make the kids a fun “kid dinner” (grilled cheese/mac-n-cheese), rush them off to bed, and enjoy a candle light dinner with our bottle of wine. My husband is quite the home chef and he makes our “romantic travel dinner” using as many locally sourced ingredients as we can find. I’m a lucky girl!

finding couple time when traveling as a family
Lobster Pasta made with locally caught Spiny Lobster in St. Croix. .. how delicious does this look!
How to have couple time as a family
Allison and her Cutie Patooties

Stay in a 2 Bedroom

This goes along with what Alison says about getting the kids to bed early. We always found that if we could get a 2 bedroom, or even a 1 bedroom, we could find a way to connect after hours. Jennifer at Our Family Travel Adventures has been traveling full-time with 3 kids for 3 years!  She echoes the 2 bedroom suggestion but has alternatives in case that’s not an option.

We’ve been traveling the world full time with our three kids for three years now. We have stayed in everything from small hotel rooms to full size houses. Sometimes we are able to get 2 hotel rooms, or a 2 bedroom suite, but often it’s just a shared hotel room. That can get a little tight and makes it hard to sneak away for alone time.

The balcony is a great hideaway for us. We situate them with their tablets, and have a quiet meal together on the balcony, or chat over a bottle of wine, or just sit together and read for a while.

Our kids are getting older, so they’re finally old enough for us to start leaving them alone together for short periods of time while we go out to a romantic dinner. Or, we ask the restaurant if the boys can have their own table, so we can have a quiet dinner together. The boys get to be more ‘adult’ and show their best manners, and we get a romantic dinner alone.

Even though we have less time alone together, traveling as a family has brought us closer together as a couple, as we have shared some amazing experiences together.

How to have couple time when traveling as a family
Alone at last!

Travel with other Families

We have a few close friends that have kids the same age as ours and we love to travel together too. When you travel with another family, you can take turns having a couples night out. Sometimes we do this as couples, other times its a girls or guys night out, depending on our agenda for that week. We’re looking forward to a few of the kids getting older and babysitting the younger ones.

How to have couple time when traveling as a family

Travel with Grandparents

A multi-generational vacation is great for a lot of reasons. Kids get to connect with their grandparents in a relaxed setting and… built-in babysitters! Keri at Baby Globetrotters says,

It took us a few years to work out that the key to having a happy family holiday wasn’t to throw ourselves into isolation like we would have pre-kids, but to bring support with us! Believing you can just put young tots into the kids club at a resort while you relax by the pool is a big mistake. Many will only take kids once they’re over a certain age, which for us has meant we always have at least one baby or toddler left with us all day. With only the occasional hotel baby sitter at night, we never got a break.

We now do our one long holiday a year with my in-laws. We live overseas so it’s a perfect opportunity for them to spend time with their grand kids while also taking a break from their business too.  Every couple of days they are happy to take the kids off our hands for a few hours while my husband and I explore, eat in peace or simply just sleep!

Keri at BabyGlobetrotters

Travel without the Kids

This might seem a little obvious but it needs to be said. My hubby and I are taking a vacation together without the kids for the first time in 12 years. TWELVE YEARS! I don’t know how the time has gone by so fast. We have date nights and alone time when we’re on vacation, but we have never had the opportunity until recently to get away on our own. If you’re fortunate enough to have grandparents or family nearby, get away for the weekend. You and your honey need that time together. After all… who is left when the kids grow up!

Yes, family time is important… but so is a strong relationship and finding a way to have couple time when traveling as a family is important too.

Did I leave anything out? Comment below and tell me how you find time with your honey.

How to have Couple Time when traveling as a Family

16 thoughts on “How to have Couple Time when Traveling as a Family”

  1. Traveling or at home, you always need some alone time together. Many people make the mistake of focusing everything on their kids, and they tend to grow apart. When the kids leave, they find out that without the kids, they don’t have a relationship.

  2. Couple time is so important! And I totally agree with you that it does not mean at all that you don’t enjoy staying with our kids: why should things be mutually exclusive? I really cherish that time in the evening, when you can sit down, have a glass of wine and watch a movie that doesn’t involve talking animals: we do it at home and, as much as possible, we keep the habit up when away

    1. Ha ha Marta… love the bit about talking animals. While I enjoy some of the kids movies, it’s nice now that they are older and I can share some of my favorites, like Goonies and Back to the Future (does that date me a little?)

  3. Great tips!! I enjoyed traveling with my kids too. But you are so right, before them it was just you two and that happens sooner than you think. We never lost touch with that fact , or each other and now enjoy the memories and plan for the future trips with their families.

  4. These are great tips – we do many of them since we love going on trips with our kids (we are out of the toddler years). My husband and I make it a point to go on at least one solo trip a year – even if it’s just a 3-day weekend. Childcare can be hard to come by.

    1. Beth, my hubby and I never managed to get away without kids since we don’t live near family. We’re very excited to get away at the end of this month when the kids are away at camp.

  5. Pingback: 6 Intriguing Destinations for Ultimate Family Relaxation - Baby Globetrotters

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