July 19, 2024
I Leave My Kids At Home To Travel Solo Every Year  

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If you’ve got kids, then you’ll know that the demands of parenthood are unrelenting.

Packing book bags and lunch boxes, dealing with homework, driving all over town to those endless sports clubs, the list goes on (and on).  

And if you’ll forgive me for the generalization, most of this work falls on us moms! 

Which is why I’m here to tell you that every single year I take a solo trip without my kids… and I think you should too.  

Solo female traveler enjoying the mountains and landscape in NorwaySolo female traveler enjoying the mountains and landscape in Norway

Everyone Is Traveling Solo  

Solo travel has exploded in popularity.

New data from Squaremouth reports that 42% of travelers are planning to take a trip on their own this year.  

And it seems this is a trend I jumped on early. Because I’ve been leaving my kids at home to travel solo for the past decade. And I’ve never regretted a single trip.  

Female traveler on the beach in Fuerteventura, SpainFemale traveler on the beach in Fuerteventura, Spain

I’m a great mom, and I love my boys. I’d go as far as to say they’re my favorite people in the world! They’re funny, and curious about the world, and we travel together a lot.  

But travelling, exploring the world, and discovering new cultures is what drives me. And frankly, sometimes I need a break.  

There is a huge stigma about moms being away from their kids (a judgement that never falls on dads, by the way) but I believe you have to fill your own cup first. 

Airplane drinkAirplane drink

By taking that ‘me time’ away from your family, you’ll actually be a better mom. And you’ll get to see somewhere amazing you’ve always wanted to visit too: it’s win-win! 

What Are The Benefits Of Traveling Without Kids? 

When I’m travelling with my kids my attention is (rightly) focused on their needs. We visit theme parks, we tour soccer stadiums, we build enormous sandcastles with extravagant moats.  

We were in one of the last groups to explore Barcelona’s Camp Nou before it closed for reconstruction. And next month we’re going back to Disneyland Paris for the 3rd time in 2 years.  

In fact, almost all of the time my attention is focused on my boys’ needs.  

Walking down empty streets in Tarragona, Spain, in summerWalking down empty streets in Tarragona, Spain, in summer

But when I’m traveling solo without them, the only needs I need to meet are my own. This means lingering in pavement cafes in Tarragona without anyone telling me they’re bored, or climbing to the top of the Prague Castle Tower without anyone asking ‘are we nearly there yet?’  

Feel like heading out early to explore the city in the pink light of dawn? Want to go to bed early with a book? There’s no one to stop me!

I get to be the truest version of myself, outside of being a mom.  

Standing outside a tourist apartment in Barcelona, SpainStanding outside a tourist apartment in Barcelona, Spain

Parenting is incredibly rewarding but it’s also hard. Figures from Pew Research found that about four-in-ten moms (47%) say being a parent is tiring and 33% say it is stressful all or most of the time.  

And the best way to relieve that pressure and stress is to take a break. (Note: Walking around Target does not count as a proper break!)  

Fill your cup. Remember who you are when you’re not focusing on the needs of your kids. Pursue your own interests and see the world before it’s too late to do it.  

You’ll never be as young or as healthy as you are right now. Don’t waste it watching Bluey and folding laundry…or at least, not all the time.  

Standing in front of the Blue Mosque in IstanbulStanding in front of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

The one week a year I take for myself is what recharges my batteries, reminds me how much I like myself and enjoy my own company, and leaves me ready for whatever challenges parenting has to throw at me next!  

Top Tips For Traveling Solo Without Kids For The First Time 

Have I convinced you to take the plunge and book that solo trip? Here are my top tips for getting it right:

  • Don’t be too adventurous for your first trip, especially if you’re feeling nervous about leaving your kids for the first time. Save the international travel for next time! Even a night in a local hotel will give you the chance to recharge your batteries, but you’ll be close enough to home if you’re needed. Pick a hotel with a pool and a spa for ultimate relaxation! 
The Louvre ExteriorThe Louvre Exterior
  • Leave your kids with someone you trust. If you know they’re being well looked after, then you can stop worrying about them and focus on your own needs for a change. (Shout out to my husband here, who makes boys weekend so fun that my kids look forward to me leaving!)  
  • Do something you love. I’m a big old nerd for modern art, so when I’m traveling solo I always take the chance to explore an art gallery at my own pace. I focus on my own interests and I get to be selfish about how I spend my time. Then I stop for cake afterwards. Because there should always be time for cake!  
  • Don’t be afraid to ask people to take photos! I don’t carry a tripod (or anything other than my phone) so if I really want a photo to prove I’ve been somewhere I rely on the kindness of strangers: noone’s ever said no!
Place De La Bourse, Bordeaux, FrancePlace De La Bourse, Bordeaux, France
  • Think safety first. Traveling as a solo female is perfectly safe, but don’t do anything you wouldn’t do at home (like walking alone at night in a sketchy neighborhood) and make sure you leave a copy of your itinerary (including flight and hotel info) at home.  
  • Finally a little practical tip from me – pack light! Without my husband to carry all the bags, suitcases are not the one! I always travel with a backpack instead (which has the added bonus of saving money on my airfare too).  

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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