Dictionary.com defines vacation as “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday”.
Well there you have it! “Suspension of work” is not possible if you bring the kids. You’ll be cooking, cleaning, organizing, wiping various body parts, packing and unpacking bags, and schlepping toys. How is this any different from being home? Just because the location has changed, doesn’t mean it’s a ‘vacation’. Whether you are working full-time, part-time or staying home, you are working and deserve a real actual vacation just like anyone else.
Can’t find a sitter? Leave your other half at home with the kids. Yes, not only have I told you to leave the kids behind, but your partner as well. Gasp!
Here’s some of my top kid-free vacation destinations:
Local or regionally-based bed & breakfasts
We are so fortunate to live in picturesque New Hampshire with the ocean, lakes and mountains just a short drive away. New England has so many wonderful, quiet, relaxing B&Bs where you live in your comfiest leggings and over-sized sweatshirt and curl up with a book. Places I recommend:
A beautifully decorated Inn in quaint Sugar Hill, NH. Not only does this Inn have amazing views of the Presidential and Franconia Mountain ranges, the beds are comfortable, rooms are warm and the innkeepers (John & Nancy) are delightful. The made-to-order breakfast and sitting room fireplace are a tired mom’s dream! The smell of fresh baked cookies and muffins fill the air and snack table in the dining room each day. Although we went there to relax and unwind, there is a lot to do in the area all year-round; skiing, hiking, fishing, canoeing, golf, and more. In traditional B&B form, the Inn does not serve lunch or dinner, but being close to other Inns and Littleton, you have plenty of options for food. One night we went to The Sugar Hill Inn for dinner, just a short drive from the Victorian. It was INCREDIBLE! They have won several awards for their dishes and it’s no surprise. I do recommend you make reservations fairly well in advance, especially during peak seasons, as the dining room is small and fills quickly.
Located in Glenn, NH, this was our go-to kid-free vacation spot three years in a row for my birthday (in December). With 12 rooms, this Inn is a bit larger andbusier than the Victorian on Sunset Hill and offers more meal options and snacks throughout the day. Having three small children back at home, we appreciated the adults-only atmosphere for relaxation. For activities, you get all the mountains have to offer you, right at your fingertips! One year we had fun snowshoeing around Echo Lake; there are a few different trails, interesting people along the way but not too crowded.
Turks & Caicos
100% the most beautiful place I have ever been! My husband and I can’t wait to go back. We stayed at a small boutique hotel in Providenciales and enjoyed a stunning beach, quiet pool area, delicious food and superb service. We also ventured into town center for dining and diving.
Do be prepared to spend money. Unlike other tropical island countries, prices in Turks and Caicos for most things (food, merchandise) is equivalent to what you would expect to pay in Boston. This was a little surprising to us but given the quality of food and service, we were OK with it. Flight options have become much more plentiful to the island — making it an easy trip from Boston, and you can get down there in about 4 hours non-stop.
For a stress-free, total relaxation type of vacation, I highly recommend you check out an all-inclusive in Punta Cana, DR. A friend and I went in 2017 for a mommy retreat, and we took our moms back with us in 2018 for a quick girls trip! We stayed at the Majestic Colonial both times. The beach location is beautiful and the all-inclusive food and drinks are actually above expectations. Pay the small fee to upgrade to the Club. Worth. Every. Penny. Private beach and bar, private pool, and a club house stocked with drinks and snacks. Although we liked the Majestic, there are dozens of hotels to choose from in the area to meet your style, budget and family needs.
Vacations (real ones) are critically important for your health and well-being. Don’t let mom guilt prevent you from taking time for yourself. As the saying goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup. You give, and give, and give some more to your kids, partner, friends, family and co-workers every day. Mama, you work HARD! So right now, I want you to pull out your calendar and circle some dates for your next vacation – big or small, doesn’t matter. Maybe it’s a tropical destination, or maybe it’s an overnight stay at a local hotel before peak season rates kick in. Whatever it is, make it for you.