Planning a Vacation (without the kids!) + FREE travel planner

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When my husband and I were newlyweds, we would dream of all sorts of things we would like to do, see, and accomplish together.

Jobs.

Homes.

Families.

Ministries.

and

Traveling the world.

We have always loved traveling together and did so quite often B.C. (before children). Vacations were a remedy for our "baby fever" in the first five years of our marriage.

Our last big trip was right before having our oldest, five years ago.

This year, we were able to celebrate our ten-year anniversary (early) in Greece, Italy, and briefly in London. Realizing we would have a kiddo in school next year, we planned our trip months before our anniversary when we realized.

This vacation wasn’t just like any other vacation for us.

We were heading to one of our dream vacations that we fantasized about as newlyweds: a Mediterranean cruise! And we were going ALONE!

Fourteen days. Across the world. Without my babies!

There was a lot to prep before even making a packing list.

Passports.

Paying bills.

Call the bank.

Currency exchange.

Confirming the kids staying with family.

Making sure someone has the dogs.

All the trivial things you have to get done add up to a ton of necessary tasks you don’t want to be doing the day before leaving.

My husband did extensive research for the trip as far as cruise lines, ports, excursions, and flights. After he booked everything, I took over and got our plans in order. I truly appreciated his shared google doc (especially because I have been trying to convince him to use google docs), but he knew I wasn't going to let those fonts get me through a trip. (Yup, I'm a #fontsnob).

I created a list of what to prep before we left, who would be in charge of everything while we were gone, a packing list, and day by day itineraries.

And, let me tell you, it wasn't completely done until the laminator and binding machine brought it to life. (#extra)

All the extra details did come in handy every time we had to reference our excursion plans or accommodations, and it helped our parents stay aware of where we were in case of any emergencies.

Each day had a daily sheet with notes from the excursion website and I kept the vouchers/contact info/printed receipts in the pocket sleeve behind the correlating day for easy accessibility.

Each day had a daily sheet with notes from the excursion website and I kept the vouchers/contact info/printed receipts in the pocket sleeve behind the correlating day for easy accessibility.

Our cruise guest booklet was stored in the back, along with the laminated packing list to check going and coming back.

Our cruise guest booklet was stored in the back, along with the laminated packing list to check going and coming back.

If you are planning a trip this summer (with or without the kids), grab the packing list and prep list (FOR FREE) to help you get everything in order.

Don't have a laminator or a binding machine? That's okay. Grab a binder or a folder. Just make sure you feel prepared, especially when traveling overseas or away from your children. The written details help when you're out of your standard cellular service and need information on hand.

 
I bought extra snacks to send to our parents house (the ones I know my kids eat through too quickly), made a list of their restaurant orders and where kids eat free throughout the week, and left our car keys so they could use the cars, if needed.

I bought extra snacks to send to our parents house (the ones I know my kids eat through too quickly), made a list of their restaurant orders and where kids eat free throughout the week, and left our car keys so they could use the cars, if needed.

 

WHEN YOU TRAVEL WITHOUT THE KIDS:

Fortunately for us, both of our parents were able to watch our kids for us while we were away. Even though they babysit them often, I wanted to give them more details about our normal routine. Medical information was noted, as I would be in a different time zone, not always immediately available. I listed their preferences for places to visit and favorite meals and snacks to prevent potential toddler-meltdowns. (But grandparents don't ever really experience those since they're handing out sugar and fun all day long, right?)

If your kids are staying with people who don't ordinarily babysit them for long periods of time, you may want to note their favorite meals, what to order at restaurants, favorite pajamas, and other preferences. Little things like this can help them feel as secure as possible while their daily routine is changed.

I am so grateful for a husband that works hard to provide for our family while also allowing us to be able to enjoy life in ways like this. I'm especially grateful he planned such a wonderful trip that made the mom guilt of leaving my kiddos behind super easy to let go of. We missed our boys and talked about them the entire time, but savored every moment together. I know we would not have been able to enjoy that trip in the same fashion had our kids been there.

If you are desiring to travel and taking the kids is an added-on expense you cannot afford, consider making it a couples trip. I know it's not as easy as it sounds. It took us five years to get ourselves on a plane. I know of couples who can travel alone more often than some couples can go on date nights. Wherever you fall, just make sure to see the world at some point, even if you just leave your city.

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It may not always be as extensive as this trip, but I hope to continue traveling the world with my best friend.

TRIP PLANNER:

If you want the full set of travel info sheets including cover sheets, daily summary, what to prep before you leave, schedule, budget, and information for while you’re away, join the free subscription to monthly newsletters to gain access to this and many more exclusive freebies.

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Grab a free packing list and what to prep sheet here.