The first time my husband and I really traveled together was a trip to Las Vegas before we were married. I learned that he has particular pre-flight habits, including checking that his tray table works (thanks to “Final Destination”) and having gum on hand for takeoff. He learned that I can fall asleep before the emergency procedures presentation and can stay asleep during even extreme turbulence. That vacation was the first of many we’ve taken together, and we’ve continued to make family trips a priority after having our son.

Including trips without our son.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our family vacations, many of which are traditions. I wouldn’t miss our annual camping trip for anything. Another great vacation tradition is our summer trip to the White Mountains. Our teens love taking their little brother around Santa’s Village and watching him as he grows each year and experiences different rides. Last year, we flew with our 2-year-old for the first time — complete with masks for all and a compact stroller purchased exclusively for the trip. My stepkids love roller coasters, so we’ve experienced Busch Gardens as family. We’ve also taken a family trip to Disneyworld, including celebrating New Year’s at Epcot.

Whether it’s camping or the White Mountains or Florida, family vacations are so much fun! But when it comes to traveling, there is no question that planning, packing for, and executing a family vacation is completely different from any adults-only trip.

And logistics aside, sometimes a trip without kids is important for the relationship. My husband and I have made it a priority to travel without the kids on occasion, and our marriage is so much better for it. Whether you’ve done it before or have only dreamed about it, start planning now and make it happen! Here are some of the things my husband and I do to make our adults-only trips great experiences every time.

Go with the flow

We don’t plan every day. Sure, we do some research in advance, but part of the fun of visiting a new place together is discovering things along the way without the stress of keeping children entertained.

Choose activities you can’t do at home

We always try to plan a few experiences we wouldn’t get at home — and specifically, activities we couldn’t do with children in tow! In Austin, for example, we did a bike ride bar crawl, which was fun and a workout! 

Bring a little something home

We always remember souvenirs for the family! Our toddler had a “Yeah Buddy” tank top from the Jersey Shore Store (IYKYK).

Enjoy non-kid-friendly restaurant experiences

Vacations without kids are such a great time to visit restaurants you wouldn’t bring your kids to! Being without kids also leaves room to discover unexpected places to eat (when you’re not tied to a toddler’s schedule and food whims). Whether it’s that five-star restaurant or the cozy sushi joint, make the most of your adults-only meals! 

These trips aren’t to remind us of who we were before Blippi and Muppet Babies came into our lives. They’re because we are still us, and I’m thankful to have someone who loves to find new adventures whenever we can! Plan the trip. Take the trip.

Courtney Medlin
Courtney was raised a Navy brat, growing up in Washington, South Carolina, and Virginia before her family put their roots down in Florida. She studied at Loyola University New Orleans earning her degree in communications PR with a minor in English, and she earned her master's in marketing from SNHU. She moved to the Boston area in 2008, where she met and married her partner-in-crime, John. Mother of Jackson, 5, and stepmom to two 16-year-olds (boy and girl) and dog mom to Riley. Courtney is raising her family with a love of the outdoors, scary movies, and lots of laughs. Courtney works corporate communications/marketing/pr and lives on the South Shore. She has a passion for cooking and traveling. She volunteers her time as a Gold Award advisor for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts and serves on the planning gala committee for South Shore Health. She loves days that start with a latte and end with champagne.