3.) Children first. Unfortunately, there’s no vacation from being a parent. If you have children with your partner, it’s your responsibility to see that they’re cared for while you’re away, and that doesn’t mean assuming that your significant other will take on the full parenting load so that you can work on your tan. Enlist babysitters and grandparents to provide backup for your spouse and check in regularly to let the kids know that you are still involved. Dr. Peters urges parents who take separate vacations to consider whether the responsibilities placed on the parent at home are fair or burdensome, but she also reminds us that, “If it’s good for the goose, the gander will have to accept the rules!” If you’re spending all of your non-vacation time carting kids to soccer games and baking cookies for bake sales, your spouse should be somewhat willing to step up and give you a break.
4.) Keep it together. A friend of mine has worked out a system with her husband. They send their three sons to camp for the month of July, during which they’re able to spend time both together and apart, and then take a family vacation with the kids in August. As important as time alone is, it shouldn’t replace time with your partner and family. Relationships need variety and excitement to grow, so if you’re feeling in a rut, there’s a good chance your relationship is, too. Plan something for yourself and then plan something together, even if it’s just a weekend drive. You’ll probably be missing each other after all that time apart anyway.
5.) Do some research. Once you decide to take the leap and fly solo, there are many online travel guides and services that can point you in the right direction; iExplore.com, for example, offers special packages that curb the costs of traveling alone, since doing so is almost always more expensive than group travel. Dr. Peters’ Web site also offers advice about taking separate vacations and other family issues.
Khalil Gibran wrote, “Let there be spaces in your togetherness.” Attitudes about his and hers vacations are now changing to accommodate the idea that a relationship is formed between two individuals and that maintaining that individual identity is an important part of the relationship. No longer a mere prelude to separation and divorce, separate vacations can be the perfect supplement to a rich and lasting bond.