Traveling Without Children: 6 Essentials You Need To Leave With Your Caregiver
This past August my husband and I had our very first trip without the children. It was such a restful getaway and one that was international. To say I was a little nervous is an understatement. At the time my youngest was still nursing, she had gone without me before (I have taken two solo trips without her) but she had her father to cuddle up to. We do not have any close family nearby and we rely very much on our friends for date nights. I am so blessed to have a bestie that kept our kids for the 5 days we were gone.
I wanted to make sure she had a very easy transition(As well as the kids) So the week leading up to the trip we would talk about how much fun they would have with her and what they would do. We told them we were leaving the night before and reminded them of all the fun things they were going to while we were away. (our children at the time were 2 and 5 so I didn’t want to tell them a week before we were leaving) Here are some essentials that you need when leaving your children behind so you can ENJOY your time and reconnect as a couple.
1) Leave Detailed Instructions.
Have you ever seen an episode of Wife Swap? They have a book of their house rules and schedules that make it easy on the family because the new “mom” is coming in and that is a big change. So leaving detailed instructions about what goes on during the time you are gone, helps the kids feel at ease and able to stick to their schedule. For my son, this is REALLY important since he is on the spectrum. So I typed up the schedule that we have during the week. Since it was in the summer it was an easy schedule. However, if your vacation is during the school year make sure to leave ALL instructions (as well as putting your caregiver on the pickup list)
2)Letter of Consent/Medical Authorization Form
Little kids have accidents sometimes. They may even get sick and need medical attention. Make sure that you leave authorizations for your caregiver so they can make medical decisions for your children. Google medical consent form if you need some help and, get it notarized. You may not even need this ( I didn’t) but you want to be prepared just in case.
3) Important Information
When traveling especially out of the country there are things you should leave with your caregiver.
Copy of your passport(for international travel) - Just in case yours gets stolen while you are abroad, you want to have a copy with you and leave a copy with your caregiver
Address and phone number of the place(s) you will be staying
Emergency Phone numbers - Like poison control
Emergency Contacts - This could be friends, neighbors, relatives. Anyone you would want your caregiver to get in contact with, in the case of an emergency
Itinerary - what do you plan on doing? let your caregiver know. If you have excursions plan let them know what day etc.
Insurance Cards - Leave these for the kids just in case.
4) Car Seat Info
Every car seat has different features it’s important that your caregiver knows the CORRECT Way to buckle your child into their car seat. Do some practice runs and show them where the chest clip should sit, how straps should never be tangled etc. Even if the caregiver is a parent themselves, show them how to use YOUR car seat to make sure your kid is safe.
5) Extra Odds and Ends to Remember to Leave
Food - I know this one seems obvious but if you have never left your child before it can slip your mind. If your child is always going with you on vacation, the first thing you make sure to do is clear the fridge. If the caregiver is staying at your home, make sure that fridge and pantry are full of the foods the kids like. That way they don’t have to shop. If you breastfeed leave clear instructions for thawing milk. If you bottle-feed leave clear instructions and enough formula
Memberships - This would include Library cards, museum passes, zoo, aquarium passes. Anything that you have on hand that the kids enjoy doing.
Cash - Make sure to leave some extra just in case they want a pizza party because your caregiver is tired and doesn’t want to cook (no shame, I am the mom and pizza nights are LIFE savers) Maybe they will need gas after driving the kids all over town for different activities lol. Just make sure to leave a little extra cash for those moments
Wifi Password - At the end of the night when the kids are asleep and your caregiver has time to themselves. The last thing they should worry about is going over their data plan (I mean they just read goodnight moon to your kid FIVE times) Let them have that wifi password
Lastly…6) Do You Have A Will?
This is something that many people don’t even want to think about, however, accidents happen all the time. You want to make sure there is NO QUESTION about what is to happen to your children if you are gone. You need to make sure you have all your bases covered JUST in case something catastrophic does happen.
Relax and Have FUN: Well-rested parents are the best parents. When you take time to be alone with your partner and you can reconnect its the best. No one interrupting your conversation. no thinking about bath time and bedtime. It’s ok to have a little time just for the two of you. Your kid will be great! so book that trip and have fun.
Have you ever taken a trip without the kids? Where did you go? Let me know in the comments below.