Travelling without your children is supposed to be healthy in terms of reconnecting with your partner without the kids interrupting you every five minutes.
Parents are often encouraged to put their guilt aside and focus on ‘couple time’, leaving their little darlings with grandparents, aunts or close friends – often as a last ditch bid to bring that loving feeling back into their lives.
But how many Aussie parents are actually taking this advice onboard? Plenty, it seems.
According to an online poll by Pureprofile, (interviewing more than 2,300 people around Australia) a third of all parents with kids aged under 18 (30 percent) have taken a holiday without them, while another third (35 percent) are planning on going away without their offspring.
The poll also found 60 percent of parents rely on grandparents and other family members (28 percent) to take care of their kids when they go away on holidays.
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For parents who planned or had taken a kid-free holiday, the main motivation was for ‘rest and relaxation’ (55 percent) and to boost the relationship (43 percent).
Jennifer Vandekreeke from Carnival Cruise Lines told HuffPost Australia she’s seen an increase in parents traveling without their kids.
“We’ve seen more and more parents travelling without their kids onboard in the last five years. I started noticing it as I was meeting all these people who’d left their kids at home with other family members. Interestingly, the parents without kids tend to travel in groups, there will often be three or four couples travelling together,” Vandekreeke said.
“These travellers are known as the ‘honey-boomers.’ They’re generally over 40, with kids at home and they’re still in the workforce. They haven’t lost their zest for life, it’s just hidden somewhere between school pickups and managing their childrens’ lives.”
Vandekreeke said it’s not difficult to spot the parents who are enjoying a kid-free holiday.
“Those honeyboomers always seem very ‘free spirited.’ They’ve got a kind of sneaky, fun gleam in their eyes. I met a passenger recently who told me she had a newfound sense of freedom, waking up in the morning and realising she could do whatever she wanted to, for the first time in years.”
Relationship expert Marina Jacoby-Leonard told HuffPost Australia quality time spent away from the kids is important, so they can see you having a happy relationship.
“There’s no better way to revitalise your love life than to put fun and pleasure at the top of your to-do-list. Holidays like ‘honeybooms’ are a great way to put a green light on laughter, romance and pleasure. It’s why you came together in the first place,” Jacoby-Leonard said.
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And, most importantly, if you’re going to holiday without the kids, try not to feel guilty. At all.
“Guilt only happens when you feel your children are not getting what they need from you. If you have a healthy relationship with your kids, but you’re feeling like you’re not getting the time you need with your partner, then you need to let go of that guilt,” Jacoby-Leonard said.
“If you’re happy, you’re modelling for your children how a happy life looks; and that is one of the best gifts we can ever given them.”