About 40-50% of marriages in the US end up in a divorce, and the rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. The process of divorcing is hard and takes a toll on everyone. From separating physical and personal property to custody of children and pets, there are so many challenges to work through during a divorce. When children are involved, spending time with your kiddos might even be predetermined. If you’re planning your first post-divorce family vacation, it’s important to keep in mind the following tips before booking anything.
Tips On Planning Your First Post-Divorce Family Vacation
Be Sensitive of What Your Kids are Going Through
It is difficult enough that both you and your ex want to take your kids on separate vacations. However, be aware that kids are also going through a major emotional upheaval, too. They might act out, become more emotional, go through tantrums, and behave differently prior to the divorce. Helping them get through the emotional turmoil is crucial before planning a vacation.
That said, choosing a new destination is important. The idea behind this suggestion is to move on sending a clear signal and message to the children that even though you are divorcing, that does not mean that you are not a family anymore. Remind them that the memories of the family will always be cherished, but it is equally important to make new ones. Therefore, when picking a vacation destination, try to choose a new place where you have never been to before to avoid reminding everyone that this was a place where you used to go and had loads of fun. You can even ask your kids where they want to go and what new things they want to experience.
A Child-Friendly Accommodation Makes a Difference
Divorced or not, staying at a family-friendly hotel is critical to enjoying your break. This time, however, you are going to be alone in caring for your kids. As a single divorced parent, watching over your kids is your primary responsibility. This makes it critical to find a child-friendly hotel to safeguard the safety of your kids.
When choosing the right accommodation for your first post-divorce family vacation, check if the room is baby or child-proofed. Make sure that child beds with rail guards are available for tots and that you can get a crib for the little one. It is not practical and certainly not fun to carry a portable bed while traveling, especially if you are the lone parent and need to have free hands for other items. Hotels that offer child-friendly amenities such as strollers, high chairs, and potties are appreciated not only because of the convenience they offer, but also because they increase the safety of children.
Before Leaving Town, Get in Touch With Your Ex
If you’re traveling out of state or even abroad with your kids, you might want to avoid problems at the airports or with authorities. Better yet, consult with your ex about your vacation plans and involve them from the start. Obtain a written agreement that you are taking the kids for a vacation and tell the ex where you will be taking them and for how long. This also makes it easier to arrange pick-up and drop-off times.
Note that there might be times when you need to swap vacation time with your former hubby in cases of unforeseen circumstances at work or any situations beyond your control. As this also disrupts their schedule, be mindful that you are using their vacation time to be with the children. Return the favor and offer to switch some days at their convenience so that they won’t feel like they are missing completely on their time with the kids.
Divorce is never a good time and more often than not traumatic and stressful. However, it does not mean that you can’t have fun family vacations provided that you plan your breaks well, consult with your ex-spouse, choose a new destination, and book a child-friendly accommodation.
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.