Divorce can be a grueling process, although it’s often only the beginning of a lifetime of negotiations, especially if you have children. After a divorce, most parents and children are probably keen to settle into their new separate lives as they attempt to move on from a marriage that did not work out.
Although oftentimes the details of vacations and holiday time are determined during the divorce process, some families choose to amicably decide those details later on, as they try to work out a healthy co-parenting situation that can negotiate family schedules without court intervention. Here are a few things to consider when planning a family vacation after a divorce.
Planning a Family Vacation After Divorce:
The first holiday season after a divorce is a particularly difficult time for both parents and children. Children tend to find themselves in the middle of the divorce, often feeling either guilty or angry, depending on their age. Parents and children both often experience feelings of sadness and loss to be spending the holidays without members of their family.
Therefore, the most important thing a parent can do to reduce these negative emotions in their child is to not exhibit them themselves. During the holidays especially, speak about your ex-spouse with respect to avoid putting your child in an uncomfortable position where they feel the need to pick sides.
If your family usually takes vacations during the holidays, this can be a whole new obstacle to tackle as a single parent. Taking your child on an overnight trip out of state, or possibly to another country can be a huge responsibility for a single parent, as you’ll have to feel comfortable being solely responsible for your children on your own.
There are a few ways to ensure this process goes smoothly; including booking your trip with a close friend or family member who is also a single parent, booking a vacation rental to provide you and your child with a home base, or trying a single-parent travel plan. If you do decide to leave the country for this trip, make sure you get a note from the other parent confirming permission to do so.
Any of these options should provide you with the additional support you need to have a successful trip. After all, vacations are supposed to be about relaxing and having a nice time with your loved ones. It’s important to take any extra measures to ensure you won’t be stressing about whether or not you’re taking enough safety precautions, and a close family member could help distract from the fact that you are without your child’s other parent.
Depending on how amicable the divorce was and how friendly you are with your ex-spouse, some parents will choose to take family vacations together. While this can be complicated if you don’t communicate extremely well with your ex, it can be a good way for the child to spend time with both of their parents and ease the financial strain a bit from both parents who may want to take a trip with their child. Having two parents present can make airplane travel with children significantly easier than doing so as a single parent, so it’s worth considering if it’s a possibility.
Whether or not you decide to take a trip with your ex-spouse or alone, give yourself plenty of extra time before a flight for all of the delays and distractions that come with children; such as getting sick, needing to go to the restroom repeatedly or needing to change sometime during the flight. Being prepared for these delays will decrease the amount of worry you’ll have to experience as a parent and will help get you on your way to a relaxing and, likely, much-needed vacation.