Over 800,000 people in the United States go through a divorce every year. Though each divorce is different, they are all stressful. It doesn’t matter if things ended on a positive note or if you and your ex-spouse can’t agree on anything — divorce is hard to get through.
It can be even harder if you have kids with your ex. Between custody arrangements and child support, the whole process can drag out for months until the divorce is finalized. But, as your life starts to adapt to a “new normal,” it’s likely you’ll want to start doing things you enjoy again.
A great way to move on after a split is to plan a stress-free vacation after divorce, whether you go by yourself or with your children. Before you take off, though, there are some important things to keep in mind to make your trip as stress-free as possible.
Here are 5 Tips for Planning a Stress-Free Vacation After Divorce.
Getting a Clean Bill of Health
One of the best things you can do for yourself before you start traveling is to make sure you have a clean bill of health. A divorce can take a lot out of you. Some people experience depression and anxiety during divorce, which can come with a variety of different physical and emotional symptoms.
Taking care of your body is also important after a divorce. One thing some people don’t necessarily want to think about is getting an STD test. Now that you’re single again, you have to make sure you’re free of any sexually transmitted diseases if you want to start dating again. It’s only fair to you and any future partners you may have. So, get tested before you travel.
Finally, take the time to see your physician for a check-up. Again, divorce can do a lot to your mind and body. Getting things like blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol checked before you hit the road can offer you peace of mind about your health so that you can enjoy the next chapter of your life knowing you’ll be healthy and happy.
Traveling With Kids
A divorce can be very difficult for children, so it’s natural to want to take them away for some relaxing vacation time. But, it may not be as simple as taking them wherever you want, whenever you want.
Even if you’ve already cleared traveling with your kids with your ex-spouse, you should always be prepared with a travel consent letter and other documents for your children. This is especially true if you’re traveling out of the country.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection strongly encourages a letter of permission for a child to leave the country from the parent who isn’t going with them. Other documentation you should consider taking with you includes your child’s birth certificate and a passport. Having the right documentation will make traveling with your kids much easier and less stressful.
Where to Go During a Family Vacation
If you do decide to travel with your kids, it’s important to choose a location everyone will enjoy. If you’re traveling internationally, don’t be afraid to think of unique locations that can be learning experiences for your children.
Try Sydney, Australia for the iconic Opera House or Sydney Aquarium. Or hop over to Copenhagen to visit the Tivoli Gardens.
You can even go on an Asian adventure and take your children somewhere really unique, like Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. Some popular tourist attractions in Vientiane include:
- Pha That Luang: This gold-covered Buddhist monument in the city of Vientiane is said to be the most important piece of Buddhist culture in the country.
- Patuxai: Also known as the “Victory Arch,” this monument is dedicated to those who fought in the wars that led to independence from France.
- Night Market: There are many night markets in Vientiane, and they attract people from all over the world. Night markets feature unique street food, interesting shops, and a real glimpse into the true culture of the country.
- Buddha Park: Buddha Park is a unique sculpture park located in Laos. It is home to over 200 religious statues.
- Wat Ho Phra Keo: This is a beautiful former Buddhist shrine that has been converted into a museum of religious arts.
Making your family vacation as unique and inventive as possible will ensure it’s a trip no one ever forgets, and it can be a great way to take your kids’ minds off the divorce.
Traveling Alone After a Divorce
Another option is to travel on your own after a divorce. It’s a perfect time to see more of the world and enjoy your “new life.” Traveling can give you a great opportunity to try things you may have never been able to do before. It’s also a wonderful way to meet new people.
You might even meet someone you would consider dating. But, it’s important to give yourself enough time after your divorce before you jump back into the world of relationships. Dating after a divorce can be complicated, especially if you’re trying to avoid making the same mistakes.
If you have children, dating someone new can be even more of a risk. There will be ups and downs — after all, they had to go through the hardship of divorce too. It’s great to meet new people, especially when you’re traveling the world. However, be sure to take time for yourself and fully relax after your divorce before you commit to someone new.
De-Stressing and Finding Your Way After a Divorce
It’s important to understand that divorce causes stress and that everyone handles it differently. But you have to acknowledge this stress in order to get through it in a healthy and productive way. If you don’t, it could start to compromise your mental and/or physical health. While taking a stress-free vacation after divorce can be a great way to let go of some of the pain, it’s also a good idea to have daily strategies in mind that can help you manage depression and anxiety.
Everything from meditation and deep breathing to getting more exercise can help. Find things that naturally help you to feel relaxed, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it. When you’re ready, you’ll be able to enjoy a stress-free vacation after divorce (with or without your children). Beyond that, the more you’re able to manage your stress immediately after a divorce, the easier it will be to move on and enjoy your new beginning.