Go ahead. Give yourself a pat on the back. Yeah…YOU! That Mom or Dad that finally decided that it was ok to travel without your kiddos. I know, you normally only do Family Travel nowadays, but you finally decided it was time for just YOU.
Good for you! You decided that you deserved to have some kid-free time and take an adult-only vacay! You got over the guilt about leaving your children so that you could go focus on you and recharge your batteries!
But before you go full-blown spring break mode, you need your parent hat on for a little while longer to get yourself, the caretakers of your kiddos and the children themselves ready for your departure.
Leave as little or as much information to the people watching your kids as you all feel comfortable with. If you feel better leaving a bajillion pages of notes, then do it! If the people watching your munchkins know your kids well, are capable parents themselves or know your routine already, it’s ok to leave just the essentials (see below). Do what YOU are ok with.
Letter of Consent/ Medical Authorization Form
Whether or not you leave a lot or a little information, absolutely do not forget to leave a Letter of Consent of Medical Attention for your caregivers. You can find free templates online so that you know you have the required information. Of course you are assuming it won’t be needed, but even if Little Johnny has something like an ear infection, you will want Grandma or Aunty Joan to be able to get them treated easily without a million roadblocks.
In addition to your letter of consent, don’t forget to leave the essentials that you would leave for ANY babysitter:
- Doctor’s name, address and contact information
- Emergency phone numbers such as fire, police, poison control, etc
- Emergency contacts. This could be a relative or neighbor
You can print and fill out this easy form from BabyCenter that has it all in one, handy place
Again, all are hoping this won’t be needed, but still need to be left none the less.
Your Travel Information
- Flights: Include all flights, flight numbers and times
- Hotel: Include phone numbers of the hotel itself in case you can’t personally be reached
- Itinerary: Let your caregiver know if there are any times that you may not be able to be reached
Car Seat Info
There are some things that I don’t budge on and carseat safety is one of them. I don’t care if the people watching your kid has had 10 kids of their own. Review how to properly use and install YOUR car seat.
Whether everyone is staying at your house or elsewhere, it is nice to have a spare set of house keys for the caretakers so that if you accidentally forgot that “essential” item that your child swears he can’t live without or they need in in an emergency, they are covered.
Other Things to Consider Leaving
Membership cards (such as library, museum and zoo cards)
Extra Cash: For activities, extra food or just anything that might “pop up” that requires money
Food: If everyone is staying at your home or if you have particular requests for food, have it prepared and ready so that the caregiver does not feel responsible for it. If your are nursing, leave detailed instructions on how you prepare the milk. If you bottle feed, leave more than enough formula.
Wifi Password: If everyone is staying at your home, be sure to leave that oh so valuable wifi password!
Do You Have a Will?
Ok, so a will isn’t exactly what you want to think about when gearing up for an exciting and relaxing getaway. However, in the event that something does happen, you need all your bases covered. Wills can be REALLY complicated stuff, especially once children are involved. While you don’t want to have to think about it, you should have the peace of mind that if, God forbid, something did happen that your intentions are spelled out in detail! That way, there is NO question or room for “interpretation” on what should happen with your most precious assets (your children!) as well as any other assets you hold to your name.
For Your Children While Your Away
Leave Momentos, letters or photos
If your child is old enough, consider leaving little notes for each day that they can read and know that they are still in your heart and mind, even if not together. Leave a few pictures of you, you together with your children etc so that the caretaker and your kiddo can look at them each day and talk about how much Mommy and Daddy love them.
If they are older, a letter a day can help keep the blues away. If you think that your child would do well with it, leave a note every day that they can read to remind them you are still thinking about them.
Other Articles That You Might Find Helpful While Traveling Without Kids
- How to maintain your pumping supply while traveling away from baby
- My favorite portable, travel, breast pumps
Have you ever taken a trip without your little ones? What advice do you have for other parents ready for their own guilt-free getaway?
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What a great post full of great tips! We have traveled without our little one before and do everything you listed ! Though the first 2 times we didnt know about the Medical Authorization form! Good thing we left him with family in another country where you dont need these documents, and there was no need for them. I love the idea of leaving pictures for them to see !
While I don’t have kids, I can imagine how difficult it would be to leave them behind. None of my friends who have kids are game to go on a holiday without them! I have enough trouble leaving the dogs behind. I’m sure this is a useful list for travelling parents.
Good list, and helpful information as to why each is important. We’ve left our kids, and pretty much followed your list to a “T”. Great idea for a travel article!
Great post for mommies. We might be always too excited for the trip ahead, but lets not forget what we are leaving behind.
Really fantastic tips – especially on the letter of consent/ medical authorization form, and especially on the will – two things which I think most people overlook and forget, but are of so much importance. And I love the idea to leave behind letters and notes for the kids, that’s a great way to help them deal with your absence – and let’s face it, every parent needs some time away once in a while!
Looking back, I can’t believe we never left our children. The first time hubby and I travelled alone after having kids was when the girls went to a 5-day camp. We actually left all of the information you suggest with a neighbour just in case something went wrong at camp. Great tips here. When we do home exchange, we also leave a phone number of a neighbour – but i think you covered that in emergency contact.
Fantastic tips! I don’t have any children and don’t have to worry about these kinds of things, but it’s great tips to keep in mind for those who do!
This is the first time that I’m reading a post like this – I mean it’s a thoughtful post. So many great tips to make sure you go on a kids-free vacation and still ensure they are safe. I think by doing all these, children would not only be ready, but parents can stop worrying as well. I think most important of all these are the letter of content and a note about medicines.