5 reasons to travel WITHOUT your child

Please don’t shout at me! I love travelling with or without my little boy. I’m in a very fortunate position where I can do both regularly. Here are 5 reasons to travel without your child.

When I tell people I’m going away for a few days without my son. The response can be, let’s say, varied! I’m fortunate. My job gives me the freedom to choose when to work. Therefore, I am with my son all the time besides school hours. I rarely miss a pickup or drop-off, and since being born, I’ve never left him for longer than four nights. Yet without him, I’ve also visited Paris, Copenhagen, Prague, South of France, London, and countless places across the UK.

Girl in Prague, I love to travel without kids.
I have such a desire to see more of the world!

When I started freelance writing, I also needed to travel more, which became a desire to see more of the world. So here are 5 reasons to shift that dreaded mum guilt and travel without your child.

1. It builds confidence and strengthens their relationships

Nearly dying during my son’s birth showed me how quickly things can change and life can end. Very shortly after that, I became a single parent.

My son and his Great Grandad.
I love the bond my grandad and my son have.

Both experiences instilled a need in me to guide my son to be as independent as possible. I don’t want him to rely solely on me. I always think that if something happens to me, I want him to feel confident, happy, and comfortable with many people.

Cousins holding hands.
Cousins and best friends.

So, while I’m away, my son spends time with the generations of people who love him. He visits family and has different experiences without me always glued to his side. He will learn a completely different set of skills from my Grandad than from me. It builds his confidence and allows him to create new memories and strengthen his relationships in a way that would not happen otherwise.

2. You have the freedom to be more spontaneous

I travel with my child, and I try to include him in almost everything I do, but we all let loose entirely differently when we’re not responsible for our kids for an evening. I love my son, but I also really (really, really) love reading in peace, drinking wine, going to the theatre, acting like a teenager at concerts, and walking home singing in the street.

Girl in France.
I carried a watermelon…annnd a baguette!

I am also spontaneous and adore just wandering around a new city for hours. It’s all not ideal with a little one in tow.

Jet skiing in the South of France.
Jet skiing in the South of France.

Who doesn’t want a little break now and then where you can just be yourself and do what you want? (Sounds blissful, right?) Those things you know your kids would not be interested in. Take some time out to go and enjoy them.

3. You can rest and sleep

Oh, my days, this doesn’t need explaining, and if this doesn’t sell it to you, I don’t know what will. I don’t know a mum out there who properly sleeps. I am always on alert in case my son is sick, falls out of bed, has a nightmare, or screams for a drink during the night.

Book on a plane journey.
A book and a plane journey are my favourite things.

Lack of sleep can seriously affect our mental and physical health. So get away for a night or two and turn off your alarm. Just this will do you a world of good. I’m an entirely different person when I am well-rested. Your kids will thank you for this as well.

4. You can do a lot more in less time

I would have seen less of Paris if I had taken my 5-year-old with me for the four nights. Let’s face it. Kids do slow us down. They mean more luggage to haul around rather than a trusty backpack. If you’re going somewhere, you want to sightsee like crazy and pack in as much as possible. It is far easier without them.

Paris Catacombs.
Paris Catacombs.

It also means you can book in on those excursions that possibly don’t allow kids; I’m not sure how my son would have reacted on a trip to Paris’s Catacombs with me!

5. Most of all, you deserve it!

After all, there is no escaping parenting. You will always have your kids on your mind on a family holiday or alone. Parents spend more hours doing parenting tasks and making decisions than anything else. That’s not to mention the emotional labour we take on. It’s hard work!

Visiting the Moulin Rouge.
Visiting the Moulin Rouge was a dream come true!

We’ve all seen the word self-care floating around social media, but it’s essential. When you take time out for yourself, you will feel more present when you come home. As a parent, allowing yourself some alone time is the best form of self-care. It’s incredible what it can do for your mental health and well-being.

I didn’t mention that you pee in peace and wear pretty clothes without getting chocolate on them. That’s enough for me!

I am incredibly fortunate to have supportive family, friends, and, most importantly, a job that allows me the time to take a few days off here and there. If you can do it, then go for it. It’s so beneficial for children as well as parents.

Shayle Travels.
So grab a backpack and get travelling!

These are the reasons I travel without my son. You can learn more about me here.

Whether it’s a night out for dinner or a trip to a bucket list destination, go! I hope these five reasons to travel without your child have inspired and encouraged you to set a date. Let me know in the comments.

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