So you might have seen that my husband and I took a European vacation aka incredibly delayed honeymoon last month. We didn’t bring the baby, which was a crazy decision but we went with it. Not only did it work out, but I highly recommend it to all new parents. I know I’ll get some shit for this, but that’s ok. Here’s why I think you should GTFO and travel alone as a couple before your baby is 1.
Up until a month before the trip, we were planning on bringing the baby. We had made jokes with our parents to see who would watch her while we were away, and pretty much everyone we were related to gave us some kind of side-eye about the whole situation. You’re leaving the baby? We’ll take her, then! I get it. It’s a weird thing to do. But you know what? It was also the best.
So now I’m an advocate for the whole thing. So here’s why to do it, and how to do.
Why You Should Travel Without Baby:
You Might Not Get the Chance Again!
Neither of us had been to Europe since we were teenagers, and since most of our friends studied abroad in college we have been wanted to travel for a long time. We had been together for 7 years but only ever traveled to like, Baltimore one time totally alone. Every other vacation was a family vacation with either my entire family or his entire family. So we never got to experience just being a couple traveling together. And who knows when we will be able to do it again! If you have to opportunity to travel, no excuses, TAKE IT!
It’s Easier Than Bringing Baby!
Travelling with an infant is not exactly easy. We did it when we went to Nashville, and I did it alone when we flew to California. It’s definitely more anxiety-inducing and it is a lot of moving parts with you have baby, so if you’re able to get away as just adults it’s a lot less hassle. Plus you only worry about your jetlag. In a way, I felt it was a lot nicer not bringing Ivy overseas, dealing with different weather (and different germs!), and a 6 hour time jump.
Experience the Vacation YOU Want to Have
Being able to book dinner reservations without planning for naptime and bedtime is such a luxury! When we’re out as a family, we have to consider baby friendly options and have very loose itineraries. The scenic route always rules whe traveling with a little one! But but Mike and I love to explore new cities, spend hours in museums, and keep going without ever stopping. We almost fainted at the dinner before seeing a show at The Globe, lol, but we were able to experience it even though we were exhausted! Couldn’t have done all of that with an infant (let alone, see a show!) for sure.
It allows you and your spouse to just be you and your spouse, as opposed to Mom and Dad, again
Marriage ain’t easy. It takes work, and dedication, and intentional time together. And I know I’m still basically a newlywed, but I also know that anyone who is an advocate for marriage will say that date nights are EVERYTHING. And what’s more than that? A date WEEK. It’s nice to go out and be with each other and just each other, not Mom and Dad. Finding our groove as a couple instead of as parents was a really nice change of pace.
A couple of things I highly recommend and why I think it worked so well.
How to Travel Without Baby:
Don’t Have Baby Stay With Someone, Have Someone Stay with Baby
My NUMBER ONE TIP! Our daughter didn’t stay at her grandparent’s house, her grandparents stayed with her. I think this was the major reason why she was able to be so calm – she was surrounded by all the familiar things. She was in her home, in her crib, with her regular toys, etc. If you can get someone to do this, I think it is the main reason Ivy didn’t have separation anxiety.
I’ll be the first to say that our situation is very unique. My mom was able to get a week off from work, and my dad was able to get about 4 days, so together they flew to NY from CA and watched the baby in our apartment while we flew across the ocean. Totally nuts, I know. But it was the best thing and made us all feel more comfortable.
Get The Logistics Together
A Living Will is not pretty, but you know what? Get that crossed off your list. Now is as good a time as any, you need that and life insurance anyway! Might as well handle before you go. And you’ll feel a wave of relief once it is done knowing you are prepared.
Book Before You Pop
Mike actually surprised me with buying these tickets in November of 2016, a full 11 months before we were going to fly (and 3 months before my due date). If he hadn’t bought the tickets there is 100% no way we would have gone anywhere. But the round trip tickets from NYC to London were incredibly cheap, so he decided to just go for it. I actually didn’t even get a say – he booked and then called me later to let me know!
Once we had the baby we felt like jerks for even wanting leave her for longer than a day! Seriously, we were really broken up about it. And it was hard, but because we have nonrefundable tickets it was something we basically made ourselves do. And guess what? It was worth it. But would we have booked once we were parents? No way! So if you’re thinking of doing this, make the arrangements before you give birth!
Put Yourself First (For Just a Little Bit!)
The rest of your life will be about your baby, so it is totally okay to do something just for yourself or for you and your husband. The guilt can be overwhelming at times, but the freedom is truly rewarding in a different way. It’s not forever! Travel for a weekend or take the week – but either way, GO!
I get it, leaving baby sounds CRAZY. But you know what else is crazy? Not going places. Life happens anyway, so if traveling is on your bucket list don’t use your baby as an excuse! Make the plans, take the trip. And hose sweet baby kisses as soon as you come home? They’re ten times more adorable after you’ve been away!