Couple on beach swing - inspiring adults only holidays
Holidays

Inspiring adults only holidays – top destinations for child-free breaks

Every year Mr Tin Box and I try to get away for a few nights by ourselves. It’s so good to have time to reconnect without juggling the usual parenting tasks of wiping bums and cleaning baked beans off the walls. In the past few years we’ve had a weekend in Jersey, a few overnight hotel stays, and a couple of nights alone at home in Devon. We are very lucky to have parents who can babysit to help make these adults only holidays happen.

Last year it was our 10th wedding anniversary and we totally failed to do anything special. Some of it was down to disorganisation and a lot of it was about not being able to find the time. So when Mr TB asked how I’d like to celebrate my upcoming 40th birthday, I knew we had to get our act together.

And we went for it big time! In less than eight months we’ll be hopping onboard P&O Cruises’ Azura for 15 nights in the Caribbean.

It’s going to be an awesome trip, and the childcare arrangements will be equally epic. All the grandparents will be taking it in turns to keep things in order. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I’m excited about the adventure as I love cruises and I’ve never been to the Caribbean. Plus, we all need a little time to recharge our batteries. However, I know there will be last minute wobbles about leaving the girls.

It got me thinking about adults only holidays and the special trips parents do without their kids. They have to be worth it, right? It’s not like you can do or would want to do them all the time.

So, I asked family travel bloggers from around the world to tell me about some parent only trips they have taken.

When you become a parent, a kid-free trip can be exciting and daunting.Take inspiration from these travel bloggers who have aced adult only holidays #couples #holiday #adultsonly #getaway #break #luxury #travel #kidfree #travelblog #adventure #timeoff #destination #romantic

Here’s the destinations they chose, their trip highlights, and importantly, their thoughts on whether they would they return with the kids.

Adults only holidays to Oman

Karen and Matt Mini Travellers - Oman adults only holiday

Karen – Mini Travellers

Where did you go and for how long?

We went to Oman for six nights.

Was there a special occasion?

It was to celebrate my 40th birthday.

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?

We could use airmiles to travel business class.

What was the highlight?

Our stay up in the mountains. It was so incredibly special – remote and spellbinding.

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

I’m not sure I would. The hotel – Alila Jabal Akhdar – was so quiet and serene. They did welcome children but I think I’d be too worried about them disturbing other guests.

Read more about Karen’s family holidays and adventures.

Weekend breaks in Dutchess County and Bucks County, USA

Eileen FamiliesGO!

Eileen – FamiliesGo!

Where did you go and for how long?

We did couples getaway weekends two years in a row, one to Dutchess County in upstate NY and one to Bucks County, outside of Philadelphia.

Was there a special occasion?

My daughter is in Scouts and this was their three day camping trip weekend, which allowed us to get away without having to figure out childcare.

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?

We needed a place close enough to return in time to collect her and also to be available if by some bad luck she got hurt. Both of these are within two hours of where we live in NYC. And both have lots of things to enjoy without kids.
In Dutchess we went to wineries and distilleries and had a nice dinner at the Culinary Institute of America, which has several student-run restaurants that are very nice. We took leisurely walks around one of the area’s many old estates and along the Hudson River.
In Buck’s County we went to museums, took a long bike ride without having to stop at playgrounds, and also did some whiskey and beer tasting.
We enjoyed a great leisurely dinner, sitting at a bar in a crowded restaurant, eating tapas and drinking wine. We actually also had lunch sitting at a bar. We shared a gourmet pizza, drank a pint each of local beer and chatted with the bartender, who gave us a great tip for dinner.
What was the highlight? 
Really the highlight was just not having a child to worry about! We did things at our pace and without having to deal with a kid being bored or fidgety.
There was no worrying about what she’ll eat at at the restaurant if there’s no kids menu. We could eat at the bar instead of having to wait for a table, which we really enjoy. We could book a cute little B&B instead of a hotel with a pool.
Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?
We have gone to Dutchess as a family. There’s plenty to do beyond the culinary and imbibing things. We would do Buck’s County, too, for the same reason.
Read more about Eileen’s kid free trip to Hudson Valley and her trip to Bucks County.

Long weekend in Belarus without kids

Belarus Worldforagirl
Kirsty – World For A Girl

Where did you go and for how long?

My partner and I went to Minsk, the capital of Belarus for a luxurious three and a half days without the children.

Was there a special occasion?

At the time, we were still living in London close to my parents. An annual trip without the children was a treat my parents granted us every summer. We, also, visited Paris and Berlin without the kids.

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?

We chose Belarus because we had never been there before and they had just relaxed their visa regulations. Under certain conditions, UK citizens are now allowed to visit Belarus visa-free for up to five days.

Also, we’re both really into WWII history so we planned to (and did) visit several WWII memorials and sites around the city. Intensely moving and sometimes harrowing for us, they were definitely not suitable for visiting with toddlers.

What was the highlight?

The Belarusian State Museum of the Great Patriotic War was fascinating and a real highlight. It was interesting to see history from a different (Soviet) perspective. Other highlights for us were affordability (dining in classy restaurants for less than a pub meal in London) and how walkable the city was (especially without a stroller!)

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

Absolutely. The whole time, we were in Minsk I never lost my “mum brain” and kept saying things to my partner like “wow, the kids would love this” and “did you see that they have baby-changing facilities here?”. I think that he was a little disappointed by my lack of romantic conversation!

In my defence, Minsk is an incredibly family-friendly city with Gorky Park and pedalos on the river. We had a spare day on our final day when our car rental fell through so we spent the day in an awesome indoor water-park! Sometimes the best thing about a break without kids is being able to act like kids yourself for once!

Read more about Kirsty’s weekend in Minsk, Belarus.

Adults only holidays in Vegas with friends

Ting in Grand Canyon - adults break

Ting – My Travel Monkey

Where did you go and for how long?
We went to Las Vegas for three nights over a long weekend. There wasn’t much sleeping if I’m honest!
Was there a special occasion?
We were celebrating my best friend’s big 4-0! It’s was always her dream to go to Sin City to welcome in her birthday in style! When she asked us, it was one of those: ‘Why the hell not?’ decisions – and I’m glad we did.
It was surreal and so much fun but even though we were absolutely shattered and a bit skint afterwards, it was a special trip and one we will always remember.
Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?
It’s called Sin City for a reason, right? Aside from the copious amount of drinking, eating, gambling, we even went clubbing! Yes – we saw Calvin Harris at Caesar’s Palace. I’m still not over that…
What was the highlight?
Taking a helicopter and flying over the Hoover Dam and landing in the West Rim of the Grand Canyon was my highlight.
Not only was the helicopter ride thrilling – I was lucky enough to sit at the front with the pilot – but being able to spend time marvelling at the epic rock formations and the landscape was just a once-in-a-lifetime experience. A huge tick off my bucket list.
Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?
I’ve been a couple of times without kids – and I still believe that Vegas isn’t a good destination for young children. The casinos, the smoke, the large crowds, and even the half naked women walking around the streets isn’t a suitable atmosphere for little ones.
However for teenagers? I think it would be fun place to spend time in – so many weird and wonderful things to see and do, from rollercoasters to water slides and shows. I’d definitely return when they’re older.
Read more about what Ting got up to in Vegas.

More Vegas…without the baby

Vegas view from room - parents getaway

Stacey – Adventure By 3

Where did you go and for how long?

My husband and I went to fabulous Las Vegas in March 2017 for a week without the kids!

Was there a special occasion?

I hadn’t had a break from the kids in over five years! Plus we celebrated my birthday and reaching 10 years of marriage.

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?

My husband was heading to Vegas to attend an expo related to his field of work, so we decided that I would tag along and extended the trip by a few days so we could enjoy some more time together.

What was the highlight?

An amazing birthday dinner in the Effiel Tower restaurant, overlooking the Bellagio fountains at night. The food and service was impeccable, and the kitchen prepared a decadent, chocolate-y dessert for my birthday! We also stayed at the Cosmopolitan and our room overlooked the Bellagio fountains.

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

We took the kids to the US in December 2018, and Las Vegas was one of our stops for a night. I wasn’t sure about taking them there, however they surprised me with just how much they loved it! We walked the strip at night, watched the Bellagio fountains, and were mesmerised by Cirque de Soleil’s ‘Mystere’ performance (which they are still talking about!).

Read more about Stacey’s family travels.

African adventures

Anna from Popitha in Africa

Anna – Twins and Travels

Where did you go and for how long?

Kenya – I have been out to Kenya several times from two weeks to six weeks. I used to go at every opportunity. 

Was there a special occasion?

I’ve been out for birthdays and Christmases. The last time I went to Kenya, I cycled from Nairobi to Mombasa with friends I had met out there so that was a special occasion in itself! 

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?

I didn’t have children at the time but I would go without them! I just think it is a magical country and would urge anyone to go that hasn’t. It is definitely one of those destinations that you fall in love with. It has a special place in my heart. 

What was the highlight?

I love African sundowners. Watching elephants gather at a waterhole or lions awakening from their lazy day with a glass of champagne is just so special!

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

YES. I am already planning a trip for 2020. My girls will love it, it will be so enriching for them. I am sure they will get the bug, just like me!  The twins will be four, and toddler one and a half, and I just think this is going to be a great age for them all – you are never too young to travel and there is nothing not to love about Africa.

Read more about Anna’s adults only holidays in Africa.

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

Hayley – Lifeasabutterfly
Where did you go?
Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Was there a special occasion?
After I gave birth to my first daughter I felt fat and unfit. I find it difficult to find the motivation to exercise so I wanted to give myself a reason to put my running shoes on or go out on a cold evening to pilates. So a few weeks after my daughter was born I booked my trip to Tanzania, where I would climb Mount Kilimanjaro!
Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?
I booked the trip a year in advance to give me lots of time to train. In reality, having a baby at home took up a lot more of my time and brought with it more frequent colds than I had expected, so I didn’t train as much as I should have.
Nonetheless, the trip was booked and shortly after Isla’s first birthday hubby and I were off to Tanzania sans baby.
What was the highlight?
The climb was absolutely incredible. A once in a lifetime experience. Would I do it again? Absolutely! Would I leave my child again at such a young age? No!
When I had booked the trip, only a few weeks into motherhood, I hadn’t realised just how much I would miss my baby girl. This was made worse by the fact that we had no means of communication on the mountain.
Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro was an emotional experience, which was multiplied by the fact that my daughter had been my motivation to reach the top!
Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?
I would LOVE to take my children back to Tanzania. After two years of family travel I have learnt that value of travelling with children. They learn so much. I would love to teach my girls about the migrations through the Serengeti and how the Masai Mara have been displaced.
I would love for them to swim with wild dolphins off the coast of Zanzibar and to see how the local people live. BUT I might need to wait a few years before they can start climbing mountains with me!
Visit Hayley’s blog for more on climbing Kilimanjaro.

Child-free in Noosa, Queensland

Karen Smart Steps to Austrailia

Karen – Smart Steps to Australia 

Where did you go and for how long?

Two nights in Noosa, Queensland, Australia.

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?

I love travelling with my family. We take a lot of trips together as I’m a family travel writer and blogger. When I was commissioned to write a travel feature about things to do in Noosa for Australia and New Zealand magazine, my husband decided to stay home with the kids while I went to explore with a friend of mine.

What was the highlight?

I’m a mum of three and the friend who came with me on the press trip is a mum of four, so you can imagine the excitement of having two nights child-free in Noosa in a resort.

We got to eat out in all of the beach-front restaurants, we shopped til we dropped on Hastings Street and we did activities that would have been really tricky with little ones like going on a beach ride on electric bikes and going paddleboarding on the river!

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

Noosa is one of those places that works for families, couples or friends as it has so much to offer. We had a blast and are hoping to do it again soon! Maybe next time we’ll build in some time for a spa session too.

Read more about Karen’s top things to do in Noosa on adults only holidays.

One week in Cambodia without the kids

Otres Beach Cambodia - Otres 1 to the North

Keri – Our Globertrotters

Where did you go and for how long?

Otres Beach, a remote coastal beach town that still retains its rustic charm on the western coast of Cambodia for one week.

Was it a special occasion?

No, just a long overdue anniversary/birthday/parent time out trip that we were able to time in to other long-haul plans and babysitting cover. Flight timings on odd days meant a planned few days had to become a week stay, or it’s a very long drive to the next nearest city Phnom Penh.

Why did you choose this destination?

We had visited the same beach two years earlier, with three very small children. Cambodia had long been a bucket list destination for me, and lets just say that trip was one of our most challenging with children and the memory was tainted! As adults alone, we could appreciate the serenity and rustic nature of the place that is more difficult to appreciate with children in tow.

What was the highlight?

Doing absolutely nothing.  If you want no timetables, no curfews and no wild party life, nothing but serene waves crashing and budget bar prices with no limits on lying in or how long you spend reading in your hammock, this is it.

Wifi was available in places so it wasn’t a total forced unplug, but used sparingly it was the first time in years we had felt truly switched off and able to operate with no timetable and no commitments other than making our flight home.

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

Absolutely, our last trip was challenging due to the children’s ages more than anything (three under five). We would definitely visit again, though I’m not sure they could handle the whole week of “nothing” quite as well as we can!

In the stimulated world our kids are accustomed to, we find they can only handle say three days of camping or rustic before the moaning outweighs the joy.

Read more about Keri’s week in Cambodia.

Two weeks on the US West Coast

Smith Rock climb

Margie – DQ Family Travel

Where did you go and for how long?

We had two weeks in the summer and grandparents available for babysitting, so we planned a trip to the West Coast of the US.

Was it a special occasion?

Our kid-free trip was for our ten year anniversary.

Why did you choose this destination?

Since we love the Pacific Northwest, we booked a flight to San Francisco with a return from Seattle. This would give us plenty of time to explore different towns along the way.

What was the highlight?

There were so many highlights on this trip. We went kayaking through sea caves in Mendocino, zip lining, biking, and white water rafting in Oregon, hiking around Crater Lake, and we rode ATV’s on the Oregon coast sand dunes. In addition, we visited some great restaurants, wineries, and breweries.

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

We are hoping to take the kids in a few years to do a similar itinerary, but adding more of California’s national parks and other areas of Oregon.

Read more about Margie’s San Francisco to Seattle road trip.

Milestone birthdays in New Orleans

New Orleans Jazz Fest
Catherine – We Go With Kids
Where did you go and for how long?
My husband and I just got back from a long weekend in New Orleans.
Was there a special occasion?
We were celebrating friends’ milestone birthdays.
Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?
Our friends invited us on this adults-only vacation. We’ve been to New Orleans before, and it’s a great place for Cajun food and live music. There are also a lot that’s off limits to anyone under 21, including many restaurants.
What was the highlight?
Al Green’s performance at Jazz Fest was probably my favorite.
Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?
We’d definitely take the kids. They would love the streetcar, the Cajun food, Jackson Square and the French architecture. We would just stay far away from Bourbon Street.
Find out more from Catherine about visiting New Orleans.

Parents only weekend in Paris for a special birthday

learning escapes mum and dad in Paris - adults only holiday

Where did you go and for how long?
Our latest mum and dad only trip was a romantic weekend in Paris. We arrived on a Friday evening, just in time for dinner and we stayed until Sunday lunchtime, which was a reasonable amount of time to enjoy the city without feeling too guilty for the grandparents back home, who where on babysitting duty!
Was there a special occasion?
The reason for this trip was a special birthday: my husband turned 40! We are big into gifting each other experiences rather than things and I knew he would love a trip. I made sure I added in a nice dinner and cool drink places so he could feel he had a proper night out while there too.
Why did you choose this destination for a kid free trip? 
It took me ages to decide where to go as I had clear desires. I wanted a European city break, I wanted it to be relaxing but with lots of sightseeing opportunities and I also wanted lots of places to go out for dinner and drinks, ideally giving us the opportunity to dress up a bit, just for fun!
Paris came us as an obvious option, so obvious I almost didn’t book at it as too predictable. However, I am glad I did as the weekend was fantastic. We stayed in a boutique hotel in the Latin Quarter (Hotel des Academies et des Arts), went for long walks and checked out known and lesser known places: it was just what we wanted.
What was the highlight? 
We loved every minute of our weekend but I think the best thing of all about it was a very long stroll we took on the Saturday in the Latin Quarter.
We leisurely strolled around the Pantheon and la Sorbonne, hanged around the Jardin des plantes (botanical gardens, lovely!) and then we headed to Isle st Luis and Notre Dame for lunch on a street terrace with a glass of wine. Paris is just perfect for this!
Would you take the kids if you had the chance to go again? Why? 
We would absolutely bring the kids and actually, we can’t wait to do so! Even if the weekend was for us, we couldn’t help noticing things the kids would have loved: we saw vintage carousels, playgrounds and we know they would love the Eiffel Tower and the river cruises. I guess parents will be parents, even without the kids it was almost like they were with us, we mentioned them so much!!
Read more of Marta’s tips on visiting Paris.

Catch the sleeper train to Verona

Have Kids, Can Travel - Verona

Laura – Have Kids, Can Travel

Where did you go and for how long?
Verona; the entire trip was five days, but we did it by overnight sleeper train from London, so we had just three days in Verona itself.

Was there a special occasion?
Yes – it was for our 25th wedding anniversary, though that was in July and we didn’t go until September. We’re romantic – but not so much that we’ll pay £1,000 more for the same trip in peak season!

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?
It had to be accessible by train (non-flying husband), and we’d always said we’d love to do the sleeper train. Verona was simply the first city on the Paris-Venice sleeper train schedule which we really wanted to stay in.

What was the highlight?

Oh, so many! Our hotel was perfect – we spent WAY too long hunting for a genuinely romantic hotel room, with little success until we stumbled across this one, and it was heavenly.

We took a train to Lake Garda, and journeyed all the way up the lake on the ferry – standing on the top of Castello Scaligero di Malcesine was astonishingly beautiful.

A day visit to Venice meant a late walk through the streets back to the station after dark – it felt a totally different city by night and away from the main tourist streets. Older and harder – amazing.

A tip from a local lead us to a fab little unprepossessing ice cream shop at the foot of the funicular in Verona; straightaway with headed up to the top and watched the sun go down across the city as we ate the amazing gelato.

That was perfect. And actually, the simple joy in long, slow evenings in restaurants together with nowhere else to be, no need for any other company, sharing the best food and wine in the city.

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?
Yes, but it would be a different visit as they’re less happy with a day spent gently sauntering city streets! Verona has lots to offer, but I’d need a tighter schedule and more planned activities. And there’d be much less Italian Wine!

Adults only holidays Ontario

The Couples Resort Ontario Little Miss Kate

Erin – Little Miss Kate

Where did you go and for how long?

Couples Resort in Whitney, Ontario.

Was there a special occasion?

Celebrated our five year wedding anniversary!

Why did you choose this destination for a kid-free trip?

We choose Couples Resort as it is a local Ontario Resort that allows only adults, so parents have time to focus on being a couple again. Couples Resort provides a relaxing and romantic atmosphere as all rooms have king size beds, jacuzzi and hot tubs to allow parents to unwind. Couples will enjoy 5 star resort amenities and high end dining during their stay.

What was the highlight?

My favourite part was sitting in the hot tub overlooking the beautiful lake and enjoying the sound of silence as being early spring no one was using the lake yet so it was quiet and beautifully still.

We also enjoyed that Couples Resort is located nearby to Algonquin parks which has over 15 trails to hike, and promotes outdoor adventure through hiking, canoeing, and kayaking. Algonquin is home to many species of wildlife as we were able to see turtles, chipmunks and a deer during our stay.

However if you’re lucky you may see a moose or a bear in their natural habitat.

Would you take the kids to this place if you had a chance to go again? Why?

No kids ALLOWED! Couples only.

Read more about this trip to Couples Resort in Ontario.

Thanks to all the family travel bloggers who have shared their adults only holidays with me. I’ve found these kid-free trips fascinating and inspiring to read. And it’s made me even more excited for our own parents break coming up.

Have you left the kids at home and taken an adults only holiday? Or are there any here you’d like to try?

Have you got reason to plan a holiday without the kids? Pin this post about adults only holidays for future reference.

When you become a parent, a kid-free trip can be exciting and daunting.Take inspiration from these travel bloggers who have aced adult only holidays #couples #holiday #adultsonly #getaway #break #luxury #travel #kidfree #travelblog #adventure #timeoff #destination #romantic