Family Vacations after Divorce
The New Family Vacation
I remember our family vacations together when I was a child. Every summer my parents would take us to the mountains or the beach. Although the car rides were long and we always got in trouble for asking “are we there yet?” – our family getaways were the best memories of our childhood. It’s these times that we missed after our parents got a divorce.
Divorce affects the entire family. Adults have to deal with the financial, emotional, and sense of loss aspects of a divorce. Children deal with the loss of a parent; loss of togetherness; feelings of guilt or blame; and feelings that their family isn’t “real” any more. During vacation time adults and children can easily be upset by past memories or former vacation traditions that are no longer part of their lives. Children may expect certain family traditions to continue. As parents, we may try to replicate the close bonds and sense of security within the family – and regret that things are just not the same. Why put ourselves through this? Why not create new experiences, new memories and new places to explore?
If you are unsure what type of adventure to plan for you and your children, here are some suggestions:
- All Inclusive Resorts that cater to children/families. Your kids can hang out with other kids as part of a camp style program and you can meet other single parents in a similar situation.
- Take a family cruise. You and your children can enjoy pools, incredible fitness centers, and rock climbing walls. You can relax and the kids can attend the activities planned with other children. The land excursions are lots of fun as well. You can experience water sports, horseback riding, or just walk around and explore the shops and markets together.
- Another model of family travel that is beneficial and comforting to children after a divorce is called ”Multi-Generational Family Travel”. Grandparents may choose to come on the vacation as well and enjoy some quality time with the kids. These tend to be the most memorable vacations and given there is a limited time in which to plan and go away as an extended family, it makes it all the more worthwhile.
If you are unable to take one of the trips above due to financial constraints, then why not take a “stay-cation.” A stay-cation is the budget-savvy, stay-local version of the old-fashioned vacation.
- Make a map and take a day to explore all the museums around your area. Or, make it a scavenger hunt. Print up a list of things for you and your kids to find: these can be people, places, or things. Then, set out together to find them. When all items have been found, enjoy a reward at the local ice cream shop.
- Visit those parks that you may have passed, but never had the chance to explore. If you’re fortunate to live within driving distance of a state or national park, consider a multi-day hike.
- If you’re fortunate to live near the ocean, then a cheap day out is never more than a sunny day away. Pack a lunch, grab some sunscreen, and catch some rays. Even people who don’t live on the coast will may have a lake nearby, which can be just as good. If a beach isn’t an option, try a community pool.
- Pitch a tent in your backyard for the ultimate getaway, without going anywhere. Kids love the adventure of sleeping outdoors, while still having the security of knowing that home is nearby. Plan a night of classic camping activities: build a fire, roast s ‘mores, and tell scary stories.
No matter what you decide to do, spend quality time with your children. Divorce is difficult on everyone, but family memories last a life time. Get started today on making new memories.