The hubs and I had the opportunity to take a 5-day business related cruise to Cozumel. When I heard the news, I was so excited and at the same time, totally freaked out about the kids.
Luckily, my mother-in-law stepped in to help as did some of our friends. I went into planning mode to schedule all the needs for the week and tried to cover all the bases. We’d never been away from the kids longer than 24 hours.
Here’s my top five things to do before leaving the kids behind while you vacation.
1) Communicate with your tribe
Think of all the people you trust with the kiddos and let them know the dates. You’d be surprised who jumps in and who steps back from helping you. We had some that did both. We found out after the cruise that all of our neighbor friends stopped in to see how things were going and to lend a hand.
2) Create a comprehensive schedule for the caregiver(s)
By comprehensive, I mean detailed down to the dates and times. I outlined each day we’d be gone with a list of school drop-off times, pick-ups and included steps for getting the kids to bed. I added fun things to do, medicine dosage if needed and library information. My mother-in-law called it her Bible.
Include: daily schedule, list of all contacts, things the kids like to do, health and car insurance information, computer passwords, cartoon channels and your vacation itinerary plus what’s listed in #4 below. Our son even went to a sleep over and our good friend helped with daily pick-ups for school. It takes a village!
3) Stock the pantry and freezer, then add a few more things
My husband did a huge grocery shopping before we left. Be sure to ask the caregiver what he or she needs for the time they will be spending at your house. We still had plenty of food when we returned.
4) Have emergency forms in place
Emergency medical forms signed by the parents are a must. I tweaked the form to fit our kids’ needs and included a couple of people we trust to make the best decision possible in an emergency situation.
5) Let it go!
It was a lot of work pulling everything together and I tried to cover it all. We were still nervous about being away for so long, but in the end, we had to just let go and know that the kids were in good hands. And they were. I think they had as much fun as we did!
Have you vacationed without the kids?
Let us know your best tips and advice for planning.