Image Source: Jet Setting Kids
I was chatting to a journalist at the Travel Massive Women in Travel meet up and she fired a few questions at me.
The first two questions were fielded with ease but the last one left me stumped. After answering, Hazyview in Mpumalanga for the question, what was your favourite place in South Africa, this was followed up with, what was your favourite stop for families. I can’t remember if I answered with, “the Garden Route or Port Elizabeth” because my answers change all the time. It’s hard to nail down which stop was the absolute favourite, of the kids.
The last question was, “if you had to choose a place to go for just you and Anton, what would it be?” After she read the stumped look on my face, she tried to help me out by rephrasing and asking, “where would you go for a couples weekend getaway?” To this day, I cannot think of an answer because we have chosen to include the kids, whenever we travel.
Travel Families: Maintaining balance
At first I couldn’t remember when we’ve both been away from the kids, and then I remembered a friends wedding. Since Angie and Roscoe chose to have their wedding a few hours outside Cape Town, and the dinner reception would end late, we elected to sleep over. My very generous mom moved into our house for the night, so that we could make this work. Yes, this means that the kids (who are 8 and 11 years old) have never spent a night in someone else’s house.
Obviously I know that this isn’t the way other people manage their travel so we wanted to open it up for discussion. Personally, I’ve found it hard to be away from the kids for a maximum of 3 nights while I worked in government, and I needed to travel. This was despite knowing that they were in good hands, as they had their dad looking after them.
Family travel shares very few similarities to couples travel. Whether you travel by road, rail, sea or air, the focus is simply more complex when kids are involved. There are arguments for both sides of the fence and we’d like to hear which camp you prefer.
Personally, I would love to go on holiday with Anton where it’s just the two of us but I can’t wrap my head around being away from the kids and actually being able to focus on us as a couple. My mind zooms at a million miles a minute every single day and that is while the kids are with me and I don’t have to worry about their safety.
So, what is the longest you’ve been away from your children as a couple? How many days did it take for you to actually stop worrying about the kids and start enjoying your time together. How did you manage your worry? Do you use FaceTime or Skype everyday? If you travel a lot, how many of your trips are as a couple and how many trips include your kids?
We will be chatting about #TravelFamilies on Twitter this Thursday, 8 September at 8pm (2pm EST) and we would love it if you’d join us. Please follow our new family travel chat handle @travelfamilies and let’s discuss the pros and cons of family travel.