Traveling alone with kids and why you should do it!

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I am on the tail end of a holiday weekend trip to Aspen with my girls. Why not? Conferences + President’s Day seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to embrace one of my New Year’s intentions: travel more + disconnect.

We set out on Valentine’s Day to visit our Chicago-turned-Aspen friends. After moving nearly six months ago and an open invite; I pounced on great airfare and what would be an awesome mom/daughter adventure.

The question I got asked repeatedly from numerous folks, including my parents, was, “You’re going alone? What about Jack?” I fielded this question from both young and old and it really struck me as funny. After all, this is 2019 and I no longer have babies. What’s the big deal?

To be fair, for the traditionalists and empty nesters, it was a big deal. It was downright odd. My parents repeatedly told me “not to kill myself” and to “text them when I got there.” It was reminiscent of my teenage years after obtaining my driver’s license. And for some, they would never even think to leave their spouse behind. I kind of like the fear of the unknown. You learn a lot about yourself and how you handle situations. That said, we were flying to Aspen, not the Bermuda Triangle.

Two important details I should add, though. #1. We flew into Denver, which is a 3 hour and 55 minute drive to Aspen through the mountains in all sorts of weather conditions. I was a tad timid but I really looked at it as an adventure. Let’s do this girls! #2. I did speak to my husband before booking. There is a mutual respect for traveling alone and finance so let that be known.

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Aside from it being an incredibly relaxing, low key, outdoor trip <because we had amazing hosts who made us feel at home> there were a few things I learned hence this blog post.

Here are five reasons you should travel alone with your kids when the time is right:

1.     You’ll create new memories and an inseparable bond that links those memories for only you and them. We drove through the Rocky Mountains together for the first time. My goal was for them to see beauty in nature and appreciate a different lifestyle and they did!

2.     You’ll strengthen their trust in you. My kids look to their father as the one who fixes every little or big crisis. And, righteously so! This trip illustrated to them that mom can navigate planes, trains and automobiles AND treacherous driving. 

3.     You’ll put down your phone and just be. I still did some work on this trip but there were many-a-time when my phone was charging in my room and we were just having fun. I didn’t post nearly as much as I used to on trips and it was AWESOME.

4.     You’ll teach your kids to become great travelers. This is such a valuable lesson. Patience in lines, delays, navigating airports and other travelers is a life skill. I am proud to say my kids are great travelers. They really step up to the plate.

5.     You’ll embrace having schedule-free time together. So much of our week is spent running from one activity to another. It seems like every second of our day is scheduled. This vacation time together taught us to embrace no plans and slowly, the knots in my shoulder subsided and relaxed. We ate meals when we were hungry. We spent time outside. We laughed a lot. It was heaven. 

I am completely committed to making this an annual event because realistically, I cannot travel that much with activities and my work but I like the sound of it. An annual girl’s trip. With any luck, they’ll look forward to it well into their teenage years. I know I will.