Family Travel

All the Reasons I’m Taking My Daughter on a Solo Spring Break Trip

solo spring break"
solo spring break
Source: Amy Humphries | Unsplash
Source: Amy Humphries | Unsplash

This year, my 9-year-old daughter and I are jetting off on a weeklong spring break getaway, just the two of us, for a parent-and-child solo trip. My toddler daughter is staying home with my husband and will go to her daycare center as usual, and he will go to work. As someone who lives in the cold and wintery Midwest, I’m very much looking forward to going south for a bit to enjoy some sunshine.

I’ve had a few pangs of guilt that I’m not bringing my other daughter along on the trip. We have some fun activities planned that my youngest would enjoy doing with us, too. And I’m sure she would also enjoy extra time with her mom and sister away from daycare. But, when I refocus on all the reasons I’m taking just my third-grader on the trip, the guilt goes away, and I feel a lot of happiness for the adventures we’ll enjoy as a duo.

Here are all the reasons I’m taking her on a parent-and-child solo trip this year:

We’ll have an extended period of one-on-one time

I strongly agree with the importance of carving out time for your kids individually. For me, this usually occurs as an afternoon or evening together doing a one-on-one activity of their choice to make them feel special. These pockets of time are great, and I try to fit them in where I can, but they can still feel so short. With this trip, though, I can fit in a whole week of one-on-one time with my eldest. I know that will be so memorable for her to get so much focused time from mom over multiple meals, travel days, activities, and hanging around before bedtime. Instead of just a special afternoon, she gets an entire special week.

parent child solo trip
Source: Canva

Our travels will be more affordable

Last year, our family of four went on a beach trip for winter break, and though it was fun, it was costly to fly everyone there and have accommodations and meals for the week. With just the two of us going on this trip, I’m spending way less, which leaves more money for activities that we can do while we’re there. I can also do more frequent trips with my kids if each vacation doesn’t break the bank.

I can tailor the trip to her interests

I have a 2-year-old and a 9-year-old, so I have trouble finding activities they both enjoy since my kids have a large age gap. Since I’m traveling with just my eldest, we can focus the trip’s activities on things that are age-appropriate for her that her sister might not be old enough to do yet. We also don’t have to plan our day around a toddler’s naptime or bedtime—or likeliness to have a meltdown at a restaurant.

Having a sibling so much younger than her affects the kinds of activities she can do on the weekends with our family. But for this trip, we can put those limitations aside and have the kind of fun you can start to enjoy when you’re an older kid. I’m glad to be able to provide her with some time that doesn’t feel orchestrated around her little sister’s needs.

It’s more of a vacation for me

Hauling a toddler around a full day of sightseeing is not always very fun. But with just an older kid, I can actually relax, enjoy myself, and have a vacation, too, instead of just a “trip where I’m parenting in a different state.” I’ll have a week off from difficult bedtimes and diaper changes. For any pool time, I can sit to the side and read a book since my older daughter can swim independently. I can stay up late and sleep in because my travel companion is down for that schedule, too. I can’t wait for all of it!

If you’re thinking about taking a trip with just one of your kids, I urge you to do it instead of feeling guilty. You’ll build memories that will last a lifetime for them and for you as well. Of course, I can’t wait to one day do a solo trip like this with my toddler when she gets a little older. 

Our Favorite Spring Break Road Trip Destinations in the U.S.
Discover More