Cracking the Code on Grown-Up Vacations - MetroFamily Magazine
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Cracking the Code on Grown-Up Vacations

by Marek Cornett

Reading Time: 4 minutes 

What if I told you there was a way to have a solo vacation where you can do whatever you want, have a couple’s vacation where you can connect with your partner, and also have it not put that much of a strain on the childcare you’ve so tediously lined up? Well, friend, you can have it all. Let me tell you about how my husband and I have cracked the code when it comes to vacations.

My husband’s 40th birthday was earlier this year, and we wanted to get away to celebrate. While he works standard office hours and doesn’t have the freedom to take a full week off, I work for myself and can do so wherever I take my computer. With four kids four-years-old and under, we needed to get creative when it came to childcare, as well. When we started to plan out his 40th birthday trip, we tossed around a lot of ideas, and we finally landed on the one that made the most sense for us: a split vacation.

Here was our itinerary:

  • Monday morning: I flew to NYC and arrived by the afternoon. Then, I had the next two glorious days by myself to do what I wanted. I indulged in my own hobbies and interests, exploring the city, enjoying leisurely moments in pubs and catching up with loved ones.
  • Wednesday evening: My husband joined me in NYC. We met at the hotel and started our vacation together with a nice dinner followed by bar trivia (don’t roll your eyes; we love doing this on vacation!). The next day, we spent the full day together doing things we both enjoy and wanted to do together.
  • Friday morning: I hopped on a plane and left my husband to fend for himself. My husband, a lover of art and history, had the opportunity to immerse himself in the rich cultural offerings of New York City. He visited museums, attended shows and went to the same delicious Spanish tapas place multiple times. (Hey, when you know, you know.)
  • Sunday:He flew back in the afternoon after spending a glorious two full days by himself.

If you do the math, I got a five-day vacation. My husband got a five-day vacation. And both of us got to do the things our spouse didn’t have high on their favorites list. Our kids only had two nights without a parent at home, which meant we only needed to line up childcare for two days. We also scheduled the two days we spent together during the school week, keeping the stress for childcare down to their morning and dinner/bedtime routines.

Having the opportunity to enjoy a solo vacation is truly a gift. It allows you to focus on yourself, recharge your battery and indulge in activities that bring you joy. Moreover, the split vacation gives you the freedom to pursue your individual interests and the opportunity to reconnect with your partner. By sharing experiences, exploring new places and engaging in activities that you both enjoy, you can deepen your connection and reignite the spark in your relationship.

One of the greatest advantages of our split vacation approach was the minimal strain it put on childcare arrangements. By strategically planning our time apart and overlapping it with the days when daycare and school were open, we minimized the burden on our childcare arrangements. This allowed us to enjoy our vacations with peace of mind, knowing that our children were in good hands.

The beauty of a split vacation lies in its flexibility and customization. It allows you to tailor your trip according to your preferences, making it a truly personalized experience. Whether you prefer a longer solo getaway, a shorter couple’s retreat or an equal split of both, the choice is yours. By dividing our vacation time, we ensured that each of us had the opportunity to fully immerse ourselves in activities that brought us joy, without compromising on quality time spent together.

They say “necessity is the mother of invention.” Well, I’m a mother of four small children, and that necessitates thinking outside of the box for a variety of things—vacations included. A split vacation is a remarkable way to strike a balance between individual freedom and shared experiences. By embracing this innovative approach, my husband and I discovered a new way to enjoy our vacations, and we are eagerly looking forward to our upcoming split vacation later this year. So, if you’re seeking a trip that caters to your individual needs while nurturing your relationship, consider giving the split vacation a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Marek is a business owner, a loving wife and mom to four boys, including a set of triplets. She and her family live near downtown OKC.

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