What’s One Thing You’d Do On Vacation Without Your Kids?

What’s the one thing you’d want if you got to go away for a few days with just your spouse?

This is something my wife and I agreed on immediately.

We both do work where there is always something more to do, parent our three daughters with a desire to be present, wrangle three dogs who demonstrate an indefatigable neediness, and do all the other things that any working parent does: juggle, try not to complain, focus on what matters, have some fun, don’t stress about the things we can’t control, and so on.

When it came to four days that we got to go away – thank you G for coming to visit! – we were in total agreement on what our one goal was.

It wasn’t a fancy dinner, though we have one planned. Dinners out at home aren’t that hard, particularly now that our oldest can watch her sisters.

It wasn’t our bike rides to the beach or our walks talking by the ocean. We prioritize walking and talking at home to catch up on life, though the walks at the beach are prettier and sometimes we walk in silence to soak it all up.

It wasn’t the time my wife would spend reading at the beach or I would use to play golf.

It was the control over our sleep, something we rarely have at home or even on vacation with our kids.

Like most working parents, we have a lot we want to do each day with kids, colleagues, friends and each other. It’s work, it’s family, it’s fun, it’s not fun – fold a fitted sheet, anyone? Get new tires on the car! – and it takes up a full day. And then we need sleep.

During the week, it’s arithmetic. We know when we have to wake up and we need to count backwards from there to get (close to) enough hours of sleep. But on vacation, alone, we do something truly decadent: we go to sleep and wake up whenever, well, we wake up! (It’s better than fancy wine at dinner!)

And the ancillary benefit for two working parents? We get some time to ease into an already easy vacation day.

Usually on the weekends, we have to trade one for the other: we can sleep until our youngest child wakes up or we can get up early and have some peace to ease into the day. Rarely do we get both on the same day.

What’s your go-to luxury on vacation?