Living

How do you find alone time on a family vacation?

My boyfriend and I are about to head off on our first “blended” vacation. And I’m not talking alcoholic drinks — I’m talking children. My boyfriend and I our taking our children away on our first “blended vacation.”

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I’m not really used to vacationing with anyone but my daughter. To go from hanging out with one person to hanging out with four will be a big adjustment for me, because I am kind of a loner. I like to plop myself on a lounge chair and read a book all day, go for a swim or hike, and go to bed early. With my daughter, who loves kid’s camps at hotels, this is easily done: she goes for half a day to camp, I lie around and enjoy the peace and quiet, then we hang out together, and we both go to sleep early and get up at the same time.

The point is that with just her, I get a lot of my much-needed alone time. I’m worried that this will not happen because there will be three children who will sometimes all want to do different things, and there definitely won’t be quiet (if you have more than one child, you know what I speak of). Also, when there are five people, with five personalities, can you ever always get along?

Of course we need adjoining rooms and the door will have to remain open between the rooms — which means even at night, I won’t be getting alone time. I love my boyfriend’s children and I am really looking forward to hanging out with them, but how does someone who is used to a lot of alone time get used to being with other people 24/7 for days? 

I spoke with a friend, a definite self-described “loner”, about my worries. He gave me some tips — or what some may call sneaky tricks.

1. If the place is big enough he says (which it is) you can “hide out.” What he means is that I can “get lost on the way back to your room” and get my alone time.

2. He suggests booking a spa appointment ahead of time. “That way you will already have carved out a time just for you,” he suggests.

3. “Long showers” are also on his list. “This may be the only time you will get alone time. So make sure you take long, long showers.” And, perhaps, twice a day!

4. He also suggests getting my work-out on and heading to the gym. “Kids find gyms boring, but you’re a pretty regular work-out person, so it won’t seem odd if you want to head to the gym for an hour a day.”

5. But, along with these little tips/tricks, he says that I should probably be upfront with my boyfriend and tell him the truth. “Go in with full disclosure, that you need a little alone time — not a lot, but some — and negotiate how that is going to work or be scheduled in.”

6. He also reminds me, and I love this idea, that I’m worrying too much and what I’m not thinking about is the fun I’ll probably end up having. “Anticipate you’re going to have fun and maybe you won’t need that alone time.”

My loner friend is right. Yes, I may have to take extra long showers, but I could have the time of my life. Maybe, if you’re with the right people (which I will be) you don’t need as much alone time as you think.

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