This year, my husband had a ‘big birthday’ which happened to fall in the same month that my 11 year old daughter was on a five night school trip to France. Rather conveniently (thank you teachers), it included a weekend. Too good an opportunity to miss, we booked our first ever child free break. And for those of you who have kids and have maybe never considered the benefits of a short, adult only break with your other half before, I wanted to tell you a little bit about my experience and reassure you that it’s absolutely worth doing.
Before I hit the confirm button, I changed my mind about ten times, wondering if it was the right thing to do. Waves of ‘what if?’ guilt were eventually offset by the thought of being able to do exactly as we pleased for almost a week. And who doesn’t like the thought of that?
My other half isn’t really a city break fan and much prefers the beach, so we found a five night All Inclusive break near Puerto Banús on Spain’s Costa del Sol. It was the perfect choice for us as it’s easy to get to with flights to and from the UK as regular as buses (just in case of ‘what if?’) and sunshine guaranteed.
Up until I waved my baby goodbye I was still racked with doubt, but once she was on the coach and I’d wished the staff good luck, I started to relax. Well semi-relax, if truth be told. What would my husband and I talk about for five nights? Would we have enough conversation that didn’t include our daughter or Peterborough United to last the duration? Well, after 20 plus years, you do wonder.
Travelling to the airport as a two instead of a three felt a bit weird, but strangely liberating, I promise you. For a start, I didn’t have to say ‘no we aren’t nearly there’ just ten minutes into the journey and every 20 minutes thereafter. And at the airport I enjoyed a cheeky couple of beers at 11 o’clock in the morning, which is allowed when you’re on holiday, right? Conversation was flowing nicely, perhaps down to the mid-morning drinks, but either way; so far, so good.
The flight was on time, only took a couple of hours and before long we’d arrived at Casa Del No Kids. We’d booked a modest 3 star hotel and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t expecting much. As we were child free, it only needed to be a base from which to explore as we could actually venture away from the pool (I have a child who is happy to spend eight hours a day in a swimming pool doing handstands) and indulge in a ‘that’s so boring’ activity; a walk.
Our base turned out to be clean, spacious, had great air conditioning and was right near the pool and the bar. Bonus. As I only needed to order two drinks, my holiday Spanish, which consists of ‘dos cervezas, por favor’ was spot on. Combine that with a few good morning, good evening and good night greetings and I was pretty much fluent.
I really enjoyed exploring the area on foot and seeing the local people go about their daily lives. I did try and hang out with Puerto Banus’s beautiful, but that was an epic fail on so many levels. It wasn’t even a case of them coming out as I was heading home; more that they weren’t even heading out as I was ready to call it a night. Though it was great fun seeing the super expensive cars and yachts and I saw a stunning pair of Jimmy Choos; a snip at 750 euros.
For the most part I spent my break relaxing, enjoying excellent food and the great company of my husband. As for missing my daughter and spending the whole time thinking about ‘what if?’, well that didn’t happen. That’s not to say I didn’t think about her loads, but I think if I’d stayed at home I would have been acutely aware of the quiet, in shock by how tidy the house was and probably missing her like crazy. Wi-Fi worked just as well in Spain as at home anyway, so I got regular updates on what an incredible time she was having too.
We had our annual family holiday to Rhodes this year, which was amazing and I’d never not want to do that, but would I do another child free break? Absolutely; in a heartbeat. I just need to speak nicely to the grandparents now.
Are you a parent who’s enjoyed your first child-free break? Where did you go or where would you like to go? And how did you find the whole experience? I’d love to hear all about it, so let me know in the comments below.