Let me say this right away – I enjoy children and even worked for 20 years in education. As you also know if you’ve followed my blog, I have two young adult daughters of whom I couldn’t be prouder.

But…there is a time and a place for everything. And as 2022 concludes and 2023 begins, there is just something I must explore here.

Enjoying a vacation without school-age children was something that I once viewed as mean-spirited. I always believed that taking kids on your travels was a positive move, because it allows them to experience other cultures, customs and destinations.  In turn, that helps them to become better world citizens and humans.

It's totally fine for parents to travel apart from their kids, because it helps everyone (photo courtesy of neirfy, Bigstock Photo)

I still believe in those ideals. But when I see children screaming and running around on a cruise ship or a resort pool, then I wonder some about developing those qualities. Even when they are in places that would be ideal for such growth, they are often not in the most receptive mindsets for cultural appreciation and personal development. They just want to have fun, like any kid does.  

So, here are three reasons why adults-only travel is ideal – and why it’s nothing to feel guilty about.

The very adults-oriented Scarlet Night on Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady

1. They’re just not ready yet

Maybe I’m simply going from my own experience with my kids but taking children under five on an elaborate vacation seems to be a waste of time and money. I understand that parents take their kids along, because they would like to expose them to a new environment. Or they would simply like to include them because it’s easier than finding a long-term babysitter.  They might also feel guilty for being away or imposing on the caretakers.

Unless kids have an extraordinary memory, they will not remember traveling to Europe or Asia or somewhere similar.  The best time is when they are about eight to ten years old, when their capacity for recall is more developed.  Kids at that age and older will also likely have more maturity and can be expected to behave as expected

2. Parents need a break too

Speaking of that guilt, even the most devoted parents deserve time away from their kids, have exclusive couple time…and most important, not feel badly about it. It is an essential element for them to spend time together and renew the romance and intimacy that keeps them together, so that they can be better parents when they come home.

The adults-oriented (not officially adults-only) Secrets Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico

When RAS and I went away on trips without the girls, we were better parents after the getaway. We could work together and support each other when supporting them was necessary or disciplining got tough. That’s why we took at least one vacation, just on our own, because everyone would benefit from it in the long run.

3. Places just for grownups

The most salient argument I can make for adults-only travel is the venues themselves. Last year, we went on Virgin Voyages, which along with Viking Cruises, only allows guests 18 and older.  Back in October 2021, I visited a few all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya in Mexico that were adult-oriented, although children are technically allowed to stay.  What I noticed about both places was the peace and quiet that all grownups can appreciate, whether they have their own children or don’t. 

Going to something like Virgin Voyages or an adults-only resort, you certainly get a different vibe than you would at one that includes children. You can enjoy a more mature environment where you don’t have to protect your kids or apologize for off-color humor or remarks. You can enjoy that beverage and or food and not worry about finding soda and chicken tenders later.

Most the people who appreciate adults-only travel options aren’t anti-kids.  They simple know that sometimes it’s fine to go on vacation with their families and other times on their own. Just like with anything in life, you must know when the time is right, and you will all be better off for it.