You may have seen Instagram photos of divorced celebrities happily vacationing with their children, and even with their new spouses or significant others. You don’t have to be wealthy and famous to share an occasional family vacation after divorce.
You do need to have an amicable relationship with your co-parent. You also need to do some planning before you go and manage expectations for your kids. Here are a few tips that can help make a shared vacation enjoyable for everyone:
Give yourselves space
These days, it’s easy to rent a home for your vacation. This is much better than being crammed into a suite at a hotel. You can get away from your ex if they start to annoy you – and vice versa.
Decide how expenses and chores will be split
It’s best to do this ahead of time so that you don’t end up fighting over who’s paying for tickets to events, meals out, souvenirs and other expenses that crop up along the way. This is in addition, of course, to the cost of travel and accommodations.
If you’re staying in a vacation rental, work out how things like cooking, taking out the garbage, straightening up and other chores will be divided. If you have different parenting styles, it’s wise to form a united front, at least during the vacation, in enforcing rules for your kids regarding things like pitching in on chores, bedtime and screen time.
Plan alone time
One advantage of vacationing together, especially if you have young kids, is that you can each get some time to yourselves. It’s a good idea to plan things that you and your co-parent will each do alone with the kids so both of you can plan a spa day, a few rounds of golf or just some time alone to window shop or lie on the beach.
Don’t give your kids false hope
One potential risk of vacationing together as a family – especially if it’s not long after your break-up – is that your children may see it as a sign that you’re trying to work things out. Make sure your children don’t harbor misplaced dreams of a reunited family or aren’t confused by the whole thing.
When divorcing spouses can work out their divorce agreements amicably and feel like they’ve gotten a fair deal, it’s easier to have a good co-parenting relationship – whether it includes shared vacations or not.