How to keep the romance alive on a family holiday

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Erin Bender of ‘Travel With Bender’ shares her tips for keeping the romance alive when you’re travelling with kids.

Over the last three years of non-stop travelling with two young children in tow, I have found myself sometimes craving a little romance in between the playgrounds, splashing pools and sitting through repetitive kids’ movies. It can take some effort to strike the right balance, but these 5 tips will help you find the love on your family holiday.

1. Get a room with a view…and a separate bedroom

With young kids, getting out at night is near impossible without the anticipated Chernobyl-style meltdown leaving everyone “out of the mood”. The great news is you can stay in and still have a romantic night.

Many hotels around the world offer family rooms where the kids can sleep in a completely separate bedroom, or at the very least two interconnected rooms. This leaves you free to have a romantic, uninterrupted dinner for two in your room or watch a movie together (amongst other fun activities). If your hotel suite only includes one bedroom then try upgrading to a room with a balcony so you can at least sit outside and whisper under the twinkling stars of a foreign land.


Photo credit Erin Bender

2. Kids club? Yes please!

For the perfect family vacation with a tonne of romantic moments choose a resort with a kids club. In my experience our children have never refused an invitation to a kids club. In fact, they beg to go. So while the trained staff are leading the kids with fun scheduled activities, you can share a cocktail by the pool, head for a couple’s massage or return to the hotel room for… a child-free nap. (I know what you were thinking!)

Resorts are not your style? Try a cruise. Kids clubs on cruise ships are designed to entertain the kids all day. You’re now free to swim in the pool, play bingo or learn how to make animals out of towels. Or have another nap!

3. Hire some help

If having grandma along on the holiday is not an option, then perhaps you could consider hiring a nanny. Bali is a well-known holiday destination where you can hire a legitimate, well-referred nanny to take care of your precious children. Like me, you may be nervous at first so just let her hang around your family by the pool or spend the day out together. On the second day, try heading out to dinner while she looks after the kids for a few hours. By the third day, you’ll be bounding off for a thrilling adult-only white water rafting adventure with complete confidence.

4. Let the kids play

More and more countries around the world are offering family-friendly shopping centres with supervised indoor playgrounds. While in Romania and Croatia we left our children for a few hours at an indoor playground while we shopped in peace.

Doesn’t sound romantic enough? Next time we signed the kids in, we made a b-line to the movie theatre for a romantic date with free (or very cheap) childcare.


Photo credit Erin Bender

5. Do something together, apart

For romance with the kids, try doing a simultaneous activity together, but apart. At a vacation club in Bali, we organised a cookie creating class for our kids by the pool. Right next to them, my husband and I took part in a traditional Balinese cooking class. The kids were totally absorbed in their cookies while our romantic dinner came together before our eyes.


Erin Bender is an award winning family blogger. Erin has been travelling with her husband and two children since May 2012. It’s an open-ended, unplanned, round-the-world trip discovering amazing places for families. They have stayed in hostels and 5 star luxury resorts, travelled on scooters and cruise liners, danced with leprechauns and cuddled tigers. Nothing is out of bounds or out of reach for this remarkable Australian family.


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