Saturday, April 21, 2012

Honeymoon vs. Familymoon

"Are We There Yet?"

Murphy Family Cruise

Traditionally speaking, kids are not part of the honeymoon package. After all, a honeymoon is for the new couple to spend time together without other distractions to weigh them down. But these days, so many people have children from previous relationships that jotting off to Acapulco without a care in the world isn’t as easy as it sounds. Frankly, bringing the kids along for the honeymoon can be a terrific solution. Some couples do this for practical reasons; having the kids in tow means they won’t have to leave them with someone else. But honeymooning all together can also give a new family an opportunity to build relationships with each other.

The Ideal Balance

Kids on Key West
One approach to planning a honeymoon with your kids is to look for destinations that offer activities that will suit everyone’s needs. Look for activities for the whole family as well as activities that parents and kids can participate in separately. You’ll be able to make new memories together as a family, as well as have some separate adult time for yourselves.

Finding the perfect place for this all to happen may be easier said than done, but it doesn’t have to be impossible. For example, many cruise ships and resorts offer this kind of vacation package. You can enjoy swimming, beach time, meals, or other family events together. Separately, your kids can participate in supervised activities while you two lovebirds have the honeymoon time together you’ve dreamed of. Be sure the child supervision you expect is clearly covered before you book.

Bring a Sitter Along

Another approach to the familymoon is to bring a responsible family member or friend along to watch the kids. Maybe your parents would enjoy taking your kids to the beach during the day while you and your new spouse hit the spa, and then join you for dinner and a family-friendly show in the evening. Another popular option is to have your parents keep the kids home with them for a few days while you enjoy your honeymoon alone, and then have everyone join you on your honeymoon for family-oriented activities.

Kid-Friendly Destinations

Some vacation spots seem to have been made for families with kids. Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida are two that easily come to mind. These parks as well as the surrounding hotels will have suggestions for nanny services and supervised children’s activities, so you and your spouse can have some time alone.

Beaches resorts in the Caribbean offer supervised programs for children through age 12. There are also teen hangout areas for the older kids. They create a perfect opportunity for the adults to slip away for some alone-time.

A Hawaiian getaway can provide a similar environment. Look for hotel resorts that have kid’s camp activities. The Grand Wailea on the island of Maui offers kids’ workshops and supervised activities from the morning until late in the evening. The Hilton Hawaiian Village at Waikiki Beach features Camp Penguin, a day camp program for kids ages 5 to 12.

The Familymoon

Wedding rings
Bringing your kids along on your honeymoon may not be the romantic ideal you wanted, but it doesn’t have to spell disaster. With some ingenuity and an upbeat attitude, you can make your honeymoon into a special time for all the members of your new family. You’ll build new memories together and set the foundation for years to come, and isn’t that what marriage is all about?

Have you experienced the Familymoon? We'd love to hear what you have to say about the Honeymoon vs. the Familymoon! Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Wendy Fernandez is a traveling reporter and in her spare time she blogs for a site she highly recommends checking out if you're planning a honeymoon or just a vacation to an exotic place. They have all sorts of guides to help plan a trip to Bali or Las Vegas.

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