You’ve probably seen photos of divorced celebrity couples, their children and maybe new spouses happily enjoying an island vacation together and been skeptical that such a thing is possible. Most people don’t have the kind of resources to give everyone plenty of space apart when they’re not posing for Instagram photos.
However, family vacations are possible after divorce if co-parents have an amicable relationship and are committed to making the getaway memorable (in a good way) for their kids. Maybe you decided to keep the timeshare for one more summer before you sell it and split the proceeds. Perhaps your oldest is going off to college in the fall, and you anticipate this will be the last summer vacation they’ll want to spend with either of you.
Vacationing together can have its advantages
Whatever the reason you decide to do it, there are advantages to a family vacation after the marriage is over. For example:
- Both parents are able to spend time with the kids at a special destination instead of enviously looking at photos and videos.
- You can set a good example for your children of respectful, kind co-parenting – as long as you’re clear that this isn’t a reconciliation.
- When you both chip in, you can afford a better vacation than either of you could on your own.
- If your kids are still young, you can split the caregiving chores and each have some time alone.
- You can both go to a favorite vacation spot without taking your kids on duplicate vacations.
Before you decide to vacation together, it’s essential to have some ground rules. Besides determining how the cost will be divided, decide whether anyone else will be coming along, like a new partner or other family member. No one should spring that news at the last minute.
Make sure you reserve accommodations that allow plenty of space for everyone and separate rooms for you and your co-parent. Getting a home through a vacation rental site is typically a good option.
If you’d like to give it a try, but you’re not certain you can make it work, try a long weekend getaway first. If things go well, you can plan a longer trip next summer or over the holidays. If you see regular vacations in your future, you may want to consider some additions to your parenting plan. This can help avoid confusion and conflict.