Traveling is amazing whether you are with friends, family, or flying solo. It can be lovely to see the wonder in your child’s eye when experiencing something new in a different country. There are, however, still times that you may want to take a solo trip, a romantic getaway, or venture into a location that may be a bit dangerous. As hard as it may be to pry yourself away from your beautiful child(ren), I’ve compiled a list of five places that make for a great getaway without your young travel companions.
Japan can be a fast-paced whirlwind of technology or a slow and steady stoppage of time. Wherever you are visiting in Japan, spend some time without the children. There is so much to do in various prefects in the country. Explore the many different neighborhoods in Tokyo or eat your way through Ramen Street in Tokyo Station. Ride the bullet train to Kyoto and take a relaxed walk on the Philosopher’s Path. Spend time wandering through the streets and experiencing the spirituality and tranquility at the many Shinto and/or Buddhist Temples.
Another trip on the bullet train and you can find your way up north to Sendai. Take an older, slower train and experience Matsushima Island. Matsushima Island has been touted as having some of the most beautiful views in the world. With many temples, small islands, and bridges,Matsushima makes a great day trip from Sendai without having to worry about little feet behind you.
Whatever you fancy as a solo traveler or with your partner, Japan is able to provide.
The Hawaiian Islands have always boasted they’re family-friendly atmosphere. But there is one thing that comes to mind when I think of traveling without baby; hiking. Not just any hiking, but a guided hiking tour with the company “Hike Maui.” This journey is far too treacherous to be done with the little ones in tow, as you hike through various parts of the rainforest to reach four separate waterfalls. At one point the rain had caused the path to become so muddy that we had to hold onto a rope so as not to fall off the side of a mountain. At each waterfall, you have the opportunity to swim as well as jump off of a few of them. Give yourself a chance to face your fears and join this hiking tour on your next adventure without the kids.
New York City
New York City is a place where I need to be aware of my surroundings. It is much easier to be aware of myself and my belongings when I don’t also have to worry about my child. New York City also has some of the best food in the world. Many places that I prefer to go without having to worry about my baby taking up space with the high chair.
If you enjoy eating ramen, I highly recommend a visit to Momofuku, established by the world renowned chef, David Chang. His ramen dishes blew my mind. The richness of the broth, consistency of the noodles, and perfection of the poached egg, were out of this world. Momofuku is located in a more hipster part of East Village. The restaurant is small and we were lucky to get there right at the opening of dinner service. We waited 5 minutes to be seated, and by the time we ordered there was a line out the door. It was obvious that this was the place to be. (Update: we came back to New York and ate at what is considered to be the best ramen shop in the country, Ippudo. Absolutely give this place a try. It may be my favorite ramen to date.)
Another big city and another place I need my wits about me. Our hotel faced the beautiful skyline of Hong Kong Island and was located near many different shopping malls. Mixed in the hustle and bustle of the city were the people selling on the streets. Not street vendors or people soliciting for their stores only steps away, these were people selling obviously stolen goods. My husband and I were solicited by a man attempting to sell us a credit card. He was not willing to take no for an answer until my husband got stern with him and practically threatened him. Not necessarily the most ideal place to take children.
Hong Kong really is a place I would love to go back to, despite the many solicitors that I do not want to deal with. It has so many other things to offer the adult traveler. I enjoyed taking the tram up the mountain to see the views of the city as well as the views of the ocean and the surround islands, even though the line to get to it was ridiculously long in the hot, humid summer. I also thoroughly enjoyed riding the glass-bottomed cable car to the Po Lin Monastery and the “Big Buddha.” But nothing topped walking into a back alley food hall with the many “dai pai dong” 大排檔 (open air food stalls) as the only foreigners and receiving the best bread bowl and curry I have ever eaten.
Lake Quinault, Washington
Lake Quinault is a peaceful retreat from the city, and a much needed place to recharge the batteries before heading back to the daily grind. This is a wonderful place to reconnect with nature, which is the main reason Lake Quinault is on this list. While my husband and I were hiking here for our first wedding anniversary, we came across a mama black bear and her two cubs. After speaking to the owners of the cabins we were staying in, it turns out that it is not uncommon to come across cougars, bears, wolves, and many other potentially dangerous animals. Lake Quinault is a wonderful place to hike and to relax, but you must be aware of your surroundings at all times as coming across wildlife is highly likely.
Solo and partner trips can be so rewarding after traveling with kids of any age. Any of the above locations are great options for you if you are planning a getaway.
Have you planned trips without the kids? We would love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.