When to Take Your Kids on Vacation (and When to Leave Them at Home)

Chauncey and I have always loved traveling, and I hope that we’re instilling a love of travel in our kids. They had such a great time this past week when we took a quick family trip to Folly Beach and Charleston, SC. That said, we didn’t even take Kane on vacation with us until he was three. Why? Because sometimes you just need to leave your kids at home. Here’s when you should take your child on vacation and when you should leave them at home. 

When planning vacations, you shouldn’t automatically plan it as a family vacation. There are times you should take your kids on vacation, and times you should leave them at home.


Kids should have experiences, and the memories you make on family vacations will be some of the best memories ever. You should take your kids with you on trips that are to family-friendly locations. Folly Beach is the perfect location because it’s a small beach town and very easy to navigate with kids. And when we had a chilly day, we popped into Charleston to visit the South Carolina Aquarium. Take kids on trips where they have space to play and run-around. . .places where they can actually be kids and not be expected to act like little adults. Pro-tip: when looking for places to eat on family vacations, use Yelp and turn on the “good for kids” filter.

We try to keep family vacations limited to five days, max. This trip was 4 days, and it was a good little getaway. And we also try to take the kids on less planned vacations. If you have every second planned, everyone is going to end up miserable.


First, it’s okay to leave your kids at home when you go on vacation. There, I said it. The rule of thumb in our house is that we have one kids-free vacation per year. Last year, things didn’t work out for us to take a solo trip together, but typically, we go on one-to-two kid-free trips. Why? Because it’s important to invest in your relationship through vacations sans-kids, just like it’s important to date your spouse. It’s important to have that one-on-one time where you don’t have to worry about tiny humans 24/7. It’s important to reconnect and relax. Because let’s be honest–you’re never truly going to fully relax when you have your kids with you. I had a relaxing time at Folly with the kids, but I never relaxed to the extent that I do when I’m sans kids.

You have to get over the guilt of leaving your kids at home, because when you take a kid-free vacation, you come back refreshed and ready to be the best parent you can be. We all need a breather sometime.

High Five for Friday Linkup

TGIF!!! Della at Della Devoted, Becky at BYBMG, Whitney J at Polka Dotty Place, Whitney P at Come Home for Comfort, and myself want to welcome you to the High Five for Friday link-up and the weekend. We made it! High Five for Friday is where we come together to share our favorite posts we’ve written throughout the week. Drop up to 3 links below!

Nice to meet you!

Hi there! I’m Tif Fannin, the blogger behind Bright on a Budget, based in Lexington, Kentucky. Bright on a Budget is a Southern fashion and lifestyle blog where I share everyday looks, beauty, and travel, along with a behind-the-scenes look at my life as a working mom of two. I have a penchant for bright colors + good deals. Follow along for posts that are relatable to the everyday woman.

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