Sometimes the best vacation doesn't involve any reservations at all — it's the house where you grew up (or where your friends live). Here's why:
Reconnecting: Show off your baby to loved ones or old friends, and enjoy a change of scenery all at the same time. If you're lucky, they live in a cool area you've always wanted to visit!
Built-In Babysitting!: Of course, you don't want to dump your baby and run out the door, but do let relatives snuggle and help with your little one, says Rivoli. No one understands more than your parents how much you both need some couple time.
The Price is Right: A friends-and-family vacation is the most affordable of all. Home-cooked meals surely make up for having to sleep in twin beds. Just make sure you buy some groceries and pay for dinner out or movie tickets — or at least buy a gift card or hostess gift.
Keep in Mind:
- You should give your hosts a heads-up about your child's bedtime routine and nighttime awakenings — especially if they're not used to babies.
- Find out what (if any) baby equipment they have. The crib stored in your parents' attic probably isn't up to today's safety standards; if their feelings are likely to be hurt by refusing it, you can always blame your baby by saying, “He's so fussy, he'll only sleep in his own portable bed.” Consider renting baby gear at baby-equipment-rental.com.
- If it's simply too much to cram yourselves and baby, say, into your mom's small condo, look into affordable, family-friendly alternatives. “Renting a vacation house with another family or friends can give you the best of both worlds,” says Carlin. “Far-flung relatives or friends get to meet the baby, but you don't feel like you're imposing and you get to spend time together in a fun environment.” And they may split the cost with you!