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Weekend Getaways and the Single Parent (or anyone, really)

Weekend Getaways and the Single Parent (or anyone, really!)

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Everyone can use a weekend getaway once in a while. For single parents with little free time, they’re critical. Life-saving even. But with so many demands, this relatively simple act of self care usually takes a back seat to the 1,786 other things on our to do list.

On my first Mother’s Day as a single mom, my kids and I went out for the obligatory Mother’s Day brunch. Really, it was a very nice brunch, but as I was paying the $100+ bill, I had a revelation. I could have stayed in a hotel for a night with this money! We could have gone swimming! I could have slept in a clean room! The clean room part really appealed to me. Here are my thoughts on convincing yourself to finally take that weekend getaway.

The Hotel Stay

For single parents, I strongly recommend a hotel stay, at least for one night. It doesn’t have to be the most luxurious hotel; just the break from your home and its responsibilities can be restorative. In a hotel with all that clean, clutter-free space that someone else takes care of for me, I feel like I can really relax. Don’t skimp by planning a long day trip without the overnight part. The hotel stay is key. As an added bonus, the excitement of being in a hotel often erases much of the usual sibling bickering.

Location, Location, Location

Do yourself a favor; choose a hotel that’s convenient to you. By convenient, I mean as close to you as is possible. There’s nothing like sitting in traffic to start the weekend off with a big dose of stress.

On my first Mother’s Day testing out the no-brunch plan, I realized that I was becoming stressed at the thought of sitting in Washington D.C.’s Friday afternoon rush hour instead of looking forward to the weekend. I canceled our out of town hotel, booked one just a few miles from us, and felt enormous relief.

It can feel extremely decadent to stay in a hotel a mere 30 minutes from your house, but try it. Think of all the extra time you can spend at the hotel enjoying your weekend.

Think Seriously About How You Want to Spend the Weekend

For this weekend, think hard about what you like to do. Get in some really good workouts? Lay around reading great books? Catch up on some of the tourist sites in your own city? Find the perfect hike? Craft the ideal day in your head, then make it happen.

For those with younger children, that might mean recruiting a buddy with their own children so you can take turns with childcare. For those with older children, you may be able to include them in many of the activities in which you’re interested, or find appealing alternatives for them while you’re out and about. I like to keep a running list of places around town that I want to see or restaurants that I want to try, then plan them into the weekend.

A Favorite Hotel for a Weekend Getaway

While this hotel is not actually close to our home, we were fortunate to stay at Hilton Pearl River during Spring Break. It’s located a short, lovely drive north on the Palisades Parkway from New York City. I was impressed by how peaceful the hotel setting was, and also how convenient to New York City. The hotel itself is beautiful, with amazingly gorgeous grounds and banquet rooms. My kids particularly enjoyed the indoor pool and sitting by the fire in the lobby.

Lobby at the Hilton Pearl River

The cozy lobby at Hilton Pearl River.

If you want to get out of your room for a while, there are many options nearby. The hotel is located next to the Blue Hill Golf Course. Bear Mountain State Park is a short drive from the hotel and offers many activities, including a carousel (we always look for the carousels). And while I can’t point you in the direction of any one spa or shop (not my thing), they are plentiful within a short drive of the hotel. Above all, we found the hotel staff to be warm and welcoming. A smile goes a long way towards the start of a much needed weekend getaway.

View of the Hudson River from Palisades Parkway in New York.

What makes the perfect weekend getaway for you?

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Andrea is a single mom in Arlington, Virginia with a 15-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter. Her children took their first trips when they were just four…

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