I travel for work. Sometimes to very faraway places and for periods of time that may exceed a week. Although it’s necessary I can’t say it isn’t delightful. A hotel room all to myself, long flights with nothing to do but read or watch a movie. As a busy Mom these trips are more than just productive on a work level. They allow me to disconnect from my family for a short time and feel like…just me.
Despite that, I also adore to travel with my family, taking my two kids to places that will create family memories that we will have to reflect on forever. My children have passports, love airports and hotels (like Mom) and can’t wait until our next adventure. I consider that one good thing I’ve done as a parent, instilled a love of travel and a sense of anticipation for the unknown in them.
And to be totally honest, I really love to travel with my husband, just him and I, to anywhere we can sneak away. However, it has taken me almost ten years (the age of my oldest child) to perfect the art of traveling alone with my husband and enjoy it (without a smidgen of guilt). Here is how:

Let Go of Control
If you’re like me, you’re going to leave a list, a schedule, a detailed map of the area and six emergency contacts – all laminated and highlighted. Now let’s assume you haven’t left your kids with Jack the Ripper but with someone competent and trustworthy. So now it’s time to Let It Go. Because here’s the thing…something is going to go wrong. Someone will show up to the wrong field for practice. Someone will forget the right cleats for the game. Someone will get lost on the way to piano lessons. Someone will forget to bring their religion book to class. Someone will let your kid go to school in Crocs on gym day. And…the world keeps turning and you don’t need to know about. So Let It Go.

Do Not Call Home
Recently we celebrated our anniversary at an amazing resort in Antigua called Hermitage Bay. We immediately fell into a luxurious routine of sleeping, lounging, drinking and eating and well, you get the drift. So after three totally relaxed days we made (ok, me. It was me.) the giant mistake of calling home. Of course something was wrong, my daughter got teary, she had behaved badly, it was not a fun call. Worse, it took me hours to resume previous vacation mojo. Whatever it is, someone is dealing with it and it isn’t you. Have another drink and do not pick up the phone.

Stick to Adults Only Resorts
Do you really want to see kids in the pool when you have no kids? Do you want to sit next to children in a restaurant and even feel the residual stress that goes with feeding children? How about kids in the hallways or above your room? Nope. If you’re like me it takes all your patience to deal with the children you love…nobody likes dealing with someone else’s kids when they’re trying to forget about the stress of having kids! Try a small, boutique resort like Villa Buena Onda in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. With only 8 rooms and no children permitted, there can’t be anything to do except read a book and listen to the sounds of nature. Remember books? Yeah, me neither.

Our Private Plunge pool at Hermitage Bay

Our Private Plunge pool at Hermitage Bay

Save the moderately priced hotels and vacations to take with your kids. You know why? Because your kids are impressed by things like playgrounds and towel animals, not 900 thread count sheets and champagne upon arrival. Although you can take children to a place like Lake Placid Lodge, a Relais & Chateaux property, I can’t imagine enjoying that stunning fireplace in my cabin when I am too afraid one of my children will fall in it. We love to go to secluded, luxurious places just the two of us – it makes a difference to us. For the kids, we love places like Meadowmere Resort in Maine – it’s affordable and centrally located in Ogunquit. Tons to do both for adults and kids.

Put Down Your Phone
When I met my husband it was before people were obsessed with their phones. We used to take long car rides without glancing at our phones (back then our phones were, well, phones). Resist the urge to capture each moment on Instagram and put the phone away and remember why you like each other. Okay maybe just post that one “don’t you wish you were me right now” photo and then put the phone away. Phones are nice distractions to everyday, boring life but vacations are that distraction so it is only getting in the way of connecting with your partner.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry
If you’re going to feel no guilt about leaving your kids, do not replace that guilt with guilt about over- indulging. It’s a vacation! Eat the cheese and the butter (and the bread, definitely eat the bread) and drink the cocktails with the sugary ingredients. And forget working out. Just don’t bother. Relax. Take a hike. Take a swim. Paddle board. Have sex -it burns calories and is way more fun than running.

View from our romantic getaway in Antigua

View from our romantic getaway in Antigua

Plan Your Next Getaway
When you’re relaxed and happy is the best time to plan a vacation because you see the value in it. You get why you need it. It allows you to see what you saw before kids and schedules and weekends jam- packed with sports and activities took over your entire life and beat you down. It reminds you what life used to be like and what it will be like again someday. On our last vacation we narrowed our choices down to either Panama or Peru. I can hardly wait.

Sure, I’ll Go To Fiji With You

April 9th, 2012 | Posted by jenfortecuomo in Romantic Travel | Uncategorized - (Comments Off)

It was a gamble. At the time, it didn’t seem so crazy, but in hindsight – what were we thinking?

I had known my then boyfriend (now husband) for about eight weeks. Things were good. We were happy and the relationship was going along at a normal clip.

I had just started the best job I ever had at Laura Davidson Public Relations. Really, my dream job. And one of my first assignments was to go to Fiji for 9 days. And the client would “prefer” if I brought my significant other so I would really get the true sense of what being at a romantic island like Turtle Island Fiji was all about.

Now let me preface this by saying whenever a plus one has been required in my life, I’ve never had one. I had to go to prom with a friend (every young girl’s nightmare), I’ve been to numerous weddings with the guy buddy and so on and so forth. It seems that whenever I need a date, I don’t have one. So of course, when the charming Australian client asked “do you have a beau?” I was more than happy to chirp “oh yes, I do!”

When I brought it up, gingerly, to my boyfriend, he actually seemed pretty enthusiastic. I mean who can blame him? Turtle Island is a private island resort frequented by the rich and famous. Who wouldn’t want to go there? So – off we went to Fiji having known each other all of a few short months. It could have ended very, very badly. As it turned out, it ended in marriage and two kids. Who could have predicted that? Not I – for a few times on that trip I thought “what on earth have I done?”

Like when we arrived at Turtle Island and got to our private bure, a beautiful, two room suite with flower petals sprinkled about. My then boyfriend found a sheet of paper which basically said “our wish is your command – let us know what would make your stay better and we’ll have it delivered to your bure.” So my charming companion writes down “ring dings and Jack Daniels.” Hmmm. I did not realize I was traveling with Jed Clampett. And yes something like a ring ding and a full bottle of Jack was, in fact, delivered to our door step.

Our Bed Upon Arrival

Oh yes, you learn a lot when you travel for nine days with someone you don’t know very well. I won’t go into specifics but let’s call it eye-opening on a few fronts….for both of us.

View from our nightly cocktails spot

But our trip actually turned out to be pretty romantic and also very surprising. We thought we would not like the communal dining on island and would instead opt for a private dining experience at least once. As it turns out, the communal dining was so much fun we never did dine alone. We very much enjoyed the company of the other guests on the island and felt it enhanced, not infringed on our romantic stay.

The staff serenading us on a sunset cruise

We loved the staff (everyone who visits Turtle does), enjoyed the many activities on the island such as fishing and partaking in a private beach picnic. We really embraced the culture of the Fijians, which is warm and hospitable. Some of the nicest people on our earth.

Since then I’ve always said Steve and I travel well together. I credit Fiji and the magic of Turtle Island for that fact. Our shared adventure to Fiji made us realize we had the travel bug in common and since then we’ve been on many more adventures. And plan many more to come….

The Happy Couple on the sunset cruise