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5 Reasons Child-Free Romantic Getaways Are Unrealistic

Photograph by Twenty20

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and my inbox is exploding with travel offers for romantic getaways for two.

You're probably getting those same emails or seeing the ads in magazines or television, so you know just what I'm talking about: rose petals scattered on gorgeous hotel beds, jaw-dropping sunsets over exotic oceans, deals on couples massages at high-end spas, and glasses of wine at tiny bistros in romantic European cities.

Sounds pretty good to me.

But I also know it's not going to happen.

Here are five reasons I'm pretty sure we'll be enjoying our Valentine's Day on the couch together with Netflix and a carton of ice cream instead of a seven-course meal on a candlelit beach:

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1. Leaving the kids behind is more work than it's worth.

We can barely arrange for a babysitter on a Friday night. I'm not sure we're equipped to make all the arrangements necessary to leave our children behind for four days while we escape to the Bahamas. I'd need a vacation just to unwind from the stress of going on vacation.

2. Who feels flush in February?

Getting a massage is less relaxing when you spend the whole time worrying about the price tag.

Those credit card bills from Christmas are now due and I'm feeling like we maybe could splurge for the name-brand ice cream instead of the grocery store version. Getting a massage is less relaxing when you spend the whole time worrying about the price tag.

3. Tickets to Paris might be on sale, but plane tickets to Grandma are not.

It might be a smoking deal for our trip, but inevitably it costs more to fly Grandma in from two states away to watch our kids than to fly across the Atlantic and stay in a five-star resort.

4. We already live somewhere warm.

Our home is in Phoenix, which means February is the prime time to be here. My kids are wearing flip-flops to the park, and I'm putting on a jacket when it is in the 60s. Paying to fly somewhere to soak in the sunshine? No thanks. Maybe I'll save my money to fly somewhere nice and cool come July, you know, if there's time to plan that trip.

5. I already don't sleep at home.

Having three little kids means that sleep is a precious and lovely commodity to me. Jet-lag from traveling means even more interruption to my fragile bedtime ecosystem. If there's anything worse than coming home and resuming normal parenting routines while fighting off jet-lag, I don't know what it is.

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And if you are going on a romantic and exotic trip this month, I'll just be averting my eyes as I scroll through Instagram while the next episode of our Netflix binge loads up.

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