Separate family vacations: yea or nay?

I’m on a plane right now with my daughter Bird. We’re headed to NYC for a long weekend of girl time: shopping, style, sightseeing…and great restaurants (thanks again for all of your great suggestions!).

I just got an email from my husband Josh. “Landed an hour early in Kauai!” he wrote. “9 am…we’ve got the whole day ahead of us. Headed to the beach!”

Indeed. I think we’re on to something here. We’re on separate vacations, and I think we like it.

It feels liberating and inspiring. There were plenty of times on our long vacation this past summer where Josh and Bear ended up on the “man bench” in a department store or stood awkwardly around as we admired cute, tiny treasures in a museum; there were equally boring moments on our end when Bird and I got dragged to a stadium or had to watch one too many rounds of a foreign video game.

These separate vacations mean that we all stand a good chance of having never a dull moment. They’re also a great way to spend a ton of one-on-one time with our kids.

So, I’m feeling grateful right now that I have enough miles and points to make this happen so easily (and at such a huge discount). I clearly remember the days when we saved up to take one big family vacation a year; in those days, we certainly weren’t going to split the family up, as it was our one chance to enjoy time together, away from our home. These days, it’s almost as simple as transferring a batch of miles/points and finding an open date on our calendar.

And I really love that anyone could do this. I love that collecting miles is open to all, and that with the knowledge of a few tips and tricks, everyone can save money and travel for (almost) free.

New York, here we come! And Josh, if you’re reading this – Aloha!

Have you ever done the “separate vacation” thing? How did it work out for you?



  1. Aloha! The beach is a great way to spend a vacay. Or the pool, as it may be. On the other hand, NY is pretty fabulous too. I’ll be headed there in a couple weeks. Have a great trip!!

  2. Separate vacations are wonderful. My son and husband would go on a golf vacation in the summer and my daughter would go to NYC at Christmas for a girls trip. We used as many free airline miles and free hotel points as we could but it’s still expensive. Our best trip was at the Renaissance in Times Square. We couldn’t have been treated better!

    • Points Pixie says

      Christine – I haven’t been to that hotel yet, so good to know you had a great experience. I always file these tidbits away for future reference.

  3. Sure, husband goes to Hong Kong and I go to Amsterdam!

  4. Absolutely! Besides going where you want, you get some really great, quality time with your daughter and your husband gets time with your son. Win, win, win!

  5. I think it is great that miles and points provide the opportunity to do this kind of thing. I feel like this is an easy way to defuse the stress that can come with traveling as a big family group.

    The only thing that I worry about is that these trips often fall along gendered lines (father/son, mother/daughter) and can reinforce stereotypical ideas of what men and women can or should enjoy. IMO, father/daughter and mother/son is just as important and (almost) free travel is fun for everyone!

    • Points Pixie says

      Ted – SUCH a good point. Josh and I were just talking about this last night. We’re planning our next separate vacations as mom/son and father/daughter, because you’re so right…it’s just as important.

  6. Awww welcome!!!! Have a safe flight and enjoy NYC!!! =)

  7. I am at The Andaz Maui with my daughter. Separate vacations can be wonderful bonding times

    • Points Pixie says

      Michael – Enjoy! And agree – there’s something so special about really getting to be with your kid for the entire rhythm of the day.

  8. For sure! If we had two kiddos I could absolutely see this working. Even now with just one I take vacations just with C when Josh wouldn’t really be happy with our agenda (Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, for example). Easier to have him fish at home and us do our girl thing then try to force it into something that everyone “has” to do. Have a great time!

    • Points Pixie says

      Mommy Points – Love the Thanksgiving Day parade example. My own Josh and my son would “die on the vine” if they had to endure it in person. However, they would love to hear about it around the dinner table.

      Sounds like you are definitely on the same page.

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