Where To Travel Once Your Kids Are Out of the House

Have empty nest, will travel.

Right after you were married, you took off and saw some of the world on your honeymoon—a wonderful, long vacation filled with romance, adventure, and uninterrupted time together. With kids came whole new joys—and fun-filled family vacations!—but not this same type of romantic trips. 

Maybe you haven’t been able to travel like a honeymooner again for decades, but guess what! With kids out of the house, you can be “Honeyboomers” and experience that romance on the road again. Here are the best spots to plan for without the kids:

All roads lead to Rome, but so do many ships!

Rome, Italy

Family vacations usually focus on active fun, so art and history can miss the cut. A trip to Rome will make up for that! There’s so much famous architecture in one place, like the iconic Colosseum, the ancient Roman Forum, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain (toss coins in so you’ll return someday).

And great art? Check out the Vatican Museums, where Michelangelo’s masterpieces are painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

When you’re strolling through Rome’s ancient streets, hand in hand with a gelato in the other, you’ll be able to pop into any shop or gallery that catches your eye. And after your culture walk, you can pick out a local trattoria or ristorante for dinner.

Locals love: An apertivo, a.k.a happy hour! Sip a classic Aperol spritz or an Italian wine paired with local olives.

For natural beauty, Hawaii is hard to beat.

Hawaii

That’s right, this classic honeymoon destination still holds up. Why? Because you can’t beat this exotic archipelago for majestic views of volcanoes, waterfalls, and beyond-beautiful beaches.

With deep-blue Pacific ocean all around, you can wade in for a cool-down any time of day, then sit back in the shade of swaying palm trees. In fact, a trip to Hawaii can be life changing, as one honeyboomer described her time marveling at the dramatic coastline of Oahu.

Locals love: Fresh fruit. While famous for their pineapples, you’ll want to try the mangos, sweet lychee fruit, and be sure to share some passion fruit for breakfast.

Marseille is brimming with history and picturesque views!

Marseille, France

This cultural powerhouse city was founded by the Greeks around 600 B.C.! Start by strolling the lovely, narrow stone streets of the Old Town, and head to the picturesque Vieux Port that’s lined with quaint fishing craft.

Wherever you are in Marseille, you can’t miss the towering Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica, built on an ancient fortress foundation—but the mosaics and majestic marble are worth viewing up close.

For some stunning nature, catch a boat ride to the impressive limestone cliffs of Parc National des Calanques and steal away to a secret pebbled inlet beach with crystal clear Mediterranean water.

Locals love: Calisson, a diamond-shaped dessert made from candied melons and almonds (a pairing of ancient Greeks) topped with icing.

This pontoon bridge swings open for boat traffic!

Curaçao 

You may have visited a Caribbean island with your kids, but the full-family trip was probably planned around school vacations. Now’s the time to really kick back—and Curacao’s unique Dutch culture makes it the perfect spot.

You’ll notice the pastel-colored buildings of Willemstad right away, especially the waterfront row Handelskade. For the best viewing, stroll across the Queen Emma Pontoon Bridge, which often swings open for boat traffic, and visit at night when both bridge and buildings are aglow. 

Locals love: Klein Curacao Beach. All beaches aren’t created equal, and this secluded, relaxing beach rests on a small uninhabited island. Catch a boat there with your partner.  

The crescent-shaped Plaza de España is a must-see for Seville.

Seville, Spain

An ancient European mixing pot, Seville shows influences of Moorish and Roman architecture everywhere. The Royal Alcazar Palace has both, with Moroccan-style arches and domes, and intricate stone carvings. And the sprawling Plaza de España offers boat rides under ornately decorated bridges. Santa Cruz, the Jewish Quarter, is a wonderful maze of romantic streets and squares, and flamenco bars where you can “¡Olé!” the night away. 

For intimate meals, choose tapas: small plates perfect to share. Pair yours with Spanish wine and try the local favorites, featuring Iberian ham, stuffed olives, or broiled octopus.  

Locals love: Aire de Seville thermal baths. Step inside a 16th century palace and get the royal treatment in candle-lit salt pools in this famous spa.