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Kids away at summer camp. Photo Courtesy of Dana Zucker/Triathlon Traveling Mom

For many years, each summer we packed up our kids and sent them off to the New York Catskills for eight weeks of camp. While the kids were away at summer camp, the parents were ready to play.  But, as the kids got older, the time was reduced in half when they became involved in more school activities and sports.  So, our precious alone time became more limited and we had to get creative in managing vacations.

We had always tried to get away for 7-10 days for rest and relaxation, do a triathlon race or two, and squeeze in one or two long weekends.  Losing 4 weeks of travel time had a huge impact. To compensate for the lost time, we rearranged our triathlon travel to make sure it was always in places where we could stay a couple more days for actual vacation time.  Our two favorite getaways are Mont Tremblant in Canada and Hotel Sandals Royal Plantation Resort in Jamaica.

Mont Tremblant, Canada

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The Mont Tremblant Village. Photo Courtesy of Ironman XC.

Midcoast Triathlon Club Triathlon Camp became a priority for us, mainly due to its location in Mont Tremblant (MTB), Canada.  My triathlete husband got in some great training and we got to play.  Three days of a triathlon camp filled with working out, hanging out, and connecting with good friends, turned into three additional days of hiking, racing luge-style down the mountain, sailing, kayaking, drinking and eating great food, and just some plain old fun!  We are very picky about where we spend our time, so when MTB came up as a triathlete camp, we didn’t hesitate to register.  It didn’t hurt that the MTB Jazz Festival was going on at the same time!

There are many places to stay at MTB for every budget.  We tend to like luxury travel in the summer when the twins are away and stay at Hotel Quintessence.  Make sure you also check out the Village Website for current events and further details.

Sandals Royal Plantation, Jamaica

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Royal Plantation, Jamaica. Photo Credit: Dana Zucker/Triathlon Traveling Mom

Our second quick get away that has both great prices and works well for last-minute booking is our favorite, Sandals Royal Plantation Resort in Jamaica.  What makes the Royal Plantation such a great deal and easy for last-minute booking has to do with the time of year we visit.  Summer camp happens to coincide with hurricane season, so it is considered more off-season for Jamaica.  We love it here for two main reasons.  First, it is smaller than a lot of all-inclusive resorts and food and other amenities are first class.  Private tours, gourmet dining, spa treatments, and if you ask, pretty much whatever you want will be arranged.  For us, this means while one of the staff takes my husband out for long, open water swims, I relax and read and not worry about spotting him.  Although biking can be difficult, we work with my husband’s coach ahead of time to get a training schedule that fits into our vacation.  As a bonus, the fitness center is beautiful and has wonderful bikes and treadmills for longer workouts if needed.  (Although we have been known to bring his trainer and bike, just in case).

So, the moral of this story is to take full advantage of the time the kids are away at summer camp.  Be creative and enjoy ALL of those precious moments you have together!