Oh, to be footloose and child free

No one knows more than you do how much you love your little ones, down to every knotted, mysteriously wet shoelace. But there are times when the adults in the house just need some grown-up time. Here’s our destination guide for that languorous child-free holiday. Whether you're taking photos of lions or sampling wine in a Stellenbosch vineyard, Africa is great for grown-ups. If you're after pure relaxation, you can head to that perfect island destination. Have an extra few days to spend away from the kids? Then you can head west – all the way to the USA.

Heed the call of the wild on your child free holiday in Africa

There’s nothing like sitting quietly in your jeep as dusk settles around you in the African bush. You've had a sundowner and are now waiting—maybe half an hour or more—for the lions to hunt. Nature is unpredictable and rewards patience, and the payoffs here range from desert skies viewed from the ocean’s edge to sampling a Riesling perfected in South Africa’s Stellenbosch wine-growing region.

Namibia, an otherworldly wonderland

Namibia is a land of contrasts like no other, on a scale that’s tough to grasp. The drives may be long, but the views are worth the journey. From the vastness of the Namib Desert and moon landscapes of Walvis Bay to the ghost diamond mining towns of Kolmanskop, the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei to wildlife-rich Etosha National Park (that has a salt pan so large it can be seen from outer space), there is so much to see here. A villa in the colonial town of Swakopmund, flanked by desert dunes and Atlantic waves, is a great base for your child free holiday.

Wine and vistas on the perfect South African driving route

The Western Cape of South Africa is home to one of the most beautiful driving routes in the world—the Stellenbosch Wine Route. Set aside hours for visiting the charming towns with their distinct Dutch architecture and delectable eats. Your palate will urge you forward to the wineries, but chances are, your eyes will entreat you to keep stopping for the views.

Get into an island frame of mind on your child free holiday

Here’s your opportunity to work on your tan, enjoy a cocktail or 3, and finish reading that Booker Prize winner that you've been putting off. Beachside destinations spell the ultimate in relaxation, whether you're choosing an isolated outcrop in the Atlantic or eager to sample the nightlife and glamour of a resort destination.

Siesta away on your Spanish island child free holiday

Your last trip to Spain may have been to a noisy family-friendly resort, but you can switch gears for a minute and venture to Lanzarote instead. There are no high-rises here; artist Cesar Manrique, the native artist who encouraged visitors to the island, also made sure its natural beauty was protected and enhanced with artwork. On the other side of Spain, the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca welcome you to a busier child free holiday, where you can lounge on the beach by day and listen to world-class DJs spin their tunes by night.

White sands and luxe villas in the Mediterranean

A child free holiday in the Greek islands will allow you a more leisurely way of passing time. Linger on the balcony of your holiday villa in Kos, or swim a few laps in the private pool of your Rhodes holiday lodging. Stroll down to waterside restaurants as late as you want, or hire a boat and spend the day island hopping. Wander through vineyards in Santorini but be warned – the air is thick with romance, and anything can happen.

Spend a child free holiday in the Wild, Wild West

Forget the theme parks, this is America for the grown-ups. Pack your fancy clothes – you'll need them if you choose Las Vegas for your child free holiday. And while Napa Valley may suggest an agrarian fantasy, rest assured that the wine aficionados here are as serious about style as they are the strength of their Cabernet.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas

The city’s tagline is there for a reason, because this fantasyland in the middle of a desert is purely for adults. Its reputation as the world’s casino began when gangster Bugsy Siegel built the Flamingo in 1946. Today’s Vegas is a cosmopolitan world-class destination where you can rub shoulders with celebs as you enjoy a gourmet meal, watch hot-ticket shows and party till dawn.

Wine and dine in Napa Valley

With sweeping vistas of mist-shrouded hilltops and vine-lush valleys, Napa is a feast for the senses. The best way to enjoy you child free holiday here is to limit your tastings to 3 or 4 wineries, and make sure to visit the picturesque villages that pepper this valley. Keep an eye out for the Culinary Institute of America’s castle-like campus; there are also plenty of dining options dotted around the area for you to try.