How to have sex at your parents' during vacation (Hey, it's your time off, too)

Sex during the holidays? Go for it!
Let's face it, sex at your parent’s house (or worse, the in-law’s!) can be tricky during the holidays. Between bunking with the baby, all that family around, and the total lack of privacy (remember those paper thin walls from high school?), it often seems hardly worth the effort. But hey, if you’re using up your vacation time, why not shoot for some vacation fun…or at least vacation sex! In fact, by using some creativity, a few white lies and a little old-fashioned sneaking around, you can bring back that lovin’ feeling.

Silence can be golden
In-laws in the room next door? Don’t worry, you can try something new: Sex without sound. Make a game of it; do all the things you usually do, but don’t make a peep. Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., sex educator at the Kinsey Institute and author of the book, Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure & Satisfaction says this only adds to the fun. “Having quiet—make that, silent—sex means that you have to be creative and communicate in other non-verbal ways. You actually end up paying more attention to each other when you don't have noises as cues—you look into each others' eyes more, nod (and look for nods of approval), or point to parts of your body that need attention.” Don’t be surprised if you use this method even after you return home.

Turn up the volume
The opposite of silence is a lot of noise and this just might do the trick. Instead of keeping it quiet in your room, turn up the volume in another room—like the TV room. Put on an action flick, or another movie where there are a lot of special effects and sounds, and then sneak away with your hubby for a little afternoon delight. Tell your parents or in-laws to keep an eye on the kids while you grab a cat-nap -- all that traveling is exhausting, you can tell them. According to Ian Kerner, Ph.D., best-selling author and founder of the website, “Having a break in the routine can add excitement in bed.” Sneaking away for a bit of hanky panky in the afternoon is the perfect vacay Rx.

Below deck
Basements were made for make-outs and even though you haven’t used one for that reason in decades, there’s no reason not to start now. Tell your parents you want to show your mate your old photo albums and head downstairs. Get your hubby in the mood, by showing him your lack of underwear while still upstairs. It will make the sneaking off seem even more retro. "Knowing what your partner is [not] wearing under his or her clothes is a good reminder of sex," Herbenick says. "It redirects our minds and gets us thinking of sexier images of him or her, which can be a big turn on."

Up the ante
Basically, any room in the house not in current use is good for a sex-capade. So why not head to the attic? Dr. Kerner says, “The taboo of having sex under your parents’ roof and breaking the rules we all had to live with adds yet another element of excitement.” Start with something like, “Hey Dad, how about I finally go through those old boxes up there?” Your spouse can offer to help, and voila—privacy and the thrill of going at it while everyone else is going about their family business below.

Game on!
One surefire way to get everyone in one room—leaving you plenty of opportunity for alone time with your mate—is by turning on a local sports game. The risk here, of course, is that you might lose your husband to it as well. Kerner suggests that you, “win him over with the idea of some unpredictable sex.” Suggest role-playing or some sports-themed sex tricks and you’ll have the winning game.

Use the baby as part of the get-away plan
Make putting the baby down a two-person job. Have one person grab all the gear, while the other gets the baby. As soon as she conks out, move her to the pack ‘n play (a must!) and take the bed for yourselves. The baby is also a great excuse to turn on a humidifier or air purifier to help hide any love sounds. To really make the most of this tip, fall asleep after, and get a real nap in yourselves!

Sneak it in
One of the most discreet positions for sex is side by side. If someone walks in on you, or your toddler wakes up from her nap on the floor, it just looks like Mom and Dad are cuddling or napping innocently. Kerner says, “the side by side position is nice because it brings us back to the days of heavy petting and caressing.” We think we remember those days…

Early bird gets the worm (or, eh, sex)
If you can’t stay up until everyone else is snoring, set a secret alarm clock for an early morning romp. This is also good because you can wake each other up when the sexy hormones are highest—in the mornings. Let your family wonder why you’re so happy flipping those pancakes at the big family breakfast!

Get caught up on "work"
C’mon, you know you do have some catching up to do…but with each other, not with work! Make a big show of taking out your laptop complaining about all the work you’ve missed. Once you’ve escaped to your room, slip into nothing but a pencil behind the ear and call down to your husband to request some technology help. Then get right to business, you two. (Note: Use that laptop to play some cover-up music.)

Play the martyr
Upon arrival, announce that your husband’s snoring (or your baby’s crying) would just keep everyone up so you’ve gone ahead and booked a motel room down the street. Not only does this get you nighttime privacy, but you can make quick naughty daytime rendezvous while the kids play with their cousins. “Anything goes in hotels!” says Herbenick. “Maybe it reminds you of a romantic movie you saw or even your own honeymoon. Or maybe you're just excited that being in a hotel means you won't have to clean it yourself.”

Go for a run
You know how important it is to stick to your exercise plan on vacation. So suit up together and head out. The goal is to find a secluded spot for a little out and about naughtiness! “As long as there's a low probability of getting caught,” says Herbenick, “fooling around can help you both to feel young and a little risky, just like when you were teenagers.” Worried about missing your actual workout? Don’t. Kerner reminds us, “Some good basic sex will burn out 200 calories if you go at it for half an hour.” Ready, set, go!

A quickie in the car
You didn’t buy the minivan with all that room and tinted windows for nothing. Sneak away to the car for a quickie. Not quite able to pull it off? Why not go for the more discreet and often overlooked hand-job? "They definitely have their place in sex," Herbenick says. "In fact, these types of sex acts are fun parts of adolescent sex, but they often get overlooked the longer couples stay together and get into sex routines.” It’s fun to revisit the past.

Having the house to yourself
Ultimately, the easiest way to get in some lovin’ is to have the rest of the family leave you alone. So why not feign a headache and ask your in-laws (or parents) to take the kids on a field trip -- to the zoo, museum, even a local park. Make sure it’s something that will last a few hours. Or if you feel like being honest, simply tell your parents you’d like some down time. They get it, they are parents, too. And they’ll like spending time with the grandkids. “Parents need to get in the habit of being selfish about their sex lives,” says Kerner. “After all, don’t they want happy kids? Happy kids need happy parents, and happy parents (shocking but true) have sex!” Fight for that, and we’ll bet you’ll be fighting a lot less on your next trip to the in-laws!

Heidi Raykeil is the author of the books, “Love in the Time of Colic: The New Parents’ Guide to Getting it on Again” and “Confessions of a Naughty Mommy: How I Found My Lost Libido.”

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.