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While kids are away, parents play

There is no doubt that most parents have a tough time when their children go away to college for the first time. They usually feel a wide range of emotions from sadness to excitement. But, a new survey by RetailMeNot.com finds that more parents these days plan to start a new chapter once the tears fade and their kids are settled in their dorms.

(Mike Watson Images, ThinkStock)

Nearly three in four people surveyed admitted that they will do things a little differently with many planning to travel, spend time with friends and pamper themselves.

“I think once the smoke clears and once they are over being stunned by the empty house, many parents are planning to get back up and do something fun with themselves and enjoy that free time,” said Trae Bodge, senior lifestyle editor for RetailMeNot.com. “This is a very big change for parents. In previous years, parents were more distraught when their children left for college. I think parents are feeling more celebratory now and want to enjoy this next chapter in their lives.”

According to the survey, nearly eight in 10 parents who say they would do things differently when their child left for school admit they would make a major change like moving, buying a TV or car, traveling or renovating their current home. Parents also are not planning to wait very long to do so. Nearly three in four respondents said they would make the changes within six months of their child leaving for school.

“While the house is empty, parents of college students still have that financial burden of college tuition to be very mindful. So, parents should be very aware of their budgets as they travel and make those spa appointments,” Bodge said.

There was a big difference in how men and women said they would respond when their kids go away. Females are more likely to spend time with friends and pamper themselves while men are more likely to buy material items.

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