Now that you’re convinced that couple getaways are essential to the health of your marriage (see yesterday’s post), how do you make these getaways work in real life? After all, we’re busy, kids need caring for, and most of us don’t have much wiggle-room in the household budget. Once again, I asked some godly gal-pals for ideas on how they make their getaways happen, and compiled their wisdom for your benefit!
Try these getaway-friendly ideas:
- If your husband has travel miles and hotel rewards, use them!
- Go with your husband on a business trip, and add on a day before or after.
- Try camping, or rent a cabin in the mountains. State parks often have great deals!
- Check vrbo.com (vacation rentals by owner) for properties all over the country.
- Hotels and airlines often have last-minute deals.
- Groupon and similar sites often have really great deals!
- Check out Clark Howard’s list of travel deals on his website.
- Check with your friends; someone may own a vacation property you could rent at a discount, especially in the off-season.
- Check Priceline for great deals on a local hotel. Local means no travel expenses and you’re closer to the kids, but still a getaway. In my area, one friend specifically recommended the Hotel Intercontinental in Buckhead: she said it is extremely nice and romantic for under $100.
- Go to a marriage retreat.
- Swap out overnight (or weekend) childcare with a good friend.
- Arrange for the grandparents to come and stay for a visit, and schedule your own time alone while they’re here.
- Go visit your parents or inlaws and drop the kids off there for a night or two while you stay at a nearby hotel or B&B.
- Hire a trusted babysitter who can cook to keep the kids at your house overnight while you spend the night in a local hotel. Do be sure this is someone you trust so that you are not stressed about who the kids are with.
- Arrange sleepovers for the kids at their friend’s houses and then have a night away somewhere local.
- ALL the gals gave this same bit of advice: If you can afford it, get away from the house and stay at a hotel in the area. Out of sight means much more easily out of mind; it’s hard to shut out everything around you (to-do lists, laundry, etc) when you are at home.
- If your parents/siblings give you a gift for Christmas, tell them you want them to come watch the kids while you get away together or that you are starting a getaway fund for your marriage.
A few more tips:
- Discuss your expectations with your spouse before planning a getaway; talk about budget, intimacy, down time and recreation so there are no hurt feelings.
- Limit conversations about the kids; focus on your relationship as a COUPLE.
And I love this idea: try to make this a fun time for the kids. If the kids have a blast, too, they’ll be urging you to do these getaways more often, and you are much less likely to feel any guilt about it! Consider paying for them to go play putt putt, ice skating, to see a movie (or rent a few movies), or some other fun thing like that.
If you still just CANNOT make an actual getaway happen, do make a point of date nights once or twice a month. Also, make the most of a romantic night at home focused on each other. One friend had weekly date nights with her husband in their bedroom; they told the kids not to disturb them, and had a picnic on the bed, took a bath together, and so on… their teens were probably somewhat mortified at thought of what their parents were doing behind closed doors, but they learned what a healthy marital relationship looks like. This is a BIG deal; I did not see this growing up, but I have learned the hard way that in order for kids to feel secure, they need to see that their parents prioritize each other.
More ideas? Share ’em in the comments, please!