I recently won the lottery. No, not the money lottery – the parent lottery. I went on a weekend getaway with my husband, and… wait for it… NO CHILDREN WERE PRESENT! Well, if we are getting technical, one was present… I’m pregnant, but he still has a dozen or so more weeks until we have to bow to his every need. So yes, this was a heavenly couples getaway weekend!
Now if you’re anything like me, finding the time, money, and childcare to actually get away with your spouse is the equivalent of finding a unicorn – but I’m breaking down my steps to planning the couples getaway in hopes of getting a few more of you on your way to kid-free paradise for a few days.
First, you need to determine which person in your life loves you the most – and ask them for their availability to watch your child(ren). I always have major guilt asking people to watch my son for days on end. The kid has energy to burn and in his humble opinion, sleep is majorly overrated. But finding a babysitter (read: saint) is likely the most critical aspect of getting on your way to a couples getaway, so I suggest starting here to narrow down dates.
Second, determine your budget (if my husband reads this: yes, I am aware of the word “budget” and this paragraph is a giant shoutout to you!). If I did not have to worry about finances, I think I would have found myself laying on a beach in Fiji with a quick pitstop in Italy for some pizza/gelato/pizza/gelato (pregnancy cravings are real). But guess what? Budgets are the name of our game these days (because diapers, mortgages, and Target trips are not free), and until I discover a money tree, I have to get thrifty in my getaway planning. For us, we thought about people we know around the country that have space for visitors. Lucky for us, we had friends in sunny California that agreed to let us stay for a few days. Score! We also scoured flights for weeks until we found a great price and a rental car for a killer deal (also – many employers give discounts on rentals – keep that in mind!).
Third, set expectations! When planning our recent trip, my husband shared many ideas that sounded really fun and adventurous, but not to a woman that is 25 weeks pregnant! He grossly overestimates my abilities and/or forgets that I am simply exhausted from two trips up the stairs, so hiking in the mountains was a no go for our vacation. Once we determined our vacation destination, we both took time to think about what we wanted to get out of the trip. We shared those ideas with one another and talked about how we wanted to spend our few days together. It was really helpful to talk ahead of time verses getting into our trip and spending that time talking about what we wanted to do. (I should add we are NOT big planners – so this was a little odd for us. We like to have spontaneity on vacation, but with a short trip we wanted to make sure we got the most out of our time together!)
Lastly, and MOST important, enjoy every every EVERY moment! This is your time to let go (…and not sing “Let It Go” for the 100th time each day). You need to let yourself relax and be aware of what that looks like to you and your spouse. If you want to sleep in every single day, do it! If you want to sit in the sun and read a book, do it! If you want to workout every day (…ahem… not me), do it! If you want to binge watch Netflix, do it! This is also a really great time to reconnect with your spouse. If you are a parent, you know how hard it is to get a long period of time to have a meaningful and uninterrupted conversation with your spouse. On our trip, we tried to take a little time each day to discuss different aspects of our marriage and share the ways we are dominating marriage or ways we need to improve.
I hope this helps nudge you to get a quick couples vacation in the works – we all love our kids, but every person needs a little relaxation and time to recharge. Where have been your favorite couples getaway locations? Any tips for keeping it budget friendly? Please share!