It’s been a long pandemic.
For parents. For people. And for partners.
I think we can all admit that a nice break; the chance to unwind and reconnect with our special human, is MUCH needed these days.
With the world slowly but surely starting to move towards normalcy, you may be considering a short vacation or weekend away with your partner. But maybe you aren’t quite sure where to start.
If so, I’ve got you covered.
Before getting started, my #1 tip is this: Try not to put too much pressure on yourself.
I know it’s a big deal. I know it’s been awhile. I know this time away is LONG overdue. But remember, the trip doesn’t have to be perfect, to be perfect for you.
The biggest mistake you can make is trying so hard to get every little detail right, that you totally forget about the point: spending time together.
These are my tips for a quick and easily-planned weekend, speaking from my own experience.
Because I needed it too. We both did.
1. Start with WHY you want to take this trip, and allow that to be the guiding principle behind your planning.
The first question that you should ask yourself and your partner is the reason behind this trip. Why are you so eager to leave life behind and experience a fresh environment?
Are you simply too drained from work, tired from school, or worn out by everyday life? Are you arguing or having trouble getting along? Is it because of feeling trapped indoors during the pandemic?
Do you maybe just need to spend some special time alone with your love?
This answer should contribute to what you decide to do together. If you’re looking for excitement, maybe it’s a weekend out in the city trying a new restaurant or seeing a show. If you’re looking for some fresh air and deep conversation, maybe it’s a cabin in the woods with amazing hiking trains. If romance and relaxation are your core goal, maybe it’s the spa or a weekend at the beach.
Answer this question first, and the rest will follow.
Personally, my answer was a tough one.
My husband and I had grown apart and our dreamy relationship has lost its spark.
I was constantly worried about this and feeling him slip further away. I felt like I needed to do something, anything to change the direction we were headed.
At that point, we weren’t even having any actual conversations so my suggestion to go on a solo trip together took him by surprise. But I convinced him and we decided to try and enjoy our time alone like the good old times.
We needed time alone, to reconnect. And we picked a location from there.
2. Pick the right time to go, and don’t be afraid to keep it private.
Going on a vacation with the entire family during the height of the vacation period is great fun, but not when you want to be alone with your significant other.
Don’t be afraid to go during an out-of-season time when there will be fewer people around. Or even try a remote place in the middle of nowhere to relax without any interruptions at all. If there’s ever a time for quiet, peaceful isolation, it’s now.
A windy walk on the beach, a fresh hike in the woods or a warm cup of coffee looking out over the lake can be so romantic and intimate. Search for special kinds of stays like treehouses, cabins and more. You can find the right time and the right place for you.
3. Make all the packing and travel arrangements in advance so you can have peace of mind.
It was tough planning our retreat in the midst of a pandemic. My husband was reluctant because of this and we almost canceled the trip altogether. But ultimately we decided we could make it work for both of us. We needed to.
In order for you and your partner to really enjoy your time away, you must ensure that you will be safe and that both parties feel comfortable and at ease. You want to be able to relax and focus on each other as much as possible!
Make sure the hotel accommodations or Airbnb instructions are all understood. Check into your flights. Book a car or get reservations if you want them. Try to make sure the big decisions are made in advance so you can enjoy the time you have together when you get there.
This includes packing the proper paperwork and supplies. Check these off the list quickly so you don’t have your romantic weekend flattened by a frantic search.
If you’re driving: Remember to grab your driver’s license, insurance information, registration, credit cards, and any other travel-related paperwork you may need in advance.
If you’re flying, particularly traveling abroad (post-pandemic): Remember to pack your passport, boarding passes, airport-approved liquids, charger adapters, tickets and more. If you plan on driving abroad, remember to get an international driver’s license, and rent a car ahead of time because they can be expensive on the spot. Call your bank to put a travel notice on your credit card. Get out some cash in advance.
Make a list, and check it twice. Pack the bags. Have peace of mind.
4. If you’re a parent, send the kids to the grandparents. Consider getting a house sitter or pet sitter as well.
Again, make sure you do not take any worries with you.
Believe it or not, your children will be just fine with their grandparents while you are away! Or a trusted friend or sitter.
After we came back from the trip, our children told us they had a blast enjoying the freedom that comes along with their parents being away. Give them the chance to spend some quality time with their loved ones as well, and a place you won’t have to worry about.
The same goes for your home and your fur babies. Get someone who you trust to stay in your home or check in on it to look after your pets and plants while you are away. A trusted neighbor or good friend is a great option.
5. Ditch the cellphones.
Don’t take your work with you on a romantic vacation for two.
Let your immediate family know where you will be staying and how to get into contact with you, but only in the case of an emergency. And then put those digital brain-suckers away. Focus on the person you are with. Engage with your partner. In person.
Pro-tip. Bring a camera not on your phone. A disposable camera, an old-school film camera or even a Polaroid. It brings you into the current moment, and not into injecting that memory instantly into social media.
6. Make a bucket list. Splurge. Experiment. Have fun.
When you are finally at your perfect romantic getaway destination, indulge yourself a little. Make a list of fun things you want to do and try together.
If you are the type of person who always eats out at restaurants that only serve basic meals, then go out to a fantastic 5-star establishment and have the entire spread, if your budget allows it, of course.
If, on the other hand, you tend to always dine out in restaurants on vacations, try something different and find the most local eatery available, or catch your own food and enjoy it around a cozy fire later in the evening.
Maybe you want to go on an adventure together. Take a chance. Try hang-gliding or sailing or mountain biking through the woods. Go hiking or swimming. Go dancing.
Maybe you want to learn something new together. Take a tour. Check out a museum. Take a cooking class together where you make and then inhale homemade pasta.
Maybe you just want to hang out. Watch movies. Play games. Get ice cream.
The options are limitless, you just need to use your imagination, be spontaneous and be present.
You’ve got this.
A small chance to reconnect can go a long way.
For me, this one little trip really did save our marriage in many ways.
We laughed, we played, we took a ton of polaroids. We remembered what it felt like to just enjoy each other. We could not recommend it enough and it has brought us together in so many ways.
Real love is a fire that burns through even the most unprecedented of times.
But it’s our job to give that love the care it needs.
So, keep caring.
Keep planning romantic weekends away.
Keep lighting that spark to rekindle, refresh and reignite the love in your hearts.
I promise you, it’s worth it.