Thursday, October 6, 2016

Couples Getaway Tips

If a woman's work is never done, then a man is on call 24-7! That's one of my favorite sayings when I hear women discussing all that they have to do in life. 

We guys do our fair share of the "heavy lifting," (quite literally too) when it comes to life. In any good family, husband and wives both work equally as hard to look out for everyone's needs. As a man though, we have an added duty to make sure that we are proactive about getting away from it all with our wives. I'm first to say kids are a priority, but taking time to focus on one another is essential. I know guys who unfortunately, won't even take their wives to a nice restaurant, let alone a trip.  

My wife and I just got back from the Dutch Caribbean, celebrating her birthday. It was probably one of the best vacays that we've ever had. We realize how easily raising kids can put your marital relationship on the back burner. That's why we are intentional about date nights as well as getaways. There is something magical that happens when a husband and wife intentionally block out EVERYONE for 48 hours plus. Sitting there with your spouse looking at crystal clear water, perfect sunsets, and holding a tropical drink, makes is really easy to remember why you fell in love. All of the stress for the moment is gone! Yes, the movie Couples Therapy got it right! Bora Bora is the perfect backdrop to recharge your relationship (I've been there-it's great!)  I know... I know you're thinking,  "I can't afford a vacation." I hear that constantly and many cases, the opposite is true. Most of the people who say that, actually mean, "I'd rather spend my money on other stuff that isn't quite as fun or fulfilling." The truth is many of us Americans spend our extra money (potential trip money) on jewelry, video games,  and or constantly eating out, but put little to nothing aside for traveling. You have to look at it as an investment. If you can invest in the stock market, with crooked investors, certainly your relationship is worth the investment. Sure, some of you just aren't into trips, but there are a lot of guys that are. For those, I'm going to give you my tips for planning the perfect getaway. Your wife will thank you!

1. Sign Up-There are now a ton of discount travel deals to be had out there. Some folks are afraid of these but there's no reason to be.  They don't cost you anything to sign up and "window shop."A lot of these deals are for all-inclusive resorts that include hotel lodging, food, drinks, and even in some cases air fare. You find the best deals during the winter months (off peak travel season).  All you have to do is sign up and you'll get great deals delivered to your inbox each week. Here are a few of my top picks:
-Groupon Getaways
-Apple Vacations

2. Find A Travel Agent-If you'd rather leave the details to someone else, hiring a travel agent is a great way to plan your trip. The best part about using an agent is that you can totally surprise your wife by leaving all of your planning "paper trail" with your agent. Most of the agents are required to visit resorts. That means they know their destinations pretty well and can help you with stuff like avoiding a trip to Costa Rica during the rainy season.

3. Find A Sitter-It goes without saying that I'm an advocate for family vacations, however there are times the kids just need to stay behind so mom and dad can unwind. Changing diapers and cleaning up spills should be put on hold for at least one week out of the year for the both of you. I know how hard it is to pull your wife away from the kids, but it has to be done. Initially, the Mrs. might even be upset with you for trying to pull her away from her brood. Trust me, once she gets into the room with the spectacular view,  you'll be Big Daddy again! So, put aside a little extra to pay a trusted family member or a mature sitter to take care of the kiddos. 

4. Plan Ahead- The first rule of thumb to any good trip is to give yourself time. I advise people to plan their trip at least one year in advance. This gives you a chance to do your research. My wife laughs because I'm checking in on TripAdvisor daily when we're looking at a resort. I love the app because it is filled with honest reviews from other travelers. Planning ahead also allows you to coordinate vacation schedules and school schedules. It also gives you plenty of time to find the best deals. Knowing what season to travel can save you hundreds of dollars--literally. More about this later. It's always good to consider planning your trip around a birthday, anniversary, or no particular reason at all. The best reason to travel is because you want to!

What stress?

5. Have Fun-Once you've got the trip locked in and the plane tickets purchased it's now time to focus on letting the good times roll. The point of a trip like that is to have fun and show the lady in your life a good time. Do as many things on your vacation that you CAN'T do back at home. Those memories that you make with just the two of you will help spark that fire you thought was gone or fully engulf the fire of love. I recently saw someone on TripAdvisor complaining about having to pay for Wi-Fi in their rooms at a nice Caribbean resort. I don't know who spends good money to go to paradise filled with water activities, food, drinks, and beaches to gripe about wifi. If wifi is at the top of your complaints on vacation, you've already missed the point. Vacations are made for zero stress and infinite fun. 
The Floating Bridge in Curacao
Photo Courtesy: Michael Vandrunen Photography

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