Getaways are absolutely crucial to the health of your marriage, and even more so when you have children.
This is the last post in the Rhythms of Rest series. A Rhythm of Rest is an intentional plan that clearly defines your regular rhythms of rest and replenishment: daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually.
My wife and I try to get away together alone at least once a year and usually twice. If you can do two, I strongly recommend it. Typically, we try to do a longer getaway and then a shorter one. The longer getaways help us reconnect, have fun, and remember why we fell in love in the first place. (Side note, this is in addition to regular bi-weekly dates).
Let me start by saying, if you are not able to do this, I understand and empathize. There have certainly been seasons when we didn’t have the money or had no one to watch the kids. Unfortunately, we don’t live close to our families and so it takes a lot of intentional coordination to make it happen. That being said, if you can’t take trips alone together for some reason or another, do the best with what you have! Schedule a day trip and regular dates to places that you both love and are free. We’ve done plenty of that in different seasons.
After doing many getaways over the years, we’ve learned a few things I want to share as you plan your own getaway.
Our Recipe for a Great Getaway:
1) Go to a mutually agreed upon place.
No one will have fun if one of you doesn’t like the destination or activities. For example, I love to take a 40 pound backpack and hike for multiple days in the middle of nowhere. My wife on the other hand does not. If I plan a getaway based on my preferences alone, it guarantees we will both have a miserable time.
2) Stay for a minimum of 3-4 nights.
We usually try to plan one longer getaway and one shorter one per year. The longer one is usually much better and I recommended a minimum of three nights and four days. Otherwise, it feels like you just get unpacked and your heading back home!
3) Don’t pack your schedule!
A few years back we visited NYC for our 15th anniversary. Instead of doing all the touristy things, we planned to explore one part of the city each day. We planned one or two things in that part of the city (a restaurant, museum, or popular landmark, etc.) and left the rest of the day open for exploration. One day after exploring Chelsea Market and enjoying a great lunch, we decided to walk to the Hudson River Park a few blocks away. We hadn’t planned it but ended up laying in the grass enjoying the river and one another on a beautiful May day for several hours. It was just what we needed.
5) Ask the locals.
One of my favorite things to do is to ask a local what they would recommend if I only had one day in their city, town, or area. So far, this has never failed me. I’ve enjoyed lonely beaches, epic sunsets, and new treats like the Maple Creamee in Burlington, VT (you can Google it if you don’t know what a Maple Creamee is).
5) Save enough money so you don’t need to scrimp.
This one is big. We save all year long to take a nice getaway. This is one you don’t want to scrimp on. You want to eat out, stay at a nice place, and do some fun things together.
I finished this post the day we were headed to Burlington, VT for a getaway of our own! We plan to eat at some reputable gluten-free restaurants (my wife has celiacs disease), relax on the beach at the stunning Lake Champlain, explore the Church Street Market, rent a kayak to do some exploration, catch some live music, enjoy some craft beer and cider at a few of Burlington’s well-known breweries, and yes have sex, too!
A Question and Challenge
Question: what have been some of your favorite getaways? When is your next getaway?
Challenge: schedule some time this week when you can talk with your partner and plan your next getaway!
If you’re interested in reading another post on relationships, check out this post I wrote called, “Marriage in the Raw: Sex, Conflict, and Other Stuff That Helped Us Make It to Twenty Years.”
Read the Other Posts In the Series
- Rhythms of Rest 1: “You Are What You Do Daily”
- Rhythms of Rest 2: Why You Need a Weekly Holiday
- Rhythms of Rest 3: How You Can Stay Focused on the Things That Matter Most
- Rhythms of Rest 4: “I Need A Vacation!”