186407421The first date Mark and I took after becoming parents was when Anne was just a little less than a month old.  Because I was nursing, we could only go out for about two hours, but it was a break we both needed.

As we added kids, it wasn’t as easy to get away, but we planned regular times nonetheless. There were small overnights in our own home alone when there was very little extra money, there were weekend getaways on a meager budget, and every five years or so there were extended trips or times away.

niagaraYesterday we spent the day at Niagara Falls. It happened to be right on the way between a speaking engagement in Pennsylvania and a TV interview in Toronto, Canada.  We loved spending the day exploring somewhere we’d never been before!

What’s your plan for your next marriage getaway?  If you don’t have a plan, set one in place today.

Here are five questions for you and your spouse to ask yourself to make a plan for spending some time together in the near future:

What options do we have for childcare?
Is there another couple we can trade childcare with?  Are Grandma and Grandpa an option? What about an aunt or uncle?

What kind of budget do we have?

  • No budget? How about having the kids spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa or another couple you can trade with? Then spend the night in your own home alone!  You can also look at options for your own staycation.
  • Small budget? Use Priceline.com to bid on a room in your own city in the $50 price range. Split a meal when you eat out.
  • Budget isn’t an issue? Take a few days to discover a place you’ve always wanted to explore?

When would work best for us? 
It’s best to have a regular date on the calendar–something like the 4th Friday of every month or every other Thursday night.  This keeps marriage investment near the top of your priorities.

If you’re looking at something like an overnight, a weekend getaway, or a trip, set a date and then start planning (and saving, if needed)!

What would we want to do? 
Is there something we’ve always wanted to do? Does one or the other spouse have a hobby or an interest that they would love exploring in some way? Do we want to just relax or be active?

Do we have any upcoming business trip, family wedding, or other event that we could tack on a few days for a marriage getaway? 
Sometimes it works better for childcare and the budget to add on some time for two to another trip or event you’re already planning on attending.

What about you? What’s your plan to get some time away with your spouse? 

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