Married couples need the chance to get away periodically. Whether a weekend together, babymoon, or celebrating your anniversary, it doesn’t have to be stressful. In part one, I mentioned a formula for quality time, including one weekend per season (if possible). Find what works for you . . .Maybe a nice trip for your anniversary, a hotel weekend during your busiest season, and one or two special quality time weekends at home.
Typically, the biggest expenses are travel, lodging, and food. There are easy ways to cut the price of all three! Stay close to home, bring your own groceries, and look into these resources for great lodging deals:
Vacationrentals.com – We booked a great cabin outside of Nashville on this site. It had a fireplace, jacuzzi, and full kitchen so we saved money by eating there. For great deals, book during a region’s off season. Besides the nightly rate, add in the deposit (Is it non-refundable? Does it apply towards the full payment?) and cleaning fee to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
Hotels.com – Earn a free night after booking 10 through the site. We rarely stay with the same hotel chain because of availability or price, so this allows you to easily cash in on loyalty rewards. The free night is worth the average price of the 10 nights. As long as you book one night every 12 months, your account stays active and you keep earning rewards.
BackBid: This website helps you shop for the best value on a hotel. You enter either your existing reservation (that allows cancellations) OR what you are looking for (price, location, stars, amenities). Then they email the different bids hotels will give you. Hotels typically offer better deals to those with existing reservations, persuading them with rate discounts or upgrades. It’s risk free because you get to see the hotel before you buy and if you can’t find anything you like, just keep your current reservation. More bids are offered closer to the date, because many hotels use BackBid to fill unsold rooms at the last minute.
Favorite Hotels: We like using extended stay hotels for weekend getaways. They’re typically the same nightly rate as a traditional hotel, but places like Staybridge Suites and Homewood Suites come with a kitchen, free dinner on weeknights, and free hot continental breakfast.
airfarewatchdog.com: This website monitors cheap flights. It includes web-site only fares, promo codes, nearby airports, weekend fares, and unadvertised fares. It’s also great because it checks airlines that others don’t like Southwest and Allegiant Air. Sign up to receive a low price alert for the destination you are looking for.
Vacations: Use a travel agent. Seriously. When it comes to a specialized or international vacation, it’s best to have a professional cover the bases for you. We’ve had great experiences this way. Travel agents have access to personal connections, airline tickets, and deals that you just can’t get on your own. Plus they’re familiar enough to make great recommendations. Typically, they pay for themselves by saving you money versus the DIY internet route. If you’re still unsure, this article makes a great case for why and when to use an agent.
(Almost) Free Getaways!
Borrow a getaway: Find friends with a cabin or lake-house, or even just an empty house while they are on vacation! We once house-sat for a family on vacation, and it was like a mini-vacation just because we were somewhere different.
Try an at-home getaway:
Take a day or two where you can clear the calendar (maybe even let the kids visit grandma) and relax at home. A getaway doesn’t always have to be in a hotel for it to be relaxing. I would recommend cleaning the house and planning meals ahead of time so it doesn’t turn into a normal weekend at home. Check out this idea from the Dating Divas for a weekend at home, or should we say… the Je t’aime Hotel.
Check out the rest of this series!
Part One: Make Quality Time a Priority
Why it’s so important, and a yearly plan to schedule quality time as a couple.
Part Two: Make Date Night Affordable
Resources for date ideas on a budget.
This advice is considered my personal (and not professional) recommendations. Hopefully it can help you find some great deals for your next getaway!