Photo by Alicia NijdamThere's nothing quite like a nice, quiet, peaceful weekend away. Especially if you can manage to make it a couple's only weekend. But with times being tough it can be difficult to arrange a weekend away and if you have small children it may seem like a far off distant fantasy. Don't dispair!
Your dream weekend may not be as far off as you think! My husband and I have very tight finances and two small children (3 and 1) but with some creativity we managed to pull off a very lovely weekend without the kids and without spending a ton of money.
Ditch the kids. Sounds mean, I know, but I firmly believe (from my own experience) that every couple needs some time alone together to recharge. Kids benefit from seeing their parents loving each other and spending time alone together is one of the best ways to reconnect and enjoy each other. A few hours, a night, a weekend, whatever. Find a way for at least some time to remember why you fell in love and hopefully rekindle some of the passion from those early days. :)
My husband and I are lucky enough to have family nearby. Our girls spent 2 nights with Grandma and Grandpa (which they loved!) and it only cost us one 45 minute trip to pick them up. Not everyone has family nearby, but I'm sure if you put your mind to it you can come up with a great idea. Some families trade off babysitting. Or maybe all the kids could be in camp at the same time. :)
We stayed at our own Bed and Breakfast. Sure, it was a little more work, but it was cozy, homey and just right! We woke up when we wanted, watched movies when we wanted, played games whenever we wanted and just plain did what ever we wanted! We didn't have to worry about check out times, extra fees and getting lost in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
We went out to eat with coupons. Here's where we choose to splurge. We decided to hit some wonderful restaurants we rarely get to go to (like a fun Japanese steakhouse) and we even made one fancy, very kid unfriendly meal at home, Shrimp Scampi Linguine. It was fabulous and definitely worth it. We had store bought ice cream while we watched a free rental movie and had other fun treats.
We visited local attractions. We live very close to Marketplace and Flea Market. For fun, we went shopping and bargain hunting after one of our lunches out. We ended up not buying anything, but it was fun just to be out together, walking and enjoying experiencing things together as a couple. Is there something in your town that you can never do with the kids? Maybe even going to a real movie theater to see a non-kid movie?
All in all, we probably spent around $100 or less for a 2 day, 2 night couple's getaway. That's including gas for the car, food money and other small expenses. It was a very memorable "trip" and made me appreciate being with my husband again. I was actually recharged and ready to be the best Mommy I could be again. I began to miss my girls even! What a fine thing!
Check out Frugal Friday for other great frugal tips and Finer Things Friday for other wonderful things!