Tuesday, May 21, 2013

On Vacationing Without Baby--Just GO!

Before Elyse was born, Hubby & I traveled at least once a year...just the two of us.  We usually ended up having other vacations with family or to visit family or with friends...but we always managed to schedule in a week for just us.  A week to refresh and recharge our batteries and to make memories that will honestly last a lifetime...or maybe even longer. 
1st Official Vacation as Husband & Wife...Honeymoon...St Lucia 2007
We traveled to Maui in May of 2011...7 months before Elyse arrived, and until our trip a few weeks ago we hadn't had more than 2 nights away from her, with each other, in almost 2 years. Now since I breastfed Elyse until she was 1, it really wasn't feasible for us to go very far away for very long...pumping on vacation, yeah...not romantic.  However, for a couple who had been used to multiple vacations...it was time.
Mackinaw Island, Fall 2007
Hubby & I have so many friends who always talk about going on vacation, but it never actually happens.  Life happens, and years go by where married couples never take the time to recharge their relationship.  And honestly, this scares me a little bit for them...I know that not everyone has the same situation as we do, but here's a few suggestions for all my experienced momma friends, or my new-momma friends, or maybe just my married friends who need a break.
1st Anniversary trip to NYC, May 2008
  1.  Just do it.  Seriously.  Start planning and put it on the calendar and go.  If you don't put it on the calendar you'll never do it, so pick a date...book the flight and go.
Destin, May 2009
2.  Start saving.  Thankfully Hubby & I have had the luxury of being able to contribute a significant amount each month to a vacation fund.  It's not always designated to a certain location or even a specific time, but it's there and ready to be used.  (We already have a huge chunk of our family vacation in Florida set aside!)
Upper Michigan & Niagara Falls-Canada Side...Fall 2009
3. Choose somewhere you both want to go...or maybe somewhere you've never been.  Some of the best parts about travelling together is experiencing new things as a couple and going somewhere that is unknown.  This way there are no preconceived notions or expectations about the trip...besides, it's really less about WHERE you go and more about WHO you are with.  You're spending quality time with your spouse, the one you chose to spend forever with--you could potentially be in a crazy 2* hotel, but as long as you're together just make the most of it!
Riviera Maya, May 2010
4.  Go.  Yeah, I said it again.  Whether it's for 2 nights or 8 nights or 10 nights...just go.

5.  Find childcare.  So this is maybe where it gets a little bit sticky for some of you.  Hubby & I both have parents that live within 30 minutes of our house and they love Elyse practically more than we do.  I realize that not everyone has this luxury, but I'm pretty positive that everyone has someone who you would trust to watch your precious babies for a night or two or seven.  For those of you with long-distance relatives, maybe you can work it to drop your kiddos off and make it a vacation near that locale or maybe you can catch a flight from the same city where your potential babysitters live.  Last I checked practically NO grandparent is going to turn down the opportunity to keep your kiddo for awhile. 
Upper Michigan, Sept 2010
6.  Make it romantic.  We chose an adults-only spot that was also a place that many couples choose for their honeymoon.  And when I was packing, that's exactly how I treated it...as a 2nd honeymoon. I packed some of the clothes that made me feel most beautiful, I bought some new swimsuits that Hubby loved, and the entire vacation I just felt like I was on cloud nine.  After losing all my baby weight I also got up the nerve to have some boudoir photos taken, and I packed away the album to surprise Hubby on the first night.  Wow was he surprised!
Breckenridge, December 2010
7.  Go.  Yup, here it is again.  If you think you can't afford it, plan something last minute or maybe a local bed & breakfast is your idea...close to home, but still away from home.  But go...now.

8.  Relax, or don't if you'd rather.  Most of our vacations are go, go, go...but this time we decided to just chill.  Hubby didn't take his golf clubs, I didn't schedule a massage, we just enjoyed each other.  The beach and ocean breeze certainly helped this...but do whatever makes you  happy.  If you want to go crazy with activities then do that...but don't feel bad about just enjoying the silence.  It was nice to hear the ocean waves that weren't made from a sound machine sitting next to Elyse's bed. 
Maui, May 2011--8 Weeks Pregnant!
9.  Unplug.  For the most part our phones were left on Airplane Mode, and our iPad was turned off once we arrived in the DR.  We did turn them both on occasionally to check for missed calls or texts from Elyse; but honestly, she could have cared less if we were gone.  We did Facetime home once on our last day & then once from the airport on our way home...but otherwise we tried to limit our tech time.
Chicago, May 2012
10.  And finally.  Go.  Love each other.  Romance each other.  Hubby & I had definitely gotten into this routine of being Elyse's mom & dad but not really husband & wife.  Every relationship goes through those phases, and I'm not afraid to admit that there were moments before our trip that I may have loved my husband dearly, but I certainly didn't like him very much.  I set all that aside once we headed out and honestly this trip was one of the best things ever for our marriage.  I fell more in love with my husband over those few days and I feel like we're back in that honeymoon phase of when we were first married.
Dominican Republic, May 2013

We started planning several months ago, set a tentative budget, and looked at a few timeframes.  We considered several destinations, but I am a hardcore beach person at heart...and I'm happy to announce that I've come close to converting Hubby to one as well.  So the beach it was...Maybe for you it's the mountains, or a big city...wherever it is...just GO! 


*~~Nancy~~* said...

What a beautiful post!! You have made me want to take a couples vacation even more. I believe we need it, even if it is to Branson. :) Missed you last night!

Sara McCarty said...

So, you'd recommend "go"ing right? Should I go? I don't know, it's not exactly clear from the post...

Kidding! I'm so jealous of this trip! I think I might have to take your advice and just DO IT. My parents offered to take Mac for a week this summer and Ryan and I both looked at each other like we'd just won the lottery. Now that he's a little older I feel much more comfortable being away. Hmmm...now to pick where to go!

Kate @ Daffodils said...

Great advice! We are SO hoping to go somewhere early next year!

Theodora Ofosuhima said...

This is such an awesome trip for just the two of you. We ate going to Europe and this time I plan to let AOI spend time with her aunties and grandparents while hubby and I go on many dates, because we dont have family at hands so this trip back to Europe is going be family/couples holiday :)

Amy said...

No grandparents here. My MIL died 15 years ago and my own mother is only available for child are on non-weekend days during daylight hours only and only if the child is healthy and will not need a diaper change. Ha! I have never spent the night away in almost 2.5 yrs. the first time will be when I am in the hospital for #2 and Already freaking out that my husband will have to stay with her and miss my labor.