So, you’ve made the decision to be a real MANager, Travel MANager that is, and take your wife or significant other away for the weekend. It’s a big decision, especially if you have kids. Not only is there a lot of planning, but there will be a lot riding on it. It’s not every day you get to go away on a weekend trip like this. That wouldn’t be life, life isn’t that awesome, is it? Well, it is, but in a very different way. A more “real life” kind of way. Weekend escapes are more of a treat and the infrequency of the thing is really what makes it special. If you celebrated your birthday EVERY DAY, would anyone really care?
So you’ve sat down and laid it out. You’ve checked the calendar and made sure you are both free. You’ve set up one of your two favorite hotels and you’ve picked the destination. You’ve even set up your mom as a sitter for the kids and your in-laws as the doggie day care. You are rocking and rolling. You are feeling good about yourself, and it shows. You’ve got a pep in your step, baby, and the world is your oyster. Now…what do you do when you are there??
This is so key. Yes, it’s great to get away, but when you are there you HAVE to make it count. The trip will be short and sweet and you have to rock it out. You have to balance fun, relaxation, and romance. It’s crazy, it’s nutty, but it’s true. I’ve had the good fortune of going away with my wife quite a few times, and this is some of the things I’ve taken away.
Short and sweet is actually a good thing
Yes, it’s nice to go away for long trips, but often times it’s just not practical. Practical you say? Forget practical, this is vacation! Yes, while that is true, you don’t want the vacation to cause issues with other parts of your life. It’s nice to get away, but when your parents are watching the kids 24×7 and when your work is piling up at 20 emails a minute, you don’t want to come back to a big, fat mess. Keep in mind, you will have fun, but, again, it’s the sweet “abnormal” nature of the weekend trip that is really the allure. Pack as much fun and good times into as little a span as possible and I guarantee you will end the vacation not being tired but wanting more. You will want to go back for another weekend trip ASAP.
Make it about you, the weekend, and enjoying yourself
Yes, work and kids seem to consume your life normally, and it probably should, but when you are away, it’s time to leave that behind. Once in a while talk about the real world, but really, really try to live in the moment and enjoy what you are doing. Enjoy your time with your other and savor it. This is not something that you can or will do all the time, so pay attention and don’t muck it up. When you find yourself drifting into normalcy, stop yourselves and get back into having fun. Focus, man, focus.
Put the electronics down
Oh, I said it. It’s hard to read and to see, I know, but you will be so much happier this way. We spend too much time looking at pixels and not enough time looking at each other. Put the phone and laptop away, lock it up even. Don’t bring it to dinner or the beach, but bring a book or magazine. Actually sit down and talk to each other, you know, like people used to. Never turn the TV on and make sure your OOO message is alive and well on your work email. Check in at home every day to set your mind at ease (and your sitter’s mind), but that’s it. Maybe check on the weather, but even that…who cares? You’ll have a good time whether it’s raining or sunny. Once you get over the initial shock, you will wonder where this disconnected life has been all your life!
Take pictures…and then don’t
I know, put the electronics down. I’m a man of many messages. Women love pics, especially in the age of camera phones and social media. Let it happen. In fact, initiate some of the pics. She will be floored and very excited. You won’t believe it. She will be thrilled and you will look like the man. Then…end it. Put it all away and just be. Don’t post to Facebook or Instagram. Let it all be about you. It will be so different than what has become the norm, it will almost be exciting (especially in my world). It will be odd that it’s so great not to take pictures, believe me. (See put the electronics down now).
Plan a surprise
The trip may or may not be a surprise. I know, it’s tough to pull that off. Whether you could pull it off or not, make sure there are one or two surprises awaiting you on your trip. The possibilities are endless and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. You could have a small gift waiting for her at the hotel, nicely on the bed or you can set up a “date’ for you two to go on your first night there (maybe a concert or show). You could even write a nice note to tell her how you love her and that you are really happy to go on this trip with her. I know, this sounds funny to most guys, but give it a shot. I’m not good at it, if I’m being honest, but it feels good and she will go nuts over it. Trust me. You’d be a hero, man…setting up the rest of the trip to be smooth sailing.
Be overly loving and nice
I know this is what should take place every day. It’s so easy, right? 15 years married and never had a fight. For you, this will be easy. For the other 99% of the population, this is something that needs to be worked on. The funny thing is, when you are away and kids, work, and bills are not an issue, being nicer and more loving (like when you were kids) comes so much easier. You start to reconnect and you see the person you married (or want to be with) for who they are and for why you love them and decided to take this trip in the first place. It’s fun and easy. It’s the way it could be but just isn’t when the “real world” comes into play. Well, this isn’t the real world, so enjoy it. This is the point, so run with it. Hold her hand and rub her back, slip in a few kisses. Pretend it’s your first date all over again. You’ll see how good it is.
Take time out to relax
You will want to do it all, from dinners to shows to who knows what. That’s great, and you should, but sometimes it’s ok just to sit on your terrace and do nothing. Pick up a book and read. Don’t talk to each other, don’t feel the need to do anything, just be and enjoy the free time. It’s not something that happens often at home, so you have to take advantage when you can. If there’s a hammock anywhere in the vicinity, I am all over that thing. It’s the bomb. Same with the beach…go down there at sunset, even without a bathing suit, and just max and relax. Feel peaceful and content for a little bit. It’s a fleeting thing, like Haley’s Comet, so catch it and hold on when you can. The time you spend not talking or doing anything just might be the most enjoyable time you spend the entire trip.
Plan to do it again
So you had the time of our life and you are left wanting more. Well, don’t just talk about it…set it up. Start planning well in advance if you have to. Maybe do it 2-3 times a year if you could swing it. Were the kids ok with mom? Did your work implode? Did you have fun and reconnect. If you answers to these questions were positive, then you are money. Set up the next trip, just the same. Don’t make it longer, don’t change a thing. You’ve got it down, man, so don’t mess with a good thing. Put it down in writing and stick to it. You won’t be sorry. It doesn’t have to be expensive either. Hotels like Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton make it very easy to do these trips. Easy, affordable, lots of amenities, and in plenty of destinations you want to spend time in. It’s a no-brainer, buddy. Just get to it. You will 100% be happy that you did. Trust me…I’m a professional.
To find out how to be the best Travel MANager you can be, check out mencanplantravel.com.
This is sponsored post in partnership with rbb Communications, Homewood Suites, and Home2 Suites. All opinions and MANaging thoughts are my own.