Your bags are packed, the tickets are booked. You and your partner are gearing up for a weekend away and the possibilities are endless. Unfortunately this includes the possibility for things to go devastatingly wrong.
Given the stress that builds up during the work week, many couples put insane pressure on weekends away; the chance to spend some quality time together and bond a bit, so to speak. Couples that have been together for a longer time use these mini-holidays as a chance to escape reality and leave the stress of pets, kids, bills, cleaning and in-laws behind. Other couples take a weekend away in order to test the potential for future travel (or any future at all). If you’re at the beginning of a relationship, spending 48 hours cooped up with the same person will help you really get to know each other, and fast.
No matter the stage of your relationship, a weekend away is a big deal and not to be dismissed as a no-brainer. You’ll need your brain to be working full capacity if you want to survive this one. Working through the preliminary stages of planning your weekend to the return journey home, let’s take a closer look at the dos, the don’ts and the dangers of planning and executing a mini-break.
The first opportunity for a weekend away to go sour is during the initial planning stage. Just remember, it doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, as long as you’re together (repeating that mantra over the course of the weekend may prove useful).
When it comes to booking a hotel and planning activities that may require reservations, it’s easy to get caught in a sinkhole. I caught with Jeffrey Crawford, an event planner from Mode Function Event Design Ltd, and he suggests that it is important for couples to “do your research ahead of time. Know what it is you want to do. Planning something special your partner would enjoy doing will score you some extra points.”
I couldn’t agree more. Since weekends away are your chance to focus on your partner, thinking ahead shows how much you value their interests as well as a commitment to what matters to them. It can be as simple as finding the restaurant that offers the best dessert in town and taking your partner there for a night cap or booking a show that you know your partner will enjoy.
An important thing to consider is your mode of transportation. Clearly how you reach your final destination will depend greatly on how far you’re planning to travel.
Road trips can be a lot of fun and allow you to build your own soundtrack and chat between songs. Just remember though, traffic and road rage can cause added stress to your weekend. Don’t start your trip in the wrong gear! Either make an effort to stay relaxed during the trip or choose a mode of transportation that allows both of you to loosen the reins.
Trains are a personal favourite mode of transportation, and are great for couples still in the honeymoon phase, as well as those looking to bring back the romance. Not only can you relax on board, but you can socialize, cuddle, eat and focus entirely on each other.
Congratulations! You’ve pulled into your destination. Now what? Do you map out your every move or throw caution to the wind and hope for the best?
According to Crawford, it’s important to “plan to do some fun and romantic activities to do together but don’t get too hung up on a schedule.” Just because you’re using the weekend to get to know each other doesn’t mean you can’t take the time to know the city too. “Schedules and spread sheets are for managing large projects, not romance. When you take that romantic walk, take your time. You are right where you are supposed to be.”
As you plan your itinerary for your weekend away, be open to exploration and remember that as you learn more about the places around you, you learn more about each other! Who likes to shop? Who likes to snack? Who needs coffee every two minutes and who can run for hours on nothing at all! Use every opportunity to learn about each other.
If you’ve been together for a while, remind yourself to be patient with your partner. If you’re a new couple, use this time to figure out what aspects you like/dislike about the other person. Travel can make or break a relationship and the way you interact on a day to day basis (24/7) will tell you a lot about whether or not you’re ready to take the next step!
The key to enjoying a weekend away with your partner is to keep stress at a minimum. From scouting out the best deal to trying to keep the hotel room clean, a weekend away is a holiday, and don’t you forget it! Splurge a little and just try to relax.
A final piece of advice from our event planner extraordinaire? “While there could be hundreds of reasons for a weekend together to go downhill, it’s important to leave the distractions alone. It’s time to set aside the email, the phone messages and really focus on each other.” There you have it! If you want to connect on your weekend away, don’t be afraid to pull the plug.