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Every couple needs to escape once in a while. It’s a chance to reconnect and build intimacy, and of course to have fun.
More couples are planning getaway weekends with friends. Traveling with other couples can make accommodation and gas more affordable, plus you get the perfect balance of alone time and group activities.
The only real problem with couples’ getaways is that they can quickly turn into a logistical nightmare. These handy guidelines should help you not only plan but enjoy a great couples’ getaway weekend.
Start in advance
Ever seen couples who spontaneously travel to Europe for the weekend? While this is romantic, it’s also unrealistic.
Planning a getaway for groups of people requires agreement on a destination, planning, booking accommodation, sorting out travel plans and much more.
If you’re well organized, then this is the ideal way to show off your skills – as long as you get started well in advance.
Choose your friends
Before you go ahead and book that cabin in the woods, talk to your partner to see how they feel about the idea of traveling with another couple.
Chances are they’d be more than happy spending time reconnecting with you, so be careful how you present the subject.
Once you have an idea whether or not this is something that interests your partner, you need to have another conversation about who you’re going to ask along with you. If you’re popular you’ll be friends with lots of like-minded couples, but you both need to be comfortable spending time with them.
Once you’ve chosen the couple or couples you want to travel with, set up a dinner to ask them if they would be interested. It’s important to gauge interest and then start planning so that nobody feels obligated.
Where to next?
Once you’ve established who will be traveling with you, you need to jot down a few basic ideas of where you would like to go. Ask each couple for three suggestions that include an activity, ideal travel date, and a destination.
For example, you might want to go skiing in Aspen next January, while your friends might prefer camping in Yosemite this March.
Collect everybody’s suggestions and have another casual meeting to decide what everybody wants to do. Don’t worry if your idea isn’t chosen this time round – you can always revisit your favorite places next time round.
Let’s talk organization
Once you’ve settled on the kind of couples adventure you’re all after, you need to get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about details.
Start by choosing the ideal date. Here’s a great hint – make sure you give everyone enough time to take time off work and make arrangements to look after the kids. It sounds silly but smooth trips can be six months or more in the making.
Once you’ve settled on a date, stick to it. This is going to be the compass for the rest of your planning.
You’ll need to research your destination. Find out what the weather’s likely to be like, whether you need any vaccines or permits and the recommended travel arrangements. This kind of task is best delegated to one person in the group – provided you have a friend willing to take the responsibility!
Put together an itinerary and send it to the rest of the group, but make sure you include a deadline for people to officially opt in. Once they do, you can start making bookings for travel and accommodation. This might be a good time to bring up the issue of money – will everyone be paying, or will couples split the various costs fairly? It’s best to bring this up earlier rather than later.
All packed up
Once the planning is out of the way, you can start getting excited about your trip. Talk to colleagues who have visited the destination or go online for unmissable spots and activities.
Remember that even though you’re going away in a group, you don’t want to spend every waking moment together. Plan group activities but leave plenty of time to reconnect with your significant other.
Pack any bags, food, and supplies you need the week before you travel – this is the best way to figure out whether you’re missing that key piece of equipment. It also means you’ll avoid those last-minute rushes that lead to you leaving your phone charger behind.
Hit the road
It sounds cheesy, but the journey is as much a part of your weekend away as the actual destination.
It’s time to put the phones down and spend some time connecting with your friends. You might face unexpected delays that threaten to ruin the whole experience, but if you keep a relaxed, positive attitude you’ll find that nothing can get you down.
If you are traveling by road, remember to rotate the driving responsibilities and travel safely.
It sounds obvious, but a lot of couples find it difficult to unwind, even when they’re on vacation. Switch off the outside world and enjoy your surroundings and the company of good friends. Share a meal together, share stories, and take lots of photos to ensure that you make the most of every moment.
Chances are that even if your fellow couples had a miserable time, they’re not going to tell you to your face.
Once the trip is over, have an honest conversation with your partner about how they enjoyed the weekend and traveling with others.
Remember what they said and bring it up in a follow-up email that includes your favorite photos from the weekend. Your email should also bring up a highlight or memory that you really enjoyed as it’s the perfect way to wrap up a weekend away.
Final Thoughts on Couples Getaway Weekends
Traveling with friends can be great but it’s different from a romantic weekend for two. With these handy guidelines and the right friends, you will make the adjustments you need to ensure that everybody wants to travel with you again.
Lastly, remember that certain friends are also difficult to travel with and it’s OK if you find that you bump heads every now and then!
Have you ever gone on a couples getaway weekend with other couples? Share your experience in the comments section below.