No matter how much we love our children, it's normal for parents to crave time spent alone together as a couple. Even though our budgets may be tight and our time may be limited, we can still enjoy mini-getaways that allow us to relax and reconnect with our significant other.
1. Enjoy a staycation.
Send the kids to grandma's house for the weekend, and enjoy a child-free staycation in the comfort of your own home.
2. Take a road trip.
Fill the car with gas, and head out on the open road. Whether you have a plan or decide to wing it, you can enjoy the spontaneity of your time alone together.
3. Book a room at a fancy hotel in town.
Don't have time to go far? Get dressed up, go out for a romantic dinner, and stay at the nicest local hotel you can afford.
4. Go camping.
Not everyone enjoys camping, but if you're the outdoorsy type, snuggling under the stars can be pretty romantic, and the cost is minimal.
5. Visit a bed and breakfast.
Even if you only spend one night at a nearby bed and breakfast, you'll feel rejuvenated by the peace, quiet, and (hopefully) intimacy.
6. Hit the beach.
For some of us who are landlocked in the Midwest, this is not a short or inexpensive choice. But if you live within driving distance of the ocean, it's a great getaway option.
7. Look for a lake.
Maybe you have a friend with a vacation house at a nearby lake? Or can find one to rent within reasonable driving distance? Lakes offer the tranquility of a beach vacation, but often come in at half the cost.
8. Take a train.
Amtrak travels throughout the country, and fares are reasonably priced. Where could you go? The options are almost endless.
9. Find a festival.
Fairs and festivals are often free, and it's nice to choose one based on common interests you both share. Think state fairs, music or food festivals, art shows, craft fairs, etc.
10. Try a couples retreat.
Some are religiously based, while others revolve around therapy or marriage counseling. Costs will vary, but many are brief, lasting for only a day or a weekend.
11. Extend a business trip.
If one of you is traveling for business, encourage the other to tag along. Once meetings are over, you can explore the city together, and — added bonus — you can probably write off at least part of the trip.
12. Travel off-season.
If you have your heart set on a tropical resort vacation, take advantage of cheaper rates in late spring and early summer. Keep in mind though that, due to travel time, this getaway is rarely a short one.
13. Party in Vegas.
Thanks to deal sites like Groupon, you can book trips to Vegas at extremely reasonable prices. And after a few crazy days blowing off steam in "Sin City," you'll feel relaxed and ready to once again take on the realities of family life.
Do you take vacations without your kids? What are your favorite mini-getaways?