I remember reading twenty years ago, before I was married, how finding something that gives life to both you and your spouse and unashamedly making it happen year after year keeps a marriage strong. For my wife and I, it was consistently getting to the beach and warm together. We would look forward to it, we would enjoy it, and we would reflect back on it with warm joy through the gloomy winter days.
Now we live in Florida and want to share some simple steps you can take to make that happen.
1. Make it a priority. Sacrifice other things in your budget and life to prioritize a short trip if you can. Erin and I have lived under budget for our marriage. We keep the older cars, buy used stuff, enjoy splitting a meal when we go out, and live on a budget as best we can! It is not easy, but do it.
2. Get help with kids and pets and make sure you can get away. (This is a stopping point for some. I totally get it. Keep being creative right where you live or get creative to find help.)
3. Start with the airline.
FlyFrontier.com / allegiantair.com / Spirit.com are all budget airlines.
Fly DIRECT into Orlando or similar. Keep it simple.
Fly on a Saturday-Tuesday or see what days are significantly less. If you find a direct flight through Southwest, Delta or similar at a good price then do it!
Also, Southwest has a credit card promo right now that gives you 30,000 points and a free companion pass through the end of 2019 if you use the card for $4,000 of purchases. We did that two years ago and used about $2000 in free Southwest flights and still have points left. (Please only apply for a credit card like this if you pay it off every month, stay within budget, it doesn’t give you emotional stress, etc)
4. Transportation and lodging.
If you have a close friend or relative that has a place that might not be used, there is very little harm in asking. A few people gave us their place to stay over the years and we were so grateful! You might have points through Chase Rewards, a credit card, or similar. Use them! If not, do some research on the web. There are TONS of options for all budgets. Airbnb, Expedia, etc…
We have a high mileage Toyota convertible and offer it to friends when they fly into Orlando (just ask! We are adult enough to say ‘no’ if the timing doesn’t work or we don’t know you:). Yet we have a mentality that nothing is ours, it is all God’s. We are here on earth to steward His resources, so we love letting other people use our stuff!)
Keep it simple. Go out to eat once or twice but spend most of the time on the beach or by the pool with snacks! Read a good book. Listen to one another. Laugh. Make a memory. Take pictures and then print them out to remember. Don’t make it a planning retreat or try to do anything productive! Marriages and relationships are going down the tank like crazy. Invest in what matters and do something life-giving like this.