First Weekend Getaway Together
Tips for Making Your First Weekend Getaway a Success
Dear April Masini,
I'm taking my boyfriend away for the weekend for his birthday, and it's our first weekend away together. Still, I'm really anxious that the whole weekend will be terrible and that I won't manage to fit any of his interests in or I am not thinking enough about what he wants to do, since I of course have my own ideas in mind."
What can I do to make sure that this weekend is a success?
April Masini's Advice :
Dear Getaway Gal,
First, take a deep breath! No need to worry about the weekend!
Tips for Getting Over Your Fear of Planning:
Babysteps are a great way to approach fears. Start out with a day trip that isn't overnight. Leave early in the morning and come home after dinner. Do another one of those. Then expand to an overnight. Try another overnight before you take on an entire weekend.
Another way to approach your fear of trip planning is to let someone else do the planning. There are still travel agents who you can both meet with and express what you want, and let them do the planning. You can't blame each other that way!
Adjust your expectations. Fear of failure is a big paralyzer. So if you accept that the trip isn't going to be everything for everyone, and that it may in fact be a dud, and that it is in fact an experiment, there will be less pressure on you both to have a stellar time. If you have an okay time, you'll probably think the trip was a big enough success to try for another one.
Incorporating His Interests Into the Trip: Ask! Keep the channels of communication open. Travel planning and traveling together is a great way to get to know each other. But it's a process. One trip is not an end all be all. Expect some blunders and some damage control and be open to mistakes and unexpected surprises. Camping and luxury hotels should all be tried with an open mind. If she loves B and Bs and you want the Four Seasons, do both of them in two different trips.
If you want to go to Iowa, make sure he gets some amazing steak dinners while you're there. If you want to go to a spa, make sure he gets to meet up with a buddy in the spa town and go to a sports bar to watch some wrestling and drink beers. If he wants to go to a Nascar event, make sure you get to go shopping in the local high end retail venue there.
Find out what he likes, and find out if there's anything he likes within the parameters of what you like. If the trip is all about visiting his buddies that you don't love, stay in a great hotel while you're on the visit. If the weekend is about golf -- his thing, yours -- make sure you get a massage and a facial on the same trip so there's something in it for both of you. Making the Trip Extra-Special: Adding zing to your travel plans requires opening your mind tocreative options and practicing doing that. The more you add zing, the more natural it will become to add zing.
You can take a charity or volunteer weekend away where you go to help out a disaster area or a poverty area. You can take an educational trip where you immerse yourselves in a language course for a weekend. If one of you hates shopping, make it an outlet shopping weekend or a luxury shopping weekend. Hit the Mall of America for a kitschy and unique weekend. A cooking weekend where you immerse yourselves in gourmet cooking and eating courses and meals can be great fun, as can be your garden variety, but not often taken spa weekend for two.
If you need more insight into his psyche, check out my book, Think and Date Like a Man, and for creative date ideas, read The First 50 Dates.