Are You Ready For A Weekend Getaway?

Want to keep your romantic weekend from turning into the longest two days of your life? Here's how.

By Margot Carmichael Lester

ate night’s great, but with spring here, long weekends are in store. Are you and your date ready for the weekend? And if you are, how do you plan a fantastic getaway?

Ready or Not
So, how long should you date before heading out for the weekend? That depends, says Lisa Jander, a
How do you plan a fantastic getaway?
certified life coach in Lake Orion, MI. “The number of days is not as important as the number of hours spent together. The more time you have actually spent getting to know each other, the better.”

Here’s a quick test: Start thinking about packing for the trip. “Check the list of what you will be taking emotionally as well,” she says. “If you’re packing guilt, fear, doubt, anxiety or uncertainty, your trip might be better taken at a later date.”

Samantha Brown, host of Weekend Getaways on the Travel Channel, agrees. “Personally, I would want to see a person for three months before I entertained the idea of being with each other every waking moment in a weekend away,” she says. “Just the act of sharing a bathroom for the first time might be too much for a young relationship to bear.”

Trip Planning
If you’re still reading, you must think your relationship’s travel-ready. So, what do you need to know to plan a great trip?

“See this trip as a fun adventure with a new person, not a testament to whether or not this is going to work,” says Christine Arylo, who describes herself as an “inspirational catalyst” and who’s based in the San Francisco Bay Area. “And do not under any circumstances go to a place you used to go to with your previous guy or girl. That’s just asking for ghosts and measuring sticks. Create a new experience together.”

Don’t over-plan, either. “That’s when tensions can undo a great weekend,” Brown cautions. “Your only real goal is to
“Nothing can ruin a weekend faster than unclear expectations.”
be together, and you are already doing that, so relax. Be honest about what you do and don’t want to do. This isn’t the time to change each other; that comes later.”

Sex and Money
Another key consideration is sleeping arrangements. If you’re not OK sharing a bed or even a room, you need to say so immediately.

“No one wants to hear, ‘No sex for YOU!’” Arylo says. “Try something more like, ‘I’m looking forward to spending time with you, and I’m a little nervous about the sex thing. I’m not sure what is going to happen and how I will feel, and I just need for that to be OK.’ Then stop talking. How the person replies and where the conversation goes from there will tell you a lot about who you are about to go away with.”

And while we’re on the subject of awkward conversations, be clear about money. Arylo says make sure you’re both clear on the following the division of expenses and where each of you likes to be spendy or cheap. “Nothing can ruin a weekend faster than unclear expectations,” she notes.

Final Destination
Despite all your careful planning, things will go wrong, but Brown says it’s nothing to worry about. “It rains in paradise, rental cars break down, and that hip, minimalistic hotel that looks really cool on the web site could actually have all the ambience of college dorm room. That’s the time to laugh it off and go for Plan B—and Plan B is always more interesting than Plan A. After traveling for 10 years, I can tell you that those are the very moments when the fun begins, the moments that your relationship will build on.”

Margot Carmichael Lester is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. Her work also appears in Hemispheres, Go and the L.A. Business Journal.
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