The last couple of years, my wife and I have struggled to try to find the right week to take a vacation. Training young athletes makes summer trips nearly impossible since this is my busiest time of the year. With employment cuts in the medical profession, extended vacation leave must be put in way too soon for us to coordinate our schedules to make it work. We decided it was much easier and less complicated to try and take 3 or 4-day mini trips. This decision has not only been a wise one for us, but has turned into a seasonal event that is ideal for couples that need time together.
We decided to try and keep our trips under 6-8 hours driving time. This allowed us to leave after work on Thursday and get a good portion of the travel done that night. This enabled us to wake up Friday morning, reach our destination and get a full day in on Friday. For some, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Why not fly?” Along with the logical reasoning of cutting down on expenses, the time we’ve had in the car together has been, well, can I say? Priceless. Life seems to go by in the fast lane. Our careers, kids, and hobbies can keep us so busy we really don’t get to spend quality time with our spouses. So not only have we thoroughly enjoyed these mini trips but the travel has given us time to reflect and even reconnect. I don’t care if you’re early in marriage or your grand-parenting stage, this can be valuable.
We decided that to make these trips special we needed to find places that were more than your typical beach or mountain weekend trips. But at the same time, we do live in such close proximity to both that we made Charleston and Asheville two of our closer trips. Other fun trips include Washington, D.C at Christmas, white water rafting in West Virginia, Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry, and a Notre Dame football game in South Bend. OK, so South Bend is a little more than a six-hour drive, but it was on my bucket list. I also appeased Tammy by driving the extra hour to Chicago and cutting her loose on Michigan Avenue.
In conclusion, I would strongly recommend one of these mini trips with your spouse. Rule number one: no children. Rule number two: you must drive. Rule number three: leave in the afternoon after work and head towards your weekend destination without any predetermined stopping point. This sets the tone for a stress-free, no time constraints trip. Who knows, maybe the conversation with your spouse will determine how far you travel before stopping for the night.