How to Plan a Couple's Getaway for Caregivers

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A man and woman happily driving in a convertible car. How to plan a couple's getaway for caregivers.


There are many reasons why planning, and enjoying, a couples getaway is challenging for parent caregivers.  It might even feel impossible.

Maybe your child’s daily care needs are demanding and you don’t know who you could trust to provide the level of respite care necessary for you to feel comfortable going away.  Or maybe, care related expenses have spread you so thin, you can’t see how you could afford to spend money on something like a vacation right now. The list goes on and on. We could talk about all the valid reasons you have for why getting away with your spouse is difficult, but I promise you that, where there is a will, there is a way.

I challenge you to take a leap of faith and plan that couple’s vacation anyway!


Below, is a simple, three step, couple's getaway challenge you can follow to finally experience the rest, restoration and intimacy you and your partner both deserve:



Step 1: Planning


First, I want you to set aside all of your concerns, forget they even exist, and just have some fun with your partner. Allow yourselves to dream and plan a romantic, relaxing getaway as if nothing were standing in your way. 

This challenge has only 3 requirements that your couple's getaway must meet. Keep these in mind as you plan:

  • You must be away from your home and your children from start to finish.
  • This getaway must be a minimum of two nights and one full day.
  • This getaway must happen within the next 12 months.

Have some fun with this!  Kill two birds by making this first part of the challenge a date night. You can go out to a coffee shop or cozy up on the couch after your kids are tucked in for the night. Look through photos of past vacations, maybe your honeymoon, and remember how much fun those experiences were and how sharing them brought you closer together.  Share with each other what your ideal getaway would include and brainstorm how to realistically incorporate those, or similar, experiences into your plans. 

Make this getaway your own, personally made to fit the needs and interests of both you and your partner. If you are an active couple who like to sight-see that’s great but it is also perfectly fine if the only things on your list are to stay in bed all day, watch cable TV and order room service.  The main purpose of this vacation is to share time together and get away from the stresses of daily routines and responsibilities for an extended period of time.

It can be fun, and helpful, to create a vacation bucket list with your partner.  This is a great way to make sure you both have some of your interests and must do’s included in the itinerary. Be open minded and willing to participate in your partner’s bucket items, and vice versa, they will appreciate you joining them in something that they enjoy. 



Step 1 checklist:

  • Set up a quiet and private time for you and your partner to plan together.
  • Spend some time reminiscing about past vacations. Think about what you enjoyed most about those vacations and what you would like to include in your next getaway.
  • Share your vision of an ideal getaway.
  • Create a vacation bucket list with both your own and your partner’s interests in mind.


Step 2: Get Practical


The main goal of this challenge is to make sure this getaway actually happens, so we have to get practical for this next step.  This is where you and your partner will need to prioritize what you most want to get out of your time away together, gather information and start narrowing down the final details of time and place.

Now, let’s get real practical and talk about budget:

I want you to look at this getaway not just as a vacation, but as an investment into your marriage. Your relationship is the foundation of your home and family, and so it directly impacts the security of your children and influences the environment in which they grow, learn, and heal. Taking this time together should be high on your list of priorities. 

That said, I do not recommend prioritizing this vacation above financial responsibility or going into debt by paying for a vacation on credit.  There is nothing like financial stress to undo any benefit a getaway may provide.

Ideally, you will have built a vacation savings that covers the entirety of your vacation expenses, in time for departure day.  Keep in mind, this challenges allows 12 months for you to save. If needed, get creative with your household budget, reprioritize certain expenses, and eliminate some if you can. Set up a direct deposit savings account so money is set aside automatically where you won’t see it and most likely won’t miss it. 

Regardless if you have money available or need to save up over time, open up a special savings specifically for your couple’s getaway and make this an untouchable account.  This is not an account you will dip into for miscellaneous expenses, household repairs or even unexpected medical bills.  This opportunity to have time together, just the two of you, is too important and needs to be prioritized and protected.

Once you have considered how much you can afford to set aside for your getaway, you can start narrowing down the destination, travel, lodging and attraction details that will work inside the limitations of your budget.  Do not let yourself get hung up on what you can’t do, or can’t afford.  Instead, focus on the excitement of sharing this time with your partner.



Step 2 checklist:

  • Prioritize your bucket list into “must do’s” and “would like to do’s”. 
  • Price out expenses for preferred destination, lodging, meals, and attractions. Be ready to adjust as needed.
  • Decide on a budget, and set up a savings plan if needed.
  • Set up an untouchable savings account specifically for your couple’s getaway.
  • Use your budget and “must do’s” list to help you narrow down your final decisions for destination, dates, lodging, and attractions.


Step 3: Book It!


Step three is the most important step. It doesn’t matter how far you travel, how long you plan to stay or what activities fill your time.  Those are all just details.  The most important thing is that you plan it, schedule it, and go!

If you are concerned about the possibility of unforeseen circumstances preventing you from being able to leave when the time comes, you can certainly look into vacation insurance to help protect the financial investment you have made into your getaway.  This is completely optional. In my experience, we have never found it necessary to cancel and have always been able to find a way to make it happen, even under some pretty unexpected circumstances. However, you know your personal circumstances better than anyone and should do what makes you and your partner feel most comfortable.  

Do not feel that you have to have all of your childcare arrangements, etc. worked out before you book. Sometimes, we have to take a leap of faith that everything will fall into place. It can also be helpful to have a set deadline, as well as, a little financial "skin in the game" in order to motivate you to take the steps necessary to make it happen, even if they make you a little uncomfortable.

Even when Our Girl was heavy into treatment and had several therapy appointments every week, as a couple, we always prioritized having one week away together every year no matter what the circumstances.  We never knew ahead of time how we were going to cover child care while we were away.  Heck, our circumstances were usually so unpredictable we didn’t even know what care Our Girl was going to need a few month’s down the line. Still, we committed to getting that date on the calendar because we firmly believe that our relationship is worth nurturing and protecting for ourselves and for our family. 



Step 3 checklist:

  • Set a date.
  • Book your lodging and any other time sensitive reservations you may need to schedule ahead of time.
  • Enjoy the anticipation!


Congratulations! Your romantic getaway is booked!

I love this part!  Anticipating a getaway with my husband is almost as good as experiencing it.  As a stay-at-home, work-from-home, parent caregiver my days start to blend into each other.  I don’t get a break on weekends or holidays. My family being home from work or school typically means more work for me, not less.  As a result, opportunities to truly unwind and recharge are few and far between. Having a vacation confirmed and on the calendar gives me a concrete date I can look forward to. I know there will be a break in my routine when I can relax and reconnect with my husband.  It’s great for me and it’s great for my marriage! 

As couples, getting away allows us to remember what brought us together in the first place.  We share new experiences, build new memories and bond ourselves together in ways that just don’t happen when we are at home.  I believe regular extended getaways are critical to fostering friendship and maintaining intimacy, both of which are important in building the partnership we depend on so much when managing the high demands of our child/family circumstances. 

My prayer for you is that this getaway nurtures and strengthens your marital relationship, provides rest and restoration and gives you the fuel you need to return home with renewed energy.  I also pray that this vacation is just the start of a life-long commitment to getting away with your spouse.

Safe travels!



Self-Care Action Discussed in This Post:

During the next month, commit to completing the three steps in the challenge above. Try to make this an enjoyable and rejuvenating experience for both of you but don’t get hung up in the details or the budget.  You don’t need to spend a lot of money to have quality time away with your spouse.  The most important thing is that you plan it, book it, and go!



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