If you’re new to this series, you can catch up with parts 1 and 2 and then come on back.


Over the course of our 10 years together, Shaun and I have taken trips to Canada, Mexico, Spain, England, Australia, Hawaii, California, Chicago, Maine, Florida, New York, and a double fistful of other states.


(Here we are in Kauai, Hawaii; 2-month-old Della is strapped to the front of me just out of the shot)

On those trips, we have hiked together, relaxed together, swum together, eaten together, played together, served together, laughed together, pretty much everything-ed together. With the obvious emphasis being “together.”

Granted, we’re together a lot when we’re home. Shaun works from his home office and often comes down for lunch, and we spend almost every evening together, but there’s just something so important about taking the time to get away from all the dailyness of life—the bottom-wipingness, the “did you get the oil changed”ness, the grocery-shoppingness of it all.

Even if you don’t have kids, chances are, you’ve got a whole lot of dailyness  making it hard to turn your brain off to the constantly ticking to-do list and really focus on your spouse.

But, Abbie, you say, we don’t have the kind of budget that allows for trips to other states, much less other countries.

I totally understand. My husband travels a fair bit, and sometimes, we’re able to mix business with pleasure so that I can meet him in fun places like Chicago


(I think I’m 25 weeks pregnant with the twins here)

…and California (where I’ve visited him 3 times).

riverside christmas

And because his work has already paid to get him there, our costs are greatly reduced.

But other times, we have simply saved up, shopped around for great deals (vrbo.com and airbnb.com are both great alternatives to hotel rooms), and then bitten the bullet.

Because we know that memories are priceless.


Memories like racing along a road in Mazatlan in a pulmonia, snuggled close to my husband as the wind whips our hair.

So, my marriage-enhancing suggestion for you today is this: go trippin’ together.

Even if it’s just a few miles to a local bed and breakfast for the night. Or to a cabin a few hours away. Or to the nearest “big city” for a fancy dinner and a Pricelined hotel.

Get away from daily life and do cheesy things like stare deep into each other’s eyes, talk about your goals for the next six months, and hold hands.

It doesn’t have to be expensive or long or complicated. In fact, some of our simpler trips  have been our best.

But I’ve never regretted the investment of either time or money. We always come back refreshed, recharged, and ready to refocus on the daily grind without losing sight of each other, and that renewed energy  makes life’s little irritations that much more bearable and it helps us appreciate just how sweet it is to come home.

Oh, and on a practical side note, if you don’t have family close by who are willing to watch your kids like we do, you might consider swapping babysitting with another couple who are interested in taking a trip of their own.  Chances are you have at least one set of friends desperate enough willing to consider it.

Shaun and I are currently planning our 9th anniversary trip but can’t decide whether we want to swing for the fences or keep it closer to home. We’ve considered a lot of options, but none of them feel quite right. So, he told me to ask you guys for advice (yes, my husband realizes the value of having reader-friends :)).

So…if you had 5-7 days to take a trip, where would you go, and what would you do? (Descriptions of past trips and things that worked are welcome).

Do you make a point of taking trips with your spouse? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


  1. This is just a random thought, but did you know that the picture you used is actually of Lionel Logue? He was the speech therapist that so greatly helped King George VI with his stammering. He is the subject of the movie The King’s Speech. British trivia for the day…

  2. Furthering on what Meggan had to say, I second the Canadian Rockies. However, I’d skip Banff and drive up the road a little to Jasper. It’s my favourite place on earth. Tons to do and see (especially if you like hiking) and you can’t beat the scenery!

  3. My boyfriend has a sporadic schedule, so most of the traveling that we do is in our own very lovely state – with our families, of course. In state, places that we go to every year include Canaan Valley, WV and Snowshoe, WV. Snowshoe is our very favorite. If I had unlimited funds, however, I would happily skip off to the Greenbrier Resort. (It’s a fabulous resort that the US government built a bunker under in case of a nuclear fallout. If you are a history junkie, you should check out the story.)

    Over the winter we spent the weekend in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area of TN. There are hundreds of rentals in this area, and it is chock full of things to do. My boyfriend called it the “Myrtle Beach of the Mountains.” 🙂

    I second thegreatlakesgirl though on her suggestion of Mackinac Island, MI. I started researching the area last summer and it, and Sleeping Bear Dunes, are on my bucket list of places I would like to visit.

  4. My husband and I both have very stressful jobs and we too think it extremely important to take OUR time vacations as well as family vacations. We recently spent five days at Disneyland just the two of us for our 14th anniversary! It was absolutely amazing. I saw so many things I have never seen before because my head is constantly counting children’s heads when we are there, I watched every single show, parade, held hands in lines and snuggled on my favorite ride it’s a small world. Just a suggestion!

  5. What a great post. You are totally right, some of our best memories are of traveling together. We plan to go to Brazil later this year as a celebratory “we are finally out of debt!” trip. If I could go anywhere for 5-7 days, it would probably be to London. I love that city, and it is quite easy/inexpensive to get to compared to other European cities. For less travel, I’d probably go to Charleston, SC. I’ve always wanted to go and have heard it is unparallelled in the US

  6. If you’ve never been to Banff, Canada, put it on your bucket list. It is the most astoundingly beautiful place in the Canadian Rockies with an abundance of hiking trails around turquoise glacier lakes. The scenery is unbelievable and it’s very romantic! I usually choose warm, beachy vacations when given the choice, but Banff stands as my favorite place to visit thus far. Good for you guys to recognize the importance of getting away with each other, it makes for a stronger family.

  7. If we had the money my first choice would be Ireland then London 🙂 That would be a dream come true for me!! We usually try to stay close to home/within driving distance because we don’t have the extra money and our favorite place to go is Virginia. We have been to Williamsburg 3 times and stayed in the same bed and breakfast each time. It’s where we went on our honeymoon so it’s special to us 🙂 I agree getting away alone even for a couple days every once in a while is refreshing and important in a marriage.

  8. My hubby and I will celebrate our 22nd anniversary soon. We have gone to Pensacola, Fl without kiddos once. For our anniversary I am tagging along with him to Ft. Lauderdale (he has a business trip). Now that our kiddos are almost 21, 18, and 15 we are leaving them home…..alone….. I hope I’m not a nervous wreck and can really enjoy my hubby! I do have family very close by to check up on the boys. I can’t wait! We are big believers in trippin’ but trippin’ without kiddos is a new experience.

  9. We love the Excellence Playa Mujeres resort in Mexico. Been there twice and we will be back. Everyone we know who’s been there raves about it as well. 5 stars, relaxing, lots of activities and very romantic!

  10. Depends on when you’re travelling but, I personally think Seattle/Portland are the most beautiful places in the U.S. in August/September. If you love to hike, there’s plenty to do….great hiking, etc. Also, for a “romantic” getaway, you could go to the San Juan Islands in WA or Victoria, BC.

  11. we try and go somewhere different every year, and we take a nice long 2 week vacation. we’ve been back a week already from our trip this year, and i so love our time away together. we enjoyed a week in paris eating delicious food and walking walking walking and then we rented a car and put 1200 miles on it for another week of driving around normandy exploring tiny villages, the d day beaches, and other coastal towns in the middle of nowhere. enjoy wherever you choose!

  12. My very first choice for a 5-7 day trip would be to my granddaddy’s lake house. My family (including extended family) have always been lake people, so our destination choice for un-winding and relaxing is by the lake. It gives you options for water fun while steering clear of crowds and noise that are often encountered at the beach. My granddaddy’s place is about 30 minutes from the nearest town. Having a place to ourselves is super nice and saves money since we have to cook all of our meals.

  13. I completely agree with this suggestion! My spouse and I love taking road trips and have done so many that we actually have a group of “road trip songs” that we always sing. Yes, we’re ridiculously cheesy. Our top favorite trips have been to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC, Boston/Cambridge, MA, and Pittsburgh, PA. We’re going to stay on Mackinac Island, MI for our 10 year wedding anniversary in August. I visited there as a child but my husband has never been. I’m so looking forward to bicycling around the island and taking a horse-drawn carriage ride with my husband.

I love hearing from you guys!