So, you’ve managed to sneak a couple of days, maybe even a week, to yourselves! It’s hard work being a mum and sometimes you really deserve a break. Whether you’re jetting off to somewhere exotic or just hopping in the car and getting away from it all for the weekend, take our advice and spend some time planning. It could be finding the perfect hotel, looking for the best regional cuisine or finding something to amuse yourselves before the journey home but spare yourself a few minutes here and there to get excited for your holiday.
Choosing Your Destination
When choosing your destination it’s good to be imaginative, but also practical. If you can afford to take a flight to Europe then go for it! Barcelona is one of Europe’s hippest destinations and would make a great romantic getaway; there’s fantastic shopping, beautiful architecture and some seriously snazzy places to stay. Many hotels offer deals on booking accommodation alongside amusement, so you could snag yourself tickets to Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell, or the Sagrada Familia as part of a booking bundle.
If you haven’t got quite as much money in the pot, or are looking for somewhere more local, then that doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on style. Booking your accommodation through Airbnb can get you a lot more bang for your buck. There are plenty of people who rent out spare rooms in their home, or even private chalets in their garden. The creativity of the people renting really shines through in the accommodation and you can read reviews from other travellers to be extra sure you’re getting what you paid for!
How Will You Travel?
If you’re travelling internationally then the chances are you’ll want to fly. Of course, flights come at a cost, but there are some ways to save money when flying internationally. SkyScanner is a brilliant tool that allows you to compare flights across whole month time spans, from different departing airports and with different airlines, all with one goal in mind: saving you money. It’s also worth bearing in mind that booking flights around 6 weeks in advance tends to be the cheapest point.
If you don’t have too far to travel then the toss up is generally between car and train. It can be great to take the car if the journey isn’t too far and you’d benefit from having it for trips whilst you’re away. If you have a long way to travel then it can sometimes be more cost effective (and more relaxing) to take the train and hire a car whilst you’re away. If you’re lucky enough to have a really picturesque route then taking the train can almost become an extension of your holiday.
Finding the Best Local Food
It doesn’t matter how far you’re travelling, everywhere has its own regional cuisine. It can be tricky to navigate the tourist traps and find the real hidden gems, but there are some tricks to help you. The first and perhaps easiest to use is Trip Advisor. This site features ratings and reviews exclusively from customers, so you can be sure that what you’re reading is unbiased. You simply type in where you’d like to eat, what your price range is and the type of food you’re after then let the search engine do the rest. You’ll have a lot of results to filter through, but if you’re the kind of person who gets excited holiday planning then it could be an evening well spent.
If you’re lucky enough to be staying in an Air BnB with your hosts, then they’ll usually be more than happy to help with restaurant recommendations. You can find some really special places with recommendations from locals, so you’re likely to have a truly unforgettable meal. Finally, many newspapers and travel magazines feature restaurants; although these ones are likely to be more popular, the food is guaranteed to be of good quality.
Caption: Gardens can be just as beautiful (and much quieter) in winter
If you’re travelling as a couple then its sometimes a sweet idea to pick activities that have some significance to you. Perhaps your first date was at the cinema? You could try and find a characterful old cinema and watch a film there, or even search out a theatre for a play. Many cities also have landmarks that are just made for romance, taking the Eiffel Tower as the prime example! Parks and gardens are beautiful year round, as long as the weather is dry. Whilst we all flock to them in spring and summer, the brilliant colours of the autumn leaves are spectacular, as are the icy lakes and snow-covered grounds in winter. The added bonus of visiting a garden in winter is that, generally speaking, the prices are lower and you’ll mostly have it to yourself. What could be more romantic?
Of course though, the thing to remember is try to leave yourself a little free time each day. When you’re travelling with others it’s usually best to squeeze in as much as possible to try to keep everyone amused. However, when it’s just the two of you, it’s important to factor in a little quiet time. Run yourselves a bath, have that lazy lie in that you always miss out on at home. However, you like to relax together, enjoy it, you’ve earned it.