I have a deep dark confession to make. Mark and I haven’t been on a weekend getaway ALONE in a long time. We were busy with the kids activities, scouts, work, and just about anything that you could think of.
Then it happened, I said enough is ENOUGH!! We need to get away. Grandma took the boys, Mark took a half day on a Friday and we just bummed, I always wanted to go to a local festival, then we came home, packed a bag, I booked a hotel and we left.
Why am I telling you this? Because I feel like travel is like another muscle, if we don’t use it we lose it. There is a sense of adventure in all of us that we like to fulfill. There is a reason that most of us look at others vacation photos on social media, or watch shows on destinations. We love the idea of going somewhere new and having new experiences. Whether it’s a weekend road trip or a week’s or longer vacation to an exotic destination, we all have a need to explore.
The “EXCUSE” factor. Just like we have an excuse factor of going to the gym, we have an excuse factor of why we don’t want to go on that vacation or that getaway. When I don’t feel like going to the gym, the first day I’ll give myself an excuse and the next day the excuses just get easier to handle. It’s the same with travel. These are my favorite excuses, and the reasons why I really can’t use them:
“We can’t get away, what if the kids have an event that comes up?” It’s not like they don’t have fifty more, and I have someone who can fill in for us at that event. I have a close friend who misses an event once a while and as she puts it, “ I go to almost all of their events, they know that I love them, and if I miss a game or an event it’s okay.” I totally agree, in their entire life they are not going to remember if you missed one or two games or scouting events or band practices. Plus when we get back we will parent better and that will be better for our kids.
“Well, I can’t get away because of work.” That one is my favorite, especially in today’s day and age. We have internet, wifi, and data hotspots. If there is an emergency we can be reached. Don’t get me wrong there are weekends or weeks that we definitely can’t go, but for the most part, we can. Did you realize that 25 percent of Americans took ZERO vacation days last year?? Wow!! For a society where we can connect from anywhere, it seems like we never leave to even try out that theory. And when we get away we come back refreshed and inspired with new ideas, what employer doesn’t want you at a higher working level?
“Well, I don’t have the money for it.” That excuse is there too, I always tell Mark, let’s save for it, a vacation\getaway fund is something that we have always had in the background. It’s something that is a necessary to save for. I know that I’ve said it before, but when we travel alone we spend time together and we get back into alignment with each other. When we get home, we get along better - we communicate more, and we parent better. I tell him all the time even when the kids are gone, I want to still be on the go, exploring. It’s the journey that life is about, not just the destination.
I remember a commercial on TV that said, “A body in motion stays in motion.” The same can be said about travel, “A soul that explores stays exploring.”
My parents had always saved their entire lives for a fifth wheel motorhome that they were going to drive cross country when they retire. They were going to come up to Wisconsin for the summer months and go to Arizona and to the southern states in the winter months. My Dad was retired, and my Mom was still working when my oldest, Ryan was born. About three months later my Dad was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He lived for about three years after that. They were talking about taking a cruise to Alaska just before he passed.
After my Dad passed, my Mom ended up taking many journeys with my sister to Europe and Egypt. They also took that cruise to Alaska. Now, as much as she enjoyed those vacations with my sister, I know how much she missed my Dad on those vacations and experiencing them with him.
Why am I bringing this up? Because life is short. You need to take time out to take care of yourself and your relationships. Experience life, whether it be that once in a lifetime vacation, or that dinner date that you’ve been putting off. You don’t know what life has instore for you next.
Although we have taken many vacations with our kids and we have done many fun activities together as a family, our oldest is getting to that age where he has his own activities and his own schedule and can’t go like he use to with us. I always thought I had at least 18 summers to plan that awesome once in a lifetime vacation. Well, I was wrong I didn’t, it turns out I had about 14. Now, it’s hard to get him to go away with us. Between friends, and now he has a part time job, yeah, it’s not as easy as it once was.
When the kids were little, we took them to Disney World. Everyone said, wait till they are older to remember it. I’m so glad I didn’t listen and took them when I did. My younger boys may not remember as much as I wish they did, however I do. And let’s admit it, as parents when we take our kids to Disney World, as much as it’s for them it’s for us to see Disney through their eyes as well. If I would have “waited till they would have remembered” for the big visit to Disney World, we never would have gone. My oldest probably wouldn’t have been able to go with us, and the younger two are not into Disney as much, not like they were when they were four. I’ll never forget their faces when they saw their favorite characters for the first time.
No matter if you are a couple, or if you are parents with kids, don’t wait for a long time to take that vacation. You don’t know what tomorrow holds, make the memories today.
Because Love is the Journey.
Today I went to get my hair done at my hair stylist. I wanted to get it colored and a fresh new style. I realized that going to the hairstylist is so much like going to a travel consultant and that we have a lot in common.
Yes, I can go to the store and pick out a box of color and do it myself. I can also go online and find an app to pick out a new hairstyle. I could even try to cut my own hair. However I go to Peg, my hairstylist for the past 19 plus years for quite a few reasons, that I would go to any professional, including a travel consultant.
-Education. I’ve been to school years ago to learn about the travel and tourism industry. Just like a hairstylist goes to cosmetology school to learn their craft. In addition I still take classes, webinars, I go to seminars, trainings and conferences to stay to date on what is happening in the travel industry.
-Connections. Just as Peg, my stylist, makes connections in her industry to bring me the latest styles and products, I make connections with my vendors, resort managers, travel suppliers, and fellow travel consultants. But what does that mean for you, the client? That allows me to serve you better. I am able to have better knowledge of locations and resorts that are not available to the general public and I’m able to pass that along to my clients so that they have the best vacation possible.
-Excitement. Peg always cares about getting my hair just right. I know when I come in and say, “Peg, I need a new do!” She gets as excited and wants to make sure that I get exactly what I want. That’s exactly how a travel consultant feels about their client’s vacation. When planning a vacation for a client I want to make sure that it’s exactly what they want. I get as excited about it as my clients!
Years ago, when I went to travel and tourism school, back then we were travel “agents” and we took orders. I hear all of the time, travel agents’ are extinct. And in a way they are, the day of filling orders is gone, however, a new day is here. We are now professionals who are here to craft a vacation for you, we help you make the dreaming about a journey to creating the plans, getting you prepared for the journey, being there if you need us during your journey and hearing all about it when you get back. It’s a new day and it’s better than ever! I love being a travel consultant, I love helping people build and strengthen relationship connections through travel - it’s my purpose and my passion!
Your relationship is something that is constantly growing and evolving. It needs as much attention in year 10 as much as it did in week 10. You can go on the internet and do a search and do a search on “How To Revive the Spark” and you will get 101 articles. Most of them will have the same advice, break the day to day routine, give each other your undivided attention, make time for each other and surprise each other. A romantic getaway can give you all of these and start those sparks all again.
Just thinking about a romantic vacation away with your sweetheart can lift your spirits. And talking to each other about your time away can get you both excited about the trip and start the sparks.
While on the vacation just getting away from the phone, mail, bills, work, housework, kids asking for stuff, and in-laws calling can be a mood lifter. The time alone will allow you to have conversations, and the rest comes along just like it did when you were dating.
Date each other while on this vacation. Yes, I know you are now in a long term relationship, but remember when you were dating and you put being with the other person first? Yes, you didn’t answer every little call, you didn’t need to take a selfie or picture of every little thing? You left the phone in the purse, you flirted with the other person. Maybe play a bit of footsie. Hold hands at dinner, steal a kiss on the dance floor, and of course take a few extra slow dances.
Surprise your sweetheart with a small gift or jester on your romantic getaway. Rose petals on the bed, or a bubble bath for two. Maybe a locket with your picture in it.
These ideas will get the romance going. When you get back, don’t forget to keep dating and keep the romance alive. There is one idea that I LOVE to remember the romance of your romantic getaway. While you are on your vacation write a love letter on the resort stationary, take it home and save it for your next anniversary. What a wonderful way to remember how you were feeling while you were together alone in paradise. And it can spark the flames again.
That is why I love to plan romantic getaways for my clients. It helps them get that spark back into their relationship without any of the hassle of booking the details.
Remember your romance is not a destination, it’s a journey. Love is the journey.
That big vacation is around the corner and you are all excited. You have the perfect outfit, with some cute matching shoes. You are all ready to pack up, but did you remember a few of the little things that don’t go in the suitcase but are equally as important?
Contact your credit card company or bank to let them know where and when you are going. This is important if you are flying out of the country or driving a couple of states away. I’ve already been three states away, went to fill up the gas tank and had my credit card declined for fraud. Now, that’s a great security feature, however I’ll never forget that again!
If you are going out of the country, contact your cell phone carrier and make sure that you are able to use your phone while you are gone. I usually get a “travel package”. I tell them how long I’m going to be gone and they sell me a plan that will work while I’m gone. Each carrier is different, so contact your carrier to see what is the best fit for you and your needs.
My next DO NOT MISS is stopping or putting your mail on hold. I do this for two reasons, first of all, I don’t want all that mail piling up in my mailbox. Second of all, it’s a clue that you are not home. Also if you get a newspaper, you will want to put that on hold as well.
A couple weeks before your vacation always check your prescriptions. Make sure that you have enough to last through your vacation and a few days later. If you do not have enough, see if you are able to refill them before your vacation. You want to make sure that you have enough before you leave.
Give a copy of your itinerary, resort information, passport information, and travel consultant’s information to a trusted family member or friend. Incase of an emergency, they have all of the information to get ahold of you.
Now, just relax, and pack all of that fun stuff! Because remember, Love is the Journey!
This past week while walking around the back of my van, I tripped and fell. Normally I would catch myself, however this time I did not. And I ended up “kissing” the pavement. To be truthful I would rather kiss Mark, it’s a lot better, but I did fall on my face. My knees, and my face had road rash. But the worst part was chipping and fracturing my front tooth. Thank goodness Mark was there to help me back up. I was foggy, and had a headache for days. Plus I’ve been in and out of the dentist’s chair. Now why am I bringing this up in a travel article? Well because one of the things Mark said was “At least we aren’t on vacation.” He does have a point what would we do if we were on vacation? It started me thinking about why I get travel protection.
Yes, if I were on one of my vacations out of the country, and my health insurance doesn’t cover me abroad, or if it does, would it be at a lower limit? What if the injury was bad enough, would I have enough money to cover myself for an emergency evacuation?
If it happened before my vacation and my fall would have been bad enough that I couldn’t travel, or what about a sickness, severe weather, or even a terrorist attacks?
There are other ways that it would help me, what if my baggage and passport are stolen? My credit card has some travel benefits built in, but doesn’t have many of the benefits of a third party plan. A third party plan can even help you with a lost prescription, assistance with finding lost baggage, and if your passport is lost while traveling abroad help you find the nearest U.S. Embassy to replace that lost passport. And if I needed medical attention they would be able to help me find the closest medical facility up to U.S. standards.
Travel Protection isn’t the most glamorous part of planning a vacation, however it is something that you do have to think about.
And until next time…
Love is the Journey.
When I’m out and about and meeting new people, I always get asked, what do you do? I tell them, I’m a romance travel specialist. I usually get the “You are so lucky, you get to travel!” comments or “I wish I could go on vacation but I have so many things going on.” Another one that I hear is that “I can’t really get away, I have so many other projects going on at work, and the kids have such a busy schedule.” I understand that we are all busy, however travel is the one thing that can bind us together.
“I wish I could go on vacation but I have so many things going on right now.” I know how that is, trust me. I have a family, a business, and I realize that my wheels can’t keep going on without charging them. Everyone’s way of recharging their soul is different. It could be on a beach, it could be on an European adventure learning a new culture. However, we NEED to take that time away. You need to take care of yourself so that you can also take care of your family and your honey. As I recently told someone at a cocktail party that I was at, “Think of yourself as a battery in a cell phone. All of your responsibilities are apps, eventually the battery will drain out, and when you NEED to make that most important call, the battery will be drained and the phone won’t work.”
This is true of your relationship too. You need to recharge yourself and your relationship. This past weekend Mark and I took our two younger boys to St. Louis for a weekend. Just the thought of getting away and reconnecting changes the mood in the whole house. Mark is lighter on his feet, and in a much chipper mood. The kids are giddy and I’m always in a good mood to get away. Now you might be saying, “Tina, wait this isn’t a romantic getaway.” But yes it was. Don’t get me wrong it was different from just Mark and I getting away for a weekend by ourselves. However, after many years of being together, and raising a family together I have learned that there is romance and reconnecting even without the romantic candlelit dinners. (Although I do love those, and can’t wait till we can get away ourselves and have them!) We enjoyed watching the kids together, snuggled on the rooftop of the City Museum at night and while they were exploring we did something - talked. We were both relaxed, had some fun and the stresses of daily life were miles away. It was a chance to reconnect.
So, that’s why my rules above are something that I tell everyone you must obey on vacation. You need that time to recharge yourself and your relationship. Don’t forget you need two to make a couple!
Love is the Journey!
Tina Moczynski is a member of the GTN network. And loves to travel with both her husband and her three boys.