It doesn’t matter whether you stay at home with the kids or work outside of the home, you’re busy, you’re over-worked and you are tired. A kid-free weekend getaway sounds like a dream, right?
“Too good to be true,” you say.
“There’s no way I could possibly afford that”, you think to yourself.
You prioritize everyone else above yourself and at the end of the day, you believe the money that you would use on such a trip would be better off spent paying the electric bill, putting new brakes on the van or buying a few extra groceries.
I get it, these are all the things I said to myself as well. In the back of my mind, I dreamed of 24-48 hours of alone time. I pictured lazy mornings sleeping in, not having to worry about anyone or anything except myself. Then the little voice in my head told me I was selfish. There’s no way a weekend getaway was a good idea. We had much better uses for the money.
All I needed was six weeks of running three kids back and forth to three different sporting practices and games and I found myself wiped out and in desperate need of rest. At that moment, I decided I would find a way to make the dream of a solo weekend getaway a reality. Here’s how I did it…
There is absolutely no need to pay for expensive lodging. I went on Groupon and entered a search radius that I was comfortable with. For me, that was about 3 hours. Since I live in the Carolina’s, I had access to both the mountains and the beach. I ended up choosing Myrtle Beach, simply because Groupon had a TON of options. I found a resort offering a 2-night stay for roughly $100 total.
If you’re going alone, check out the area where you’ll be staying and make sure you will be comfortable being there alone. Although I love sites like VRBO and AirBnB, I was more comfortable staying in a large resort or hotel, than in an individually owned home or apartment.
Go Off Season
If you can get the timing just right, waiting to take your weekend in the “off season” will save you some serious cash. I went to the beach one week before Thanksgiving. It was cheap, not crowded and quite peaceful (other than a Marine ball going on the same weekend I was there). However, if you REALLY need a break, do not let this cause you to postpone your plans. You can find great deals on Groupon any time of year.
Snacks and Meals
One bonus of traveling alone is you’ll need much less food than you’re used to buying. I was able to keep costs down by buying some snacks at a local grocery store and stocking my in-room refrigerator. I ordered curbside to-go from Outback Steakhouse the first night I was there, and ordered enough to eat for lunch the next day, eliminating another trip out. A major perk of taking a weekend getaway is not having to deal with food preparation and clean-up. I wanted to make sure I had what I needed in the room so I didn’t have to leave if I didn’t want to. I also didn’t want to depend on super expensive room service, that may or may not have anything good to eat.
Hotel and Resort “Extras”
The resort I stayed at offered a complimentary breakfast, depending on the package booked. Unfortunately, this wasn’t offered on Groupon purchases. I ended up getting free breakfast both mornings as a goodwill gesture since the front desk staff made several errors during my check-in. Had this not happened, I would still have asked. It never hurts to ask! Maybe your hotel offers a complimentary breakfast, or evening reception but it isn’t included in your reservation. Ask at check-in if there’s any way it can be added. From what I experienced and witnessed on my trip, the hotel staff WANT you to have a pleasant experience with their establishment. It’s possible they may add it on free of charge!
Ok, so this one isn’t a necessity for most people, and it is certainly an added expense that you could probably eliminate. If you’re a mom though, and you don’t have multiple vehicles at your disposal, it may be necessary.
For me, my husband wasn’t comfortable having me drive his car over 100 miles away, since it is 15 years old! My favorite car rental company is Budget. I have found that they have the best prices and I can frequently find discount codes. For this trip, I rented my car with Budget, through Costco, and ended up with a 3 day rental for around $60.
This is a weekend getaway, it is yours to do with as you wish. More than anything else, focus on resting, sleeping in (if you can) and enjoying the silence. You don’t HAVE to do anything, you don’t HAVE to go anywhere, you CAN sit in your room the entire time, if you wish!
Stock up on some snacks, bottled water, a bottle of wine, whatever you like, and enjoy yourself! Take at least one night, but I recommend two so you can have an entire day to yourself, and stop worrying about which bills you could have paid with the money you’re spending on yourself.
When is the last time you did anything just for you? A stressed out, sleep deprived, worn out mama isn’t productive. She’s not happy, she’s not motivated and she’s difficult to be around. Let your husband or whoever you trust watch your children and take a break.
There’s nothing to feel guilty about!