Last week, Bill and I had the amazing opportunity to get away just the two of us for an entire week. We haven’t had that much uninterrupted time together for almost six years, and it was wonderful. We got to explore gorgeous Charleston, SC, together. Not only was it a sweet time for our marriage, but it has also been sweet for our whole family since coming back home. Getting outside your everyday routine helps put things into perspective. I was confronted by the Spirit with how much law and how little grace I give my children each day. I was confronted with how my mind has been too busy to truly love on anyone well. The gospel became clearer to me. My heart is more peaceful and more filled with joy. Absolutely worth it.
For those of you who, like me, love getting little tips, here are some things we did to make this work.
- Dispersed our kids to three different homes within our church family. Bill and I have amazing parents who love watching our kids, but we don’t live super close to them. I know many of you are in the same situation. Sending the kids with our parents would have required either asking them to make the drive to stay at our house or adding four extra hours to the ten hour drive we already had ahead of us. Besides, it seems cruel to ask any one person to watch five very small children for an entire week. 🙂 Each home graciously took one or two of our children, and besides bronchitis touching one of the caretakers, a great time was had by all.
- Signed up for Charleston Groupon several months beforehand. That meant we had all our restaurants and some activities paid for with at least a 50% discount before we even packed. It also saved us from having to choose where we wanted to eat. Am I the only one who hates that part?
- We have a year-long timeshare in which we stayed while in Charleston, but for the drive down (we split the drive one way since we weren’t leaving until after lunch), Bill started bidding on Priceline several weeks beforehand. We stayed in one of the nicest hotels we’ve ever been in for $30. Yep.
- We rented a gas efficient car for the week. Our only vehicle is a gas-guzzling van. Again, through research several weeks before, Bill found a low enough rental price that we actually saved money on gas alone in the end, even with the price of the rental. And no extra wear on the van we hope to trade in soon. 🙂
What tips do you all have when traveling? Though I love vacations, the expense can often rob some of the joy.