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Weekend Away

Thursday, January 24, 2013
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Dear Miriam,

My husband and I have both been super stressed at work lately, and we're looking to get away for a weekend. Do you have any ideas for places we could go? Once we're there, how do we make the most of the time we have?

Signed,
Weekend Away


Dear Away,

It's great that you recognize the need to destress, and that often, in order to do that most effectively, you're best getting out of your normal environs. Philly is well-situated for a lot of easy overnight trips, and figuring out exactly where you want to go and what you want to do can be an important bonding experience in itself. In the days or weeks leading up to your weekend getaway, you and your husband will have a topic of conversation that refocuses you on something other than work and gets you both excited for spending some quality time together in the near future.

Decide how far you're willing to travel, and whether you're going to drive, fly or take the train. (I'm not even going to suggest the bus as an option. If you're already stressed, bus travel is the last thing you need.) Then start looking online for some options. Some of the best weekend trips I've taken from Philly within about a two-hour drive include New York City, Lancaster, the Poconos or Atlantic City/shore area.

A weekend trip to New York could basically plan itself if you want to see a show, visit a museum or even just spend some time strolling the streets. If you go to Lancaster, you absolutely must visit the full-size replica of the tabernacle. From all sorts of Jewish and cultural perspectives, this is a fascinating experience. Atlantic City in the winter is super cheap, and even if you aren't into gambling, there's a lot of restaurants, shopping and entertainment, plus a lot of the activities are accessible without having to go outside. In the Poconos, there are lots of cabins and rental properties that you can rent for a weekend from individual owners. If the specific destination is unimportant, try going on one of the numerous discount travel sites to see where you can get a last minute deal on the nicest hotel for the least amount of money and build a plan around that (you can also do that for any of the above locations, too).

If you and your husband disagree about the ideal way to vacation, then it's worth a conversation in advance about balancing structured and unstructured time. If the best way for the two of you to destress is by staying in your pajamas all day and ordering room service, then don't feel pressure to plan extensive activities. If you want one big event to plan around, decide on that in advance and then use the rest of your time freely to reconnect and to relax. As wonderful as it is to get away, don't put so much pressure on this one weekend trip that you risk being disappointed at the end if you haven't maximized every minute. Enjoy the trip and each other's company and know that there will be more weekends, more trips and, hopefully, less stress coming your way.

Be well,
Miriam

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