Planning a Couple's Anniversary Trip
Created in partnership with San Luis Obispo Vacations
You may remember how I emphasized the importance of getting away with your sweetheart while planning for your wedding. Well, that certainly shouldn’t end after the honeymoon! Jon and I just had our one year anniversary (has it really been a year since the wedding?!) and we celebrated by taking a long weekend trip to San Luis Obispo. Whether it’s your first anniversary or your 41st, be sure to enjoy some R&R time away with your loved one.
Choosing where to go
When you first start planning your trip away with your spouse, look for somewhere you both would enjoy. You’re going to be together for a few days, so start it out right by making it some place both of you look forward to visiting. It doesn’t need to be far away, and it doesn’t need to be a long trip. If it’s your first anniversary, you may still be building back up your vacation time after your epic honeymoon. It also doesn’t need to be someplace you haven’t been before. If both of you visited the place before, you’ll enjoy reliving memories from your previous adventures. But if only one of you has been there before, you’ll enjoy sharing new memories with your loved one.
That was the case for Jon and me with SLO. I visited SLO a year ago with my girlfriends for a bachelorette getaway. When I got back from that trip, I couldn’t wait to tell Jon all about our trip and I was ready to go back right away. So for our first anniversary, we agreed to go back so I could show him all of the amazing sites that I saw. The flight down to SLO from Seattle is quick and easy, and we didn’t need to take off more than a couple of days of work to have a relaxing vacation together.
Selecting where to stay
Once you’ve decided where to go, the next step is to choose where to stay. Look for something uniquely you. Maybe you like a big fancy hotel with all the amenities or a small Airbnb thats near the locals. As long as it is something that uniquely fits your style, that’s all that matters. You’re probably going to be spending a few nights there, so make sure it is some place that you’re going to feel comfortable coming back to at night to rest.
For Jon and me, that place was the Apple Farm Inn. It was within walking distance of downtown SLO, but it was in a quiet area so we wouldn’t be disturbed at night. It also had a very vintage charm to it, starting with the old delivery truck right outside of the lobby. And the best part? Free chocolate chip cookies when you checked in, plus more each night if you asked. (And of course, I did!)
Planning for fun… and relaxation
Now comes the best part – planning all of your activities! Every couple is different, so don’t feel like you have to do the same thing everybody else does. And each of you may enjoy different activities as well. Treat this as a chance to learn more about each other and to try new activities. If your spouse sees an activity that they really enjoy but you’ve never done, be open to trying it out. Compromise and try their favorite activity, and in turn, they can try out your favorite activity.
When Jon and I went to SLO, we of course went hiking, a favorite activity for Jon. In turn, Jon tried two new activities with me. First, he went to his first facial at East Wellbeing & Tea. The next day, we went to a couple’s massage at Sloco Massage. I’m always open to a massage but this was only the second time that Jon has been to a massage. Plus, this was the first time that either of us had ever been to a couple’s massage. Trying these activities allowed us to feel closer and to understand more of what each other enjoys.
Carving out time for food
While it’s easy to get lost in the details of planning fun activities for you and your partner, be sure to cover the necessities, too. We eat three meals a day and that’s three chances every day that you have to sit across (or next to) the one you love and remind yourself just why you married them. Before you head out on vacation, make a list of places or foods that you want to eat. Maybe make a reservation or two as well. Give yourself the opportunity to try new foods and the chance to catch up on your old favorites. Use this as your chance to both make a memory and to remember an old one.
In SLO, we ate out at both some places I had been before (Madonna Inn) as well as at some restaurants that served our favorite foods (Mexican food at La Esquina). We also ate out at some places that put a twist on the classics (nitro ice cream at Nite Creamery) and places that served up foods that were new to us (chilaquiles at Farmhouse Corner Market ). Each of them gave us the opportunity to make new memories that hopefully we’ll be able to think back fondly on during our second anniversary. (We won’t forget the “dinosaur bone”, aka turkey leg, that Jon had at the Farmer’s Market!)
It’s very easy to get caught up in the repetition of everyday life and just let every week pass us by. And for most weeks, that’s probably alright, it keeps us grounded and pays the bills. But every once in a while it’s necessary to get out enjoy life and remember to have a good time. An anniversary makes an excellent opportunity to break that mold and make some memories.
A few parting thoughts: reach out to the destination that you are traveling to, or even thinking about traveling to. Most cities have a chamber of commerce or tourist agency that can help get you excited. If you have already booked your accommodations, you can also reach out to the staff there. They’re excellent local resources that are likely to know how to make the most of your visit in a way that’s personal to you.
Created in partnership with San Luis Obispo Vacations