Depends who you ask.
It’s a law of nature that it takes at least two weeks of hard work to prepare for a romantic weekend away. Work always gets busier as soon as you plan such a trip, unexpected issues always arise which means you have to work harder and longer than normal in order to get everything in shape before you get away.
And for my wife Kate, a relaxing romantic weekend away requires the preparation of a military invasion – arranging pickups and drop-offs for the kids, babysitters, grandmothers, aunties, friends, AFL uniforms, netball umpiring, meals, ensuring all relevant parties have each other’s contact details, dog-sitting arrangements, borrowing ski gear from friends, packing kids bags for their sleepovers and ours for the actual trip.
So by the time you actually go, the sense of relaxation is heightened by the craziness and stress which has preceded it. And relaxation is the key to the success of a romantic weekend.
Kate will tell you that a successful romantic weekend is time away from kids and household management and school issues and family and in-laws. Time for activities you can’t do at home like skiing or scuba diving or sleeping-in or taking as long as you want to read the paper or long lazy lunches or scenic drives with no yelling.
And I agree with all that, but mostly because all those things make Kate happier and more relaxed and less tired, which makes her more likely to have sex with me. There was a time early in our relationship when being alone within ten feet of each other was motivation enough, but 12 years on and it takes more planning than pheromones to achieve the same result.
Look, I enjoy a weekend away doing new stuff and seeing new sights as much as anyone but if that was all there was to it, I could do that with half the preparation with my mate Shaun. Like it or not, the key element of a romantic weekend for a bloke is the likelihood of have a lot of sex with the girl he loves, which in my case (though I understand not everyone’s) is my wife.
‘So,’ I hear you ask, ‘Why not just drive her to the Gold Coast overnight for a nice dinner and a quickie in the hotel of her choice? Lots cheaper and the same result?’
Well, for some of you maybe but my Kate (and I suspect many other wives and partners) likes a bit of wooing. She needs to be in the right frame of mind, not just an out of town postcode.
In my male opinion, New Zealand is the perfect destination for a romantic weekend getaway for the following reasons:
- No matter how jaded you are, overseas travel is still a bit exciting. The thump of a rubber stamp on your passport is like the starting gun to an adventure.
- The short (three-hour) flight to New Zealand is long enough to enjoy the in-flight amenities but not exhausting like longer hauls can be. So she feels special but not tired.
- Wine at altitude – three hours is time enough to relax but not enough to be snoring and hung over.
- The looming Rugby World Cup has seen airport and hotel facilities upgraded across NZ, so the arrival-to-hire car-to-hotel process is smooth as (bro).
- Being away from home means restaurant meals and wine, which is delicious and prepared (and cleared away) by someone else.
- The time difference – because it is two hours later in NZ than Brisbane, you are finished dinner and back to your room at 10pm with the energy of it really only being 8pm.
- My wife is all about value for money – the result of a lifetime of being told to watch your pennies, finish what’s on your plate, seek out a bargain, marry an accountant. This is a key feature of anyone managing a family, but in terms of hotel accommodation, value for money means using the room to the fullest extent possible. Soak in the extra deep tub. Luxuriate in the complimentary creams and gels provided for your use. Swan around the room in the thick robe and fluffy slippers. Flick through the pay TV channels you don’t have at home. And, of course, to really get the most from the huge soft bed, you don’t just fight your way through the hundred throw pillows and go to sleep in it do you? Of course not. You shag in it and leave the once-crisp linen all tangled and in need of laundering (by someone else). So she is motivated by thrift to get plenty of bang for her buck. (That one was a euphemism)
So the evenings (and some of the early mornings if truth be told) were a success on our romantic weekend in New Zealand. The skiing and hot air ballooning were fantastic as well, meaning we arrived back to our kids and our lives in Brisbane feeling a bit more special than when we left only three days earlier.
What’s the most romantic holiday you’ve ever had?