Vacation as a Couple

May 28, 2013

in Good Marriage, Quality Time

I’ve often mentioned getting away together as a couple is critical to your marriage, and I don’t think this can be overemphasised!

Actually, I understand this for the first time from the place of not having done it in over a year. Life has been busy, money has been tight, and we have an empty nest, so it is not as important as it once was, right? Wrong. I feel the stress of not having a break, and I miss the special times of fun and intimacy we have when we vacation. We’re working on plans for a couple of short trips this summer because we have realised we have to make it happen.

Beach Vacation © chrisroll | freedigitalphotos.net

If you’ve not been away with your spouse in the last nine months, you really need to find a way to get a vacation as a couple. Farm the kids out to friends or family, take your own food, drive one town over and stay in a budget motel, just do it.

When you get there, don’t fill all your time with activates. Sure, see the sights, do a tour, enjoy where you are, but leave time to connect. Leave time to sit or lie around and do nothing. After you unwind a bit, spend some time talking about your lives and your marriage. Are you going where you want to go? If not, where do you really want to go, and how can you change direction?

Can I get you to do me a favour?: If you’re going to vacation, could you use the links below for any on-line reservations you make? We will get a bit of what you spend in commissions, which helps fund what we do here and elsewhere around the Interweb.

Accorhotels
Alamo Rent A Car
           alamo.co.uk
Avis Rent a Car
            avis.co.uk
Bedandbreakfast.com
Best of Orlando
Best Of Vegas
Best Western
           Best Western UK
British Airways
CheapOair
           CheapOair.ca
           CheapOAir.co.uk
CheapOStay
Cheaptickets.com
Choice Hotels
CityPass.com
Comfort Inn and Suites
CruiseDirect
Dollar Rent-A-Car
Economy Car Rentals
Expedia.com
expedia.ca
           expedia.co.uk
           expedia.com.au
Hawaiian Airlines
Hotels.com
           hotel.com.au
           hotels.co.uk
Hotwire
           hotwire.co.uk
i4Vegas.com
i4hawaii.com
LaQuinta Inns and Suites
Las Vegas Perks
Last Minute Travel
luggage.com
Marriott
           marriott.co.uk
Motel 6 & Studio 6
Orbitz.com
Priceline.com
Radisson Hotels
Rail Europe
Red Roof Inn
ShuttleDirect
The Cruise Specialists
Travelocity.com
           travelocity.ca
Tripadvisor.com
           tripadvisor.co.uk
Tumi.com
VacationRentals.com
Virgin Atlantic
Yelp
yourGolfTravel.com

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Image Credit: © chrisroll | freedigitalphotos.net

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5 comments
cjamro
cjamro

Hi Paul ~

I so appreciate your need to generate income, especially as you and Lori desire to be in full time marriage ministry.  So, I'm not sure what the nicest way to say this is so please forgive me in advance for any offense (just hoping to give a long-time reader, fan, and donor's perspective and perhaps some 'constructive criticism').

For what it's worth, I feel like your blog is beginning to loose some of it's credibility and interest due to the frequent requests for money.  By the time I got to the end of the above post, I felt as if the post had been written solely for the purpose of generating income - that it was written around traveling so you had a way to link to websites that pay you a commission. (That may not have been your intention at all - that's just the way it came across...)

Of course there is nothing wrong with writing a blog with one of the purposes being to generate income!  And what a great topic and passion - strengthening marriages!  But, there are a little more "tactful" ways of doing it.  A great resource is Crystal Paine at MoneySavingMom.com - she is a blogging GENIUS!  A lot of free advice on her blog and much of what she recommends, you and Lori already have in place (you guys are doing so much right!).  I think it would be worthwhile to look into some of her recommended income-earning opportunities (beyond affiliate links), and study her blog, check out how she strategically places her affiliate links, ads, etc.

If your're interested, here's a link to her free ebook:

http://moneysavingmom.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/How-To-Make-Money-Blogging.pdf

and a list of posts written about blogging for money (you may have to page through the long list for the ones that are of interest to you) :

http://moneysavingmom.com/money-saving-mom-search-results?cx=007411191005105397513%3Aunk5vrqj0se&cof=FORID%3A11&ie=UTF-8&q=blogging

Would love to see you guys successful and not have income be an issue at all!

(p.s. no need to publish this comment unless you want to for some reason)

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@cjamro I get why it seems like I wrote this just to generate income. I thought about linking to the dozen plus times I have said the same thing when I had no financial gain in say it, but decided against it.

Income is a difficult issue for anyone who does a lot on-line. We put in more than 30 hours a week, and what we receive for that works out to less than minimum wage. We have some great folks who support us through donations, but as the economy has gone down so have donations. We are left with two choices, finding other ways to make some income on what we do, or do less of it. I could make far more per hour doing something else (I actually cut hours at my day job to do more marriage minstry but my desire is to do more minstry, not less.

There are lines I am not willing to cross. A growing number of marriage blogs are running full on ads. I won't do that because I would not have control over what is advertised, and I might not think some of what is advertised it something that is good for couples. I'm not criticising those who feel the need to do ads, I just won't go there. 

I do appreciate the links. On a quick skim of the pdf it seems to me I am very much in line with Crystal's suggestions for affiliate advertising.

Thanks for the feed back, I appreciate it.

cjamro
cjamro

@TheGenerousHusband @cjamro

Just brainstorming out loud here...

How about selling sidebar ads?  (I especially think sidebar ads would be very appropriate on Lori's blog since it's geared toward women and women notice those things!)  Perhaps just throw the idea out there and see if she gets any nibbles?

As far as using affiliate links, they won't feel like you're just trying to make money if they benefit the reader somehow - for example a link to a discounted restaurant coupon for a date night from restaurants.com or a recommendation for a unique product that can generate some romance in a marriage such as "Aqua Notes Waterproof Notepad" for leaving love notes in the shower.  http://www.amazon.com/Aquanotes-Aqua-Notes-Waterproof-Notepad/dp/B003W09LTQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1369775915&sr=8-1&keywords=notepad  The "benefitting the reader somehow" or the "uniqueness" of the product is key!

How about putting together a few little ebooks by condensing some of your blog contents into ebook format? (gotta make sure it has a great cover!)  Many people would rather pay a couple of dollars for an ebook than spend time searching through blog archives for related material.  Anything that either of you ran as a series would work.  I would imagine that a "Sex 4 Her" book would be especially popular on your blog since it's a blog geared toward men.  Looking quickly at Lori's blog, a "Valentine's Day Ideas", "Date Night Ideas", or an "Invitation to Sex Idea Book", would be a hit.  You both have MUCH opportunity in this area.  Here's a link on making a successful ebook http://www.problogger.net/archives/2011/06/29/sell-20000-worth-of-your-next-ebook/

Also, if there's any possibility at all of you considering an ad network, it seems the MoneySavingMom (a conservative Christian) has been very pleased with the amount of control over ads she has with the ad network http://www.federatedmedia.net/   - "they have been exceptional about removing any campaigns immediately" when requested.

You and Lori have such great potential and your ministry is of great value.  I would love to see you making much more than minimun wage!

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@cjamro We have discussed side bar ads, which would give us full control. I personally find that more annoying than in-line relevant content, but I may be odd in that.

We are working on writing projects. The first two will be free. Lori has released her Year of Questions. I am working on a free e-book about dealing with "I want a divorce". Past that I have a couple of other books that will not be free. 

Unfortunately I am currently putting my spare time into moving we sites to the new server. Due to bandwidth and other server resource use we have had to set up a VPS. I've finished configuring that and this blog is now running on that. Working on Lori's blog. Then the main web site and the message boards. I hope to be done by the end of June, then I can put more time into writing.

Federated media seems to be a content provider, meaning I'd have to move the blog

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