As I spend most of the time away from home, either for business travel or my hiking adventures, it is even more important to make the most out of my time with my kids (e.g. Father-daughter-day, our surprise bowl of activities) and my wife. So here are my tips for making the most out of your date-nights and date-weekends.

Date-nights and date-weekends are not for saving money

I tend to ask others (especially other heavy business travelers –the travelers’ tribe– with kids) about what they do to make most out of their quality time with their wives. One of the people I respect a lot and who had been traveling for over 20 years for weeks or even months at the time explained me he had one simple rule: even if times are tough, do not start saving money on your weekends away with your wife.

The scarce time you have together (‘we-time’), you don’t want to spend in a crappy bar, something you’re not comfortable at.

So from our trips to Madrid, Warsaw and Gothenburg to our stays at One Shot Fortuny (Madrid) and the Kimpton De Witt (Amsterdam), we’re not big spenders, but we love to spend time in places we’re confident will be good.

Test what works best

It took my wife and me a while to discover what setting works best to make most out of our we-time. After some testing (theatre, shopping together, dinner), it turned out we enjoy spending time in our favorite wine bar (Ona in Gent) most. Minutes seem hours, ours seem days (in a good way).

Don’t be ashamed to plan

With a busy work schedule, two kids and plenty of friends, family and social gatherings, it is hard to rely on spontaneous weekends away, like you would probably do as a young couple. That is why my wife and I block at least two weekends per year and a date-night every month.

Don’t feel ashamed to go back to the same place

When we finally discovered we loved our wine bar best, for a while we kept changing venues – try another restaurant or other bar – to only discover we were happiest in Ona. So we have spent many nights there now.

Which is totally fine – we’ll leave discovering different parts of Gent to others.

Go all-in

We-time is we-time. We won’t be checking our phones, make sure our babysit can stay longer.

So, what are your tips for making the most out of your date-nights and date-weekends?

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