Every relationship needs a little TLC and with lots of external factors often getting in the way, nothing works best than shutting yourselves off from the outside world and immersing yourself in each other's company for a period of time.
If this sounds like what you need to re-ignite the spark in your relationship, but want to do so on a budget, then choose a free weekend and turn your home into the perfect couple's retreat with our handy planning tips:
1. Set the scene
If you are going to use your home as a retreat then the first thing you need to do is set the scene and create a relaxing atmosphere. If you have children, arrange for them to stay with a friend or family member for the weekend so you can be completely alone. Next, make sure your house is tidy and that all washing and dirty dishes, etc are cleaned and put away so that you don't get distracted into doing any housework during your retreat. Then it's time to choose a playlist of your favourite tracks and arrange some candles and flowers throughout the house to add to the mood.
2. Couples Massage
Nothing is as intimate as a massage given by the person you love. Giving a massage allows you and your partner to explore each other's bodies while providing hours of pleasure. You don't have to be a skilled masseuse to carry out a great massage providing you have the right equipment and a few top tips. Make sure that you have a comfy area, which could be on the sofa or even on a rug in front of the fire and put down some cosy towels or blankets. Select some aromatherapy oil or massage gel, which will allow you to smoothly massage your partners body with ease and without friction.
Nothing is as intimate as a massage given by the person you love.
There are many flavours available, so choose a scent that you both like and nothing too over-powering. Remember this is supposed to be a sensual and relaxing massage experience so go easy with the hand movements and use large, slow and rhythmic circle movements with your palms, adding increased pressure around the shoulder blades. Explore with your hands and don't be afraid to make your way down to the lower half of your partners body, stimulating their pubic area and caressing the insides of their thighs.
3. Plan an aphrodisiac feast
Ordering a takeaway would be an easy option, but as part of your retreat why not incorporate a bit of couple's cookery and whip up something delicious. Cooking together is an activity that allows you both to connect on an intimate level and to be creative at the same time. There are many food items that are thought to have aphrodisiac qualities, so do some research and choose a menu consisting of food that's likely to give your libido a boost.
For example, spicy foods like chilli peppers, have long been thought to boost sexual appetite by inducing physical triggers similar to those of sexual arousal, such as the stimulation of endorphins and increased heart rate. For inspiration, why not try out our exclusive aphrodisiac menu created by Valentine Warner.
4. Experiment in the bedroom
Once you have enjoyed a sensual massage and a romantic meal, chances are you will be ready to move things upstairs to the bedroom. Now that you have time to completely devote to each other, use it to experiment with new things and find out what you both really like sexually. Perhaps one of you has been wanting to try out a new sex position or maybe now is a perfect opportunity to try out some new sex toys to give your sex life a whole new dimension. Whatever you decide to try, make sure you talk to your partner about your desires and fantasies in an open way to make sure that you both feel comfortable before you begin.
5. Ditch the technology
Many spas and retreats now confiscate phones and iPads upon entrance so that guests can completely shut off from the outside world and focus on relaxation. This is exactly what you should do during your couple's retreat and ban all phone and social media contact for the entire weekend. Not only will this be a refreshing change for the both of you, but it will give you time to focus on each other 100% without any interruptions or distractions.