My husband and I decided before we were married not to give each other gifts for our anniversaries. Instead, we decided to take the money that would have been spent on gifts and use it to do something extra special together – to create new memories by getting away alone for a day or two.

We came up with a system that works very well. We take turns planning the event. I take the odd years and he plans the even years. It can be as simple as dinner and a movie and a night away in a free hotel. Sometimes we make it more elaborate. One year we went to Orlando for a weekend. Another year our dinner was at a private table in the wine cellar of a nice downtown restaurant.

Every 5th year, we do something really special. These trips we plan together. Instead of a day or two, we plan a getaway for a week or more. For our 5th anniversary we went on a Caribbean cruise. Our tenth was that Italy trip I mentioned. As I said before, these big trips only happen because we plan well in advance. We’re planning on Costa Rica for our 15th, and England, Scotland and Ireland for our 20th. Right now, it sounds so far off and so far out of reach, but then again, so did Italy.