As more and more Americans weigh canceling their summer vacation because of the highest gasoline prices since the dinosaurs gave their lives to form the stuff, while airlines--charging to check a bag, interminable delays, planes as packed as the Tokyo subway--seem determined to make getting away as unpleasant as possible, psychologists recommend doing all you can to preserve at least a short getaway. Especially for couples who are extra frazzled this year due to financial stress, the renewed intimacy can help power through the anxieties that will be waiting for them back home, whether it's rising food prices, the threat of layoffs or just the usual marital strains.
Andrea, a 27-year-old writer who lives in Philadelphia, recently went to Paris for a weeklong vacation with her 30-year-old boyfriend, a chef in the Philly area. The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre and the Tuileries all lived up to their advance billing, but one aspect of the getaway scored a clear "better than expected": the after-hours activities. "Even though we were running around like crazy seeing all the sights," Andrea recalls, "we still had sex almost every day," compared to an average of once or twice a week back home. "And the sex was better; we both seemed more relaxed."