Travel Planning & Marital Bliss
My husband and I do pretty much everything together; we own our business together, work together 24/7, cook dinner together, plan overseas adventure travel together … everything. Even so, getting out of the house on travel day used to consist of eye rolling, muttering under our breaths and impatient pacing. We made some changes to our routine and now it’s back to marital bliss on departure day.
I began to think that if we – who think so much alike that we constantly finish each other’s thoughts – could have issues with this, there must be others!
It begins way back in the early planning stages of a trip. It’s important to divide and conquer on the things that need to be done. For example, I make all transportation arrangements from flights to transfers to car rental. Then I am accountable to it. Ridlon makes sure it all works on the financial end, credit cards have plenty of credit available, bills are paid before we leave and money where it needs to be. I am responsible for the dive gear and packing it and he is responsible for paperwork, checks, contracts etc… It works very well for us, each using our expertise as well as our enjoyment of various parts of the plan. This is extremely important!
Travel Planning is a Team Sport
Keep checking in with each other to be sure you are on schedule. This DOES NOT mean nagging. If one or the other is behind, offer to assist. The most important thing to remember is that YOU ARE A TEAM. This goes beyond packing and planning for a vacation, this is how it is in life. Sometimes one gives more and sometimes the other gives more and that’s ok…..You won’t get far in life together pushing against each other, turn and roll together with the current!
So…enough of marriage counseling 101.
When it comes to packing…we each pack OUR OWN personal items. There is no way I want to be responsible for “Hey you didn’t pack my favorite blue shirt”. We also pack OUR OWN camera gear. He would feel terrible if he forgot to pack my charger and I would be horrified if I forgot to pack his favorite lens. Yes, you are a team but be responsible for your own personal stuff. I know many married couples where one spouse doesn’t work outside the home and so is responsible for being clairvoyant to pack just the right stuff. This can create arguments that never end throughout the vacation!
Then, when everything is packed, we run through the lists together to be sure that we have everything. There are times when I say, “Oh, I thought you were going to do that and vice versa”. Don’t get into the “he said, she said” match. This is supposed to be FUN! But of course, since you are finishing the packing a minimum of 24 hours before departure, if anything is missed it can be remedied in plenty of time.
Getting Out the Door On Time
About one week before departure, we have a discussion of the things that need to be accomplished before we leave so nothing is left for last minute. Then the day before departure we discuss specifics. We agree on a departure time and discuss what we have left to do before then. So when it’s 10 minutes before departure time and he pulls out the eggs and bacon to make breakfast I am not stunned! What??? Breakfast NOW?? I didn’t know you were planning to make a big breakfast? We have a plane to catch. When it’s time to go but no one’s packed the truck then what happens? BUT when we talk the night before and lay out the things we need to do, then we plan the time accordingly.
It’s an easy discussion. I say, “I think we need to get up at 6:00 because I want to get a run in, shower and dry my long hair, grab a shake and I’ll be responsible to load the car and we should leave at 7:30.” Then he may say, “I want to cook a hot breakfast, then I need to send off a couple of emails, I’ll be in charge of turning down the hot tub and the heat and shutting off the water and plan to be ready by 7:30. I think I need to be up by 5:30am”. Great, now expectations are set, we know who is going to do what and we can both plan accordingly. This discussion can save a marriage!!!!
Overseas Adventure Travel is Fun ….. Remember?
As in life, open and honest communication is key to fun and easy travel planning with your spouse. There is nothing worse than starting a vacation that is supposed to a “trip of a lifetime” with an argument. Get over it, get communicating and get out there and have the adventure of your life!