Tis the season for summer vacations! Literally. We’re right in the middle of summer break. I have (and I’m sure you have too) scrolled past numerous Facebook posts lately of friends on beaches, mountains, cruise ships. Eating, toasting, hiking, fishing, flying, driving. We ourselves just got back home from Vegas and set sail in a few weeks for Mexico. You may long to be in your boots and backpack in the middle of the forest or in your stilettos sight seeing under the lights of NYC.
Vacations are so, sooo exciting! We tend to get in a repetitive routine at home. Work, errands, bills, cleaning, cooking, bed, repeat. We work hard and get worn out. But every now and then we cash out that PTO, plan a getaway, and escape from some of the stressful responsibilities. We’re able to let loose, do what we want when we want, rest, and rejuvenate!
But there’s a flip side to it all. As to many things, right? Getting out of our routine can be both a welcomed sigh of relief as well as some unexpected stress from being out of your comfort zone. When you’re married and one of you gets stressed, you can guarantee the other spouse will feel it too! Nobody wants a vacay memory of a big fallout fight. Here are some tips we’ve learned over the years to reduce vacation stress level for the two of you.
Get on the same page budget wise
This is a pre-vacation discussion that will drastically reduce your stress levels while on vacation. Vacays take money. It’s a fact. Know the prices! Don’t fly blind when it comes to paying for an adventure away from home. Financial stress is one of the biggest sparks for marital fights.
This is actually super easy via a lil’ bit of internet research or a travel agent. All it takes is a lot of dreaming and some time and patience. Where do you both want to go and what do you both want to experience? Ok, you’ve got your mutual dreams. Now, how much gas will you need? Divide the number of miles you’re traveling by your vehicle’s average MPG (you can find both on Google). That’s how many gallons of gas you’ll need. Multiply that by the current cost of gas and TADA! You have your gas budget for one way.
Then there’s food. Think through your dream schedule and picture the types of restaurants that you’d like to visit. What does a meal cost when you eat at a similar type of restaurant at home? How many meals will you need to eat out? You can also search online for per diem meal costs for the city you’re visiting. You’ll be looking at the average estimates of eating there per day.
Plane tickets? What adventures are you envisioning? All of these can be priced out online and planned ahead. You know the saying. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Before you ever oil up with sun block, know the costs. Add a buffer. Agree on what you can afford. It will save you tons of stress before, during, and after vacation!!
This discussion can be done both before and during your vacation. Our recent Vegas trip reminded me of this. My husband called me out on my unrealistic expectations. He knew that my talk was way bigger than my walk. I was communicating that we were going to do this and that and check all these things off the bucket list. I guess I expected supernatural energy levels?
What are your expectations of your vacation? Do your expectations meet your budget, your energy level? Do you feel expected to do something while on vacation just because it’s “the thing” to do? What’re your wants for the vacation? Are you looking to relax by the pool while your husband wants to hike and zip line? Communicating with your man about each others wants, dreams, and vacay plans gets everything out in the open and you’re able to think win-win, compromise, and get on the same page. Then you won’t spend vacay in a tug of war battle over what to do.
Do for Each Other
I know, I know…you’ve worked your butt off. You’re tired and soooo ready for vacation! You deserve it! Here’s the thing – you’re still married and that means you’re most likely not going to be all by yourself. Enter sacrificial love. A sacrificial love is a love where you put aside your own interests for the sake of the one you love. For example, I want to go star gazing but my husband hates mosquitos so instead we go see a movie.
Recognize when you’re simply focused on your own wants. Try doing for your man. This isn’t entirely easy. It can be the last thing you want to think about doing when you’re tired and wanting something different.
The state of the heart is the most important priority in this situation. Your man will be able to tell when you’re soled up and not talking because you have no interest in doing what he’s interested in. He’ll see it on your face and in your body language. Remember that you’re investing in your marriage and building the bond between the two of you. Try to find an aspect of the activity that you can take even a sliver of interest in. Give your time, energy, and money to respecting your husband’s wants and needs.
Sacrificial love has this astounding irony of coming back to be both fulfilling on its own and reciprocated through a cycle. You will be absolutely astonished at how giving your time and effort towards your husband will fill both your hearts.
Vacations take you and your husband out of your comfort zone, your own bed, your normal environment. Awwww, that sigh of relaxation!! While this is part of the appeal, it can also be a cause of some of the stress. No doubt you’ll do lots of sight seeing which means walking. You’ll have planned entertainment so you might be up late. Maybe you don’t sleep well away from home. Hint – take your own pillow! 😉
The point is – you will both get tired. Tired equals grumpy. We take out our grumpiness on the people we are the most comfortable. Offer grace for the end of vacation or whenever your spouse is worn out. Cut your man some slack! Look beyond the snappy comment or the sarcastic reply. Try not to jump to defensiveness, criticism (turning the tables), or contempt towards him. Heat can also cause this (trust me, I’m in Texas).
Recognize when you’re the tired, grumpy one! Take a nap when needed. Apologize if you’re quick to snap due to fatigue. Take a break from each other and don’t try to force every second. It’s ok!!
Take a deep breath girl. Vacations are an amazing time to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday stressful life. Does that mean that they’re going to be completely stress free? Probably not. But budgeting, communicating, resting and treating your husband will definitely help reduce vacation stress that can hit. What vacay hacks do you use to reduce the stress? Comment below!
Speaking of reducing stress in your marriage…have you taken the marriage challenge “Wife for the Win” yet? It’s five work days, five quick emails with five different aspects of wifing (yep, it’s a verb) to focus on, complete with homework. 😉 Get it now!
Pin for next summer!
- How to Handle Your Husband’s Stress;Tips for Being the Supportive, Comforting Wife that You Want to Be
- Marriage & Money; Budget Sinking Funds That Relieve Budget Stress
- Budgeting Tips for Couples; The Practical Steps of Managing Money Together Without Strangling Each Other, Even When You’re Opposites
- Lower Budgeting Stress With Your Husband; The Emotional Side of Managing Money Together As A Couple
- 30 Different Ways to Say I Love You