I travel a lot each year. Sometimes the travel is for work. Other times it is for pleasure with friends or with the kids. As much as I would love for Anna to be with me on these trips, that just isn’t going to happen with her demanding work schedule. And, that is OK. It truly is OK to travel without your spouse.
5 Solid Reasons Why You Should Travel Without Your Spouse
When I share how much I travel (in person or via social media), people often question why I’m traveling without Anna. Or they ask if Anna is upset with me for traveling without her?
For the most part, Anna is totally cool with me traveling without her. If we had unlimited money and a magic wand so she didn’t have to work, of course, I would make it happen so that she had the option to go with us. But I haven’t found the magic wand in any Cracker Jack boxes… yet.
#1 – Your Vacation Schedules Don’t Match
I’m lucky because I don’t have a set schedule for vacation at work. Aside from a couple of really intense periods each year, I can take vacation time anytime I like, provided that I have all of my work covered.
Anna isn’t so lucky. She has to work during month and quarter end. She has to work on weekends sometimes.
Because of her limited flexibility at work, we have to be careful when planning trips for her. Add in Timmy’s (and eventually Scarlett’s) game schedule for school and sports, and you can see why it can be tough for everyone to go on vacation together.
#2 – She’s Not Interested
As much as you love your spouse, you didn’t sign anything during the marriage process indicating that you were now becoming Siamese Twins and had to be joined at the hip.
They say that opposites attract, and that can be true. I’m a lucky guy because Anna enjoys pro sports almost as much as I do. But some wives are completely bored with sports. It would be a total waste of money (and total buzzkill on the mood) if you dragged your wife to a game in another city to see your favorite team, and she just played on her phone the whole time wishing she were someplace else. Right?
Guys, you might say the same thing about attending a musical or going shopping. Come on, admit it.
The better situation is to travel without your spouse and bring someone who does like the activities planned for that trip. And then make sure you plan something awesome that the two of you can enjoy together when you get back.
#3 – Mommy Needs A Break
Sometimes Mommy just wants a long, hot bath with a (large) glass of wine and a good book.
She’s tired of the kids being loud, roughing it up, and tattling on each other for the smallest infractions. This is where Dad becomes the hero!
Offer to take the kids out for the day or the weekend. Book a room at a hotel and take the kids for the weekend so that Mommy can recharge her batteries.
I do this a few times a year. We live in Orange County near Disneyland. If Anna just wants some time to herself, I’ll book a room down in San Diego and the kids and I will use our Sea World or San Diego Zoo season passes to explore for the weekend.
#4 – You Can’t Afford It
Face it, no matter how much you make, it never seems like enough. And it is OK to admit if you cannot afford something.
However, there will still be times where you want/need to take your children someplace. Most times it is best to save up a little longer so that you can afford for the whole family to go. However, some trips just can’t wait. For instance, a tour of prospective colleges for your high schooler or a when you’re the chaperone for your child’s trip out of state (ok, this one may also count as #2 above).
There is no shame to travel without your spouse on these trips.
To save money, our family uses airline miles and hotel points to fund our vacations. Loyalty rewards allow us to travel more, spend less, and live better than if we had to save up for every vacation that we took. To learn more about miles & points and “travel hacking”, visit my website BaldThoughts.com.
#5 – She Doesn’t Get Along With Your Family
Just because your wife loves you, doesn’t mean she has to love your family. And your family may not like or approve of her.
Rather than make a trip to see family turn into something uncomfortable, it is OK for your spouse to skip the trip. I would say that not only is it OK to travel without your spouse, it is recommended for the sake of your sanity.
However, I would still say that your spouse needs to be the better person and attend special events, like milestone anniversaries or holidays, because you don’t want your kids looking back at old photos and wondering “where’s Mommy?”
Luckily for our family, Anna and I both get along well with our respective in-laws, so this one doesn’t apply to our situation.
It is OK to travel without your spouse. There are plenty of reasons why this is true. It could be conflicting schedules, lack of interest, personal time, lack of money, or family issues. Or it could be something completely different. Who knows? Who cares? The bottom line is that you should travel without your spouse on occasion. You will create some special memories when you travel without your spouse that are shared just between you and your kids. But, remember, it is only fair that your spouse also gets to create some special memories with the kids by themselves too. Even if it is just a “date night” with a Mom and her Son… encourage that bond. Your marriage and family life will be so much better off for it.