He wants to pitch a tent under the stars and you want to hit the outlet malls on your way to the spa - it's a recipe for vacation disaster!
You get along in every other way – you like the same movies, you both dig poker, you’re dynamite together in the bedroom, you even like each other’s families. But when it comes to summer vacations, you just don’t want the same things.
He wants to pitch a tent under the stars and eat dehydrated food from a tin cup over a fire pit. You want to hit the outlet malls on your way to a spa for his and hers massages. This is a recipe for summer vacation disaster.
If you both do what he wants, you’ll be sleepless and making you both miserable on a bedroll trying to remember what you’re supposed to do if a bear attacks. And if you both do what you want, you’ll have no fun trying on that third round of dresses at Off Saks because he’ll be pouting and asking how much longer you’ll be.
The good news is, there are many ways to compromise and create a holiday plan that works for both of you. You have to be creative, open-minded, and honest if it’s going to work, but once you’re willing to put your vacation desires down on paper, it’s just a matter of planning.
Do Your Research!
Camping and shopping could not be further apart ideologically, but in reality, there are actually quite a few outlet malls on the way to even the most remote National Parks. So instead of surprising him with an “Oh let’s just stop here for half an hour” when you spot your Discount Paradise, plan for it instead. This is where honesty is key. Ladies, don’t short-change yourselves, and don’t kid yourselves. If you’re used to a four-hour shopping extravaganza and you tell him you only need half an hour, you’re setting yourself up for two things: an angry husband, and an unsatisfied you.
Instead, do your research! Sometimes there are golf courses nearby outlet malls, or casinos, or hiking trails where he could head out for a few hours on his own, leaving you to your retail bliss. Then when you get together later in the afternoon, he can be excited about your sixty dollar jeans that were marked down from three hundred, because he wasn’t there every step of the way rolling his eyes and saying things like, “Just get them if you like them.” And he can tell you all about the hole in one he pulled off at the Pitch and Putt down the highway and you can be impressed and happy for him – maybe even wish you’d been there. You don’t have to spend every waking minute together to enjoy your vacation. In fact, a little time apart can do wonders for dinner conversation.
Speaking of dinner, how to reconcile that dehydrated camping food? Well, there are negotiations in this department that need to be ironed out well in advance. Instead of tuning out when your husband is talking about his nerdy camping gear, take an interest and see what’s in it for you. Modern camping equipment is a technological marvel, and you’d be surprised which gadgets your husband is overlooking that could improve your camping quality of life exponentially. For example, he may not realize that a simple open-cell foam pad under your sleeping bag would make the difference between you sleeping or you tossing and turning all night, cursing whoever invented tents. Or he may be unaware that with a portable gas stove you could reheat pre-made meals you bring from home and keep in a cooler before you hike in.
As an added bonus, spending time at the camping equipment store with your husband might be a fun trip. You get to watch him get excited about his part of the vacation, and you can show him that you’re really going to make an effort to enjoy yourself.
Compromise Is King
These compromises and negotiation tactics can be applied to any type of trip, even ones where you’re traveling much further distances. For example, in France you want to see every art gallery in Paris, while he wants to visit the Roman ruins in the South. With proper advanced planning, you can book your high speed rail to the ruins after the right amount of days for you to linger at the Louvre.
The important thing is to be completely up front with your partner about what you enjoy and be generous in giving him what he enjoys. That way you both come back home to your regular lives refreshed and reconnected as a couple.