5 Tips To Make Your Spouse’s Vacation Enjoyable Here are five practical tips for when you concede the vacation destination of your spouse's choosing. BY ROBERT J. NACHSHIN
The destination doesn't hold the keys to your happiness, you do.
With more and more couples beginning to plan for a summer vacation over the next few months, many spouses—partaking in a "no kids allowed" adventure—are faced with the dilemma of how to have a good time when the destination one spouse wants to visit is not where the other wants to go. Certainly, it would seem only fair that if couples have vast differences in where they like to travel for a vacation, one solution may be to trade off. In other words, if a spouse chooses to visit the Grand Canyon one year, the following year the other spouse gets their choice, which might include a complete change of pace, like a whirlwind excursion to Las Vegas.
Yes, taking turns on choosing vacation destinations is practical, and also fair—he gets even years, she gets odd years. But what happens if it’s not your year, yet you feel obligated to go somewhere you don’t want to go? What do you do once you get there? Granted, resentment and disappointment can take center stage if you don’t like where it is your spouse has decided for the two of you go, but there are, if you plan ahead, various ways to enjoy yourself in spite of it not being "your year" or your destination.
Over the years, I have learned that most couples who are strongly attracted to one another are often so because they are opposite in many ways. That can be a good thing; it can also be what causes divisiveness. Wanting to go to different locales for vacation is one of those instances where you may have to learn to share, acquiescing to a spouse’s choice of vacation venue is one prime example. With that in mind, I have a list of five positive ways you can actively enjoy your vacation this year, even if your destination is not exactly where you wanted to go:
1. Plan ahead and check into what activities and events might be available at your final destination: For instance, if you are off on a week-long golf outing and golf is simply not your game, call the resort and ask what might also be available that you would enjoy. Is there another sport in which you can participate, like tennis, racquetball or board games with others? Can you luxuriate in a spa? Might there be horseback riding? Shopping close by? Support your spouse without pouting. Take responsibility for enjoying yourself. If your spouse wants you to join him/her on the golf course see if you can negotiate nine holes rather than 18 and use "the back nine" to take advantage of the other amenities the resort told you about.
2. Take along those things you will enjoy but never get to: If your spouse is amenable to taking off for the slopes to ski all day, you don’t have sit by the fireplace and mope. What about that favorite book you can’t seem to get time to ever read or that smartphone full of games (in which you would never indulge because there are always so many other things you have to do)? How about downloading your favorite iTunes picks and laying back and listening to music? When was the last time you had time for frivolous things? This vacation you might, so enjoy!
3. If you are tech savvy, pack your computer: Especially to remote locations where there is not much else to do. Unless you are in the Amazon Rain Forest, you can probably take advantage of your destination’s wireless setup. Send e-mails to those you never get to connect with or those you neglect. Update your Facebook page. Do some internet research. Sign up for something you may find of interest, like Ancestry.com and find out who you really are. A computer, and all its resources today, can keep you entertained for hours. However, if your mate insists you ski that mountain with him or her, unless you’re fearful of doing so, be a good sport.
4. Find the nearest movie theater, mall, museum or other attraction: If you are in range of "civilization" and your mate does not mind you doing your thing while she/he gets your support to do his/hers for a while (you can hook up later for some serious couple time), seize the opportunity to lavish yourself on an outing(s) that you would never embark on otherwise. If it’s a movie theater, see as many movies as you have time for. If it’s a museum, stay as long as they will let you. If you head to a mall, take your vacation allowance and go on a spree!
5. Always make the best of it: Get your head in the right place—a positive groove—for in the process, you just might find something you like despite your reluctance or resistance. If your spouse insists on climbing Mr. Everest, pat yourself on the back for stepping out of your comfort zone. If you have to sit by the pool all day, jump in and see how many laps you swim. If you are stuck in a casino, find at least one game you might like to play. Instead of playing the victim, expand your horizons—join the fun. Your spouse will love you for it.
There are always ways to enjoy where it is you don’t want to go! Be resourceful, creative and take the initiative. Next year is your year, and if nothing more, you can spend much of the time on your honey’s vacation making elaborate plans for yours… next year.