It’s that time of year again when people turn their attention towards vacation/holiday plans. Visions of beaches and guided tours fill our heads and trick us into forgetting the heat and hassles of the last trip. For many couples this is the premier event of the year; requiring careful budgeting and saving. For others this may be the only time when they get to eat more than two meals in a row together. In almost every case, it’s a big deal, which puts pressure on the relationship to make it more special than ever before.

Unfortunately, though, many men embark on vacation planning with the same strategy that we employ for almost everything else: avoidance. Oddly enough, we are also surprised with the result when things turn to chaos. So today’s post aims to provide husbands with a vacation planning guide.

To keep it simple we’ve narrowed it down to two basic options:

  1. Don’t! – If you value your marriage, your best bet may be to let your wife plan the vacation. The upside to this strategy is that you cannot be blamed for any of the trip’s problems. The fact that the hotel smells like a month-old wet towel? Not your fault. The fact that it is actually 30 miles away from the beach even though it’s named “Beachside Motel”? Not your fault either. As an added bonus, you can point out to your wife how these things happen and are not really the fault of the person planning the trip. (Or you can gloat, but we don’t recommend that.)
  2. Surprise her – If the thought of surrendering control to you wife is too much for you then your next best option is to surprise her. By choosing to surprise her, you take the risk of being held responsible for all trip problems, but you avoid the disagreements during the planning stage. You get to pick every little detail without second guessing a single one! And, if you spin it right, you can get points for being spontaneous. Simply point out that you did all of this “for her”. (And don’t let her know it took you six months to figure out the details.)

But seriously: vacation planning, and even vacations themselves, can be stressful. Whatever your preference of destination, make sure the trip is about spending time together. Even if the hotel is horrible or you end up sick from the dinner special, you will look back on these times with fondness if you focus on each other instead of the problems.

What about you? Do you have any horrible vacation stories?