We recently ran an informal survey on our Black and Married With Kids Facebook page, and the results were interesting to say the least. We asked what your husband does wrong when he plans the family’s travel. And the ladies didn’t hold back. Let me guess, you’re not surprised.
For the sake of husbands everywhere, I’ve curated a few of the top responses and have supplied tips on how you can avoid each one. (In fact, I have recently partnered with Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites by Hilton to support their efforts to empower men to become Travel MANagers!)
As the primary Travel MANager in my marriage, I speak from experience and from the heart when I tell men everywhere don’t slip up and make these same mistakes. I’ve already taken the criticism, nagging, heat in these areas. So follow this advice so you don’t have to take your lashings, too.
#1 – Don’t Be Angry Dude
Planning and executing a trip can be taxing, but don’t let that energy seep out during your travel plans. No one wants their romantic, stress-free outing or much-needed, fun-filled family vacation to be ruined by your bad mood. When you’re mad, you make the trip a drag for everyone.
When you travel, one of the most important things you can do is enjoy the moment. In our Facebook survey, one of my favorite comments said: “The best thing he brings is a fun attitude. He gets me to try stuff.”
Husbands, I challenge you to be the C.F.O. (Chief Fun Officer) in your marriage. Husbands, this should be a role and responsibility we take on when we coordinate the travel for trips. Everyone knows that the husbands have more fun, are more romantic and we are the life of the party (sorry, ladies, you know it’s true). So bring that party on your trip when you make the plans.
#2- Don’t Choose Bad Hotels
BMWK reader Chelsea said, “He chooses really bad (read cheap) hotels. He can no longer pick for us.” Choosing where to stay is one of, if not the most, important decisions you’ll make when it comes to planning travel.
Choosing the right hotel can ensure you have a sanctuary to return to after a long day or night of enjoying the town. I always look for comfort, cleanliness, great customer service and great value before I select where we’ll be staying.
For this reason, I chose Homewood Suites by Hilton for an upcoming trip we’re taking to Birmingham, Ala. The rooms at Homewood Suites are clean, comfortable and allow us to spread out whether we’re firing up the laptops to send off a few emails or sprawling across the sofa to watch a movie. It’s just the right mix. Plus, with the money we save by going with a great-value property like Homewood Suites by Hilton, we’re able to factor in more great travel experiences, such as dining or attractions.
#3 – Don’t Make Your Wife Plan All of the Travel
Fellas, if you want to score some extra points, plan the travel for you and your bride. When you do the planning, it takes one more thing off of her busy plate. Believe me when I say she’ll appreciate you for it.
In our marriage, Ronnie handles most of the preparation with getting the kids ready for a week without us. So, I handle all of the travel…like a BOSS.
If you don’t believe me, check out what another wife on our Facebook page had to say about her husband planning the travel: “We are headed home after surprising my Mother-in-Love in Panama City, Fla., for Mother’s Day, then spending quality time together in Gatlinburg, Tenn. He planned everything (as he usually does) and did most of the driving. ALL good here!”
Now that sounds like a happy wife!
But just remember, fellas, just because we take the lead in this area doesn’t mean we shouldn’t heed lessons from our wives, like this wife from Facebook, who weighs the pros and cons of letting her husband take control of their travels: “Right: That Man can drive! Wrong: He won’t take directions! Lol.”
Fellas, overall have fun with it. When you’re planning the travel, make the trip stress-free for the two of you and remember that each trip is an opportunity for you to strengthen your connection without the kids. So, make it happen!