How “We” Plan a Vacation

My husband and I have a very clear division of responsibilities when it comes to trip planning.

WHAT I DO: research destinations, compare packages, investigate flights, read hotel reviews, arrange car rentals, book tours, renew passports, check weather forecasts, purchase appropriate clothing, pack suitcases, and close down the house

WHAT HE DOES: sets the “out of office” notification on his email

So while I can happily spend a year or more planning a vacation, he prefers to wait until the next-to-last minute before familiarizing himself with all the details, such as where we’re actually going.

Four days before we left for a Scandinavian cruise, for example, he was still unclear about whether we were flying to Sweden or Switzerland. Once we cleared that up, and he read a bit about our itinerary, he said to me in surprise, “Hey, did you know the Kiel Canal is a real canal?” (With water and everything? You’re kidding!)

A few years later, we were on our way to the airport for a trip to Hawaii when he asked me the name of our hotel so he could look it up on his phone. Then he said to me, in all seriousness, “Hey, did you know our hotel is really close to the beach?” (Really? You’d think I would have noticed that.)

It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy travelling. He just doesn’t care to be involved in the planning. I used to seek his opinion on travel issues, but he was happy to let me handle all that stuff, and I was happy to have carte blanche to do whatever I wanted.

But when he does take an interest, he can be dangerous. If he’s around when I’m packing, for instance, he will insist on throwing in virtually every piece of clothing he owns. Never mind that he will wear a maximum of two different outfits no matter how long we’re away. Never mind that including all that stuff means taking a bigger and more unwieldy suitcase. Never mind that I will have to wash his entire wardrobe when we get home. Sigh.

So to summarize: I do all the work, and he goes along for the ride.

And that way, we both have a bon voyage.