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You don’t want this to happen on your vacation, right?

A vacation with your spouse can be a great way for some much-needed time together. But this road to paradise can take you straight to hell if you rub your partner the wrong way! On many occasions couples come back home from a vacation more stressed, beaten down and left with the feeling ‘why the hell did I go on this vacation?’ These are stressful times and a tiny issue can ruin not only your vacation, but also take a toll on your relationship.

So now that you have decided to travel with the significant other, the following tips will help you ensure that you have a great time together on your vacation:

1. Plan thoroughly: Planning your holiday thoroughly much before the scheduled date eliminates several irritants. Based on the destination, make a checklist of dos and what to carry along and tick them once they are inside your luggage or decided upon.

2. Agree on a budget: More often than not, arguments between spouses on a vacation arise when they don’t plan on a budget. The wife might want to do a bit of shopping and you might want to frequent a bar two evenings in a row – “you’re spending too much”! When you are planning, make a list of expenditure heads and keep aside money accordingly. Collectively decide whether you want to stay in a 5 star hotel and cut down on your sightseeing and shopping experiences or you would rather stay in a bed & breakfast facility/ homestay and use the money saved on shopping for souvenirs for everyone back home.

If your bank balance is more in line with a budget vacation, get on the same page before you book anything. Agree on the amount you have to spend and stick to the budget decided upon. Having said that, keep a couple of bucks for exigencies. I learnt it the hard way once when I underestimated the size of a boulder and ran my car over it and broke the silencer! I had to shell out a good sum to get it repaired — something that I hadn’t bargained for. You don’t want your wife sitting in the passenger seat alongside nagging you after every five minutes: “That’s why I tell you to drive carefully! Now, thanks to your stubborn ways, we have to cut short our holiday. Next time you can jolly well go on your own.” Well, I wished I had done that this time itself!!!

3. Know your route beforehand: Contrary to popular belief that “women can’t read maps” in my case I can honestly admit that I’m very bad at directions. I may have taken the same route a dozen times, but somehow I tend to forget. Thankfully, my wife is good at remembering directions. So the point I’m trying to make here is to be realistic and let the one who is good at directions take control. Men, we are known to ‘refuse to ask for directions even when we are lost’, so if you want a hassle-free trip, don’t be that man! Getting lost on a road trip can be very frustrating and may well be the top reason for arguments. Sit together much before your travel date and agree on the route you are to take. Better still, invest on a good GPS device or install an accurate app on your smartphone to do away with arguments with your spouse.

4. Take snacks along: An empty stomach is likely to get your spouse irritated at the slightest nudge. Pack some snacks your partner loves. Also pack some which can keep you happy and going.

5. Expect the unexpected and deal with it: Travel plans may not usually go as planned. The hotel may not be what you had expected, the car might break down, etc. There can be countless unpleasant situations. So the best way to counter such unforeseen situations is to deal with them without whining and blaming your partner. Keep calm in all situations, take a deep breath, and switch on your sense of humour. Trust me, every unexpected turn today will make a good joke tomorrow.

6. Carry convenience, not luggage: Be realistic when you are packing. Nothing is more frustrating than to be dragging four suitcases on a weekend getaway. Also take responsibility of your own belongings. If you want to carry a swimming costume, don’t expect your partner to read your mind – pack it yourself.

7. Follow the 50-50 rule: The thumb rule to a holiday with your spouse is to compromise. The vacation is for both of you and not for either one of you. So if you have picked the beach, let her pick the restaurant. If you have picked what sports you want to try, ask her to pick where she wants to go shopping. See, I can see a smile already!

8. Don’t overburden yourselves with activities: Without a doubt, your holiday itinerary will have some activities. But take a good look. Does it say: 9 am: surfing, 10 am: jet skiing, 11 am: parasailing, and so on? The mantra of a holiday with your partner is to take it easy, enjoy the activities, but not to over schedule yourself. It goes without saying that an exhausted soul is more likely to get irritable. The world is not ending today and an afternoon nap won’t kill anyone, right?

9. Don’t bring home any emotional baggage: Everybody would love their holiday to never end. It is but human to feel a little sad to be going back home after a wonderful holiday. So keep mundane thoughts about the chores waiting back home to yourself and spare your spouse from these on your way back. Talk about the nice things you did together and plan your next vacation, although you know for sure that it’s not going to be anytime soon.

Go happy, come back even more delighted! That’s the catch phrase you should adopt when on a vacation with your spouse.

Let us know if the tips help.