How to make your partner happy


When you have two very different types of traveller, striking a balance between relaxation and action isn’t easy. What can Geoff do to ensure he and his wife both have a happy holiday?

Q. Geoff
I love travelling with my wife but when we arrive in a destination, I’m ready to hit the ground running whereas she like a day or two to de-stress. While I’m semi-retired, she still works full-time and works incredibly hard, therefore I do most of the planning and have all the enjoyment of getting excited about the trip beforehand. I sometimes think she sees travel as a chore and only does it to please me, but generally once she’s had a day or two to relax, she gets more actively involved in what we do.


How can I get her to make more of our trips, which would also save me hanging around hotels until she’s ready to get going?

A. Everyone travels differently and it’s not unusual for people to need the first day to not only de-stress, but also to get over the actual travel to a destination. I myself am a hit-the-ground-running kind of traveller so I can understand your frustration, however, as you said, your wife works incredibly hard while you perhaps have a little more free time on your hands.


Essentially, there are two ways to address this – either change your wife’s travel habits or consider what you can do to make the most of the time you have while your wife relaxes – you’ll know what’s more likely.


If it’s the former, then why not suggest to your wife that she finishes work a day or two earlier than she usually would. This way she can relax at home before you head off. Or maybe, if you’re planning a long haul trip, a stopover would give her the chance to re-energise.


mature couple planning a holiday


You might also try to get her more involved in the planning – she may well feel that she’s just along for the ride and that she’ll get moving when she’s good and ready. By planning together, she can share your excitement from the outset and perhaps you can get a better balance as to when you both take some time out and when you go full pelt.


Use tools on Google, such as Streetview, so you can take a virtual trip around your destination and earmark some of the places you want to visit once you get there. Or if your destination has a webcam, check in and see what’s going on at different times and days of the week.


If, however, the lady is just not for budging on day one and two of your trip, then perhaps you need to be a little more independent and get out and about yourself. As corny as they seem, open top bus tours are a great way to get your bearings in a new destination, and store some useful local facts to impress your wife. Or, if you have an area of specific interest, such as gardens, walking or craft breweries, that maybe your wife doesn’t share, use your time to indulge in your passion.


It’s really important to remember that the trip is for both of you, so getting the balance right between relaxation and action is vital.


Related articles:
Travel SOS: all your travel questions answered
Should I travel alone?
Airbnb concern 

Written by Debbie McTaggart

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