LG, Maine: My husband and I haven’t taken a vacation for many years. Now that we are both retired, we could take a vacation. I think we are stuck in a rut with our daily routines and somewhat sedentary habits. Our son and family live nearby, and we visit back and forth when their schedules permit. But, now that summer is coming, I wish for a break and am ready for an adventure, just us, or with our grandchildren, who are now school age. My husband says he doesn’t want to venture out away from our home. He is concerned, I think, about spending money or finding himself in an uncomfortable or strange situation.
Many of us experience “Spring Fever,” and that can be a good thing–a time for renewal, getting outdoors, getting exercise and brain stimulation, connecting with others, enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables, even Spring Cleaning!
I would take some actions, but go slow out of respect for his feelings:
- Make a plan for some things you can do yourself to get beyond that feeling of being stuck in your daily routines, short of embarking on an actual vacation away! A walk around the block each a.m.? Free Yoga classes in the park? A new exhibit at the Museum? Lunch with friends? Planning a nearby day outing with family? Picnic in the back yard? Began with an activity you will enjoy, and inviting your husband to join you if he so chooses.
- See if your husband will explore his reasons for not wanting to take a vacation. Talking about one’s reservations is sometimes freeing. There are so many choices these days for “getting away,” he may find a vacation acceptable if it is low-cost, or if it is within driving distance, or if it is for a short time (i.e., a 3-day getaway), or if there is a place to stay that is comfortable, has a kitchen, or has a flat-screen TV, or where there is entertainment, etc. He may like the beach or prefer the mountains, the city or the country. Would he consider visiting a favorite destination he’s been to before–or taking the grandchildren there?
- When and if the time comes to plan a vacation, choose a destination, plan for activities that includes both of your interests, and if going with familly, everyone’s interests. Planning ahead is the secret to a good experience.
- No luck moving your husband? Would you consider a weekend trip–just you, with old friends or family? That would include a conversation with your husband. (A note: I loved downhill skiing, which began as a teen. As a mother of preschoolers, I didn’t ski, not wanting to chance being laid up with a ski injury. But as they were older, I wished to get back to skiing. My husband (now ex–for other reasons) refused to be any part of snow and ice. At some point, I made a plan to go skiing with my aunt–and lo and behold, he requested to come along!)
I would like to give a shout out to two amazing sources for ideas for vacations and travel. http://grandparents.about.com has several extensive lists of ideas for activities with grandchildren, both at home and away.
http://www.aarp.org/magazine/, especially the last issue of their magazine Feb/Mar, 2015, has excellent ideas, including Samantha Brown’s “No-Sweat Family Travel” and “The Unexpected Joys of Family Travel.” The AARP April/May issue gives details of a successful cruise vacation.