Here's How To Stop Fighting With Your Husband While On Vacation

Morocco tiled pool

I love to travel with my husband. It’s one of the things we work hard for on a daily basis, because being able to travel as much as we do isn’t easy on your bank account -and in many other ways. Time off work is never easy to get, and agreeing on travel arrangements has never been one of our strong suits.

However, the most difficult hurdle when traveling together, has been our history of FWOV (Fighting While On Vacation). To some people this might sound absolutely absurd - how can you fight when you are spending a week in Costa Rica or Jamaica or New York? But with so much hype surrounding a vacation, and after 12 hours in the car with my “loving” husband, a small hotel room is not exactly where I want to be.

Traveling and vacation always comes with due stresses, and with stress comes conflict. W had a dream honeymoon in Jamaica, in our very own beachfront villa with a 7-person staff. It was wonderful time, except for the night we spent whisper-screaming at each other in our room so that no one would hear. Or the morning I spent crying in bed when he went out fishing without me.

Of course every trip is wonderful, but some have been better than others due to how much work we've put in to avoid conflict while traveling.

Oh, The Places You (Might) Go

While agreeing on a destination is the very first step, it is still something most coupled struggle with. If your other half is into exploring new cities but you are into exploring new ways to drink a Margarita on the beach, you might have a problem. What has worked for us is choosing destinations that have a little of both. In Costa Rica, we stayed in an AisrBnB and had equal parts beach time, and exploring the city. 

If you are into the outdoors and shopping, choose a place like Breckenridge, Colorado. It's full of cute shops and bars that cater to the shopper, but also offer plenty of hikes for the adventurer. We also sometimes switch off on where we go. We will do a beach trip once, then the next time a more urban city.

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That

Choosing separate activities that make you both happy is important. When I finally admitted that shopping was important to me,  we started incorporating it into our travels. If you like to bring a little something home from every trip but he likes to visit the hottest breweries in town, the best thing is to learn to divide and conquer. 

We have learned it is important for us to each choose things we like to do on a trip and to allow the other person to do it. For example, my husband lets me get my shopping done because he knows when I’m done, it’s his turn to do whatever he wants to do. This usually involves visiting a brewery and talking to the brewers while I sit and go through all my new things. 

It's okay to do something you dislike - ahem, hate - for a little while, if it means you get to enjoy your preferred activity next. The important part is to discuss beforehand and plan so there is no conflict over it. 

Budget, Baby

This is where most of the fighting happens for most couples. If you are like me and never check your bank account on vacation - it doesn't count, right? -  but your husband worries about every penny spent, you will end up in an argument in the middle of the gelato shop. From the airport snacks, to the rental car gas, to the extra drink you order at dinner, things add up and it's important to be on the same page.  

Strategically talking about a budget before you leave home is key. Plan out each day and what you are going to do so that there is no surprises on either end. I always know what I can spend on trinkets to take home, and I don’t go over it - this alleviates a lot of tension about money. The one big fight we got in on our Miami trip was when I forced my husband to go to a fancy hotel for drinks one night and insisted on going and spending $20 for a cocktail. It wasn’t even that fun and $80 later we didn’t even have a buzz. It’s important to be on the same page about finances on vacation so you don't have to eat whatever canned food is in your pantry for the next week. Create and agree on a budget BEFORE  you leave home. 

Pour Some Alcohol On It

In any other situation, adding alcohol to any conflict is never a good thing, but while on vacation it usually helps to take the edge off.  It’s key to learn how to not hold a grudge on vacation and not let it ruin the little time you have together there. I am guilty of doing this in the past - like the time we fought on the plane to L.A. about who did more to get the dogs ready to be boarded, and it ruined the entire first two days of our trip. Now we choose to table it for when we get home, and most of the time we forget it by the time our vacation is over. 

Stop It, You're On a Damn Vacation

Vacation with your significant other is supposed to be fun. Sometimes, even after taking all the precautions in the world, fights come up. Just remember that you can’t and won’t ever get this time to make memories back. Don’t let a silly fight ruin any of the time you both have worked so hard for. Vacations and travel is so important to the health of our relationship, so do your very best to focus on having fun and letting everything else go.

Here’s to more flights, and less fights.