Have you ever taken a red-eye flight cross country with four kids in tow?
My husband Ted and I have.
When we first booked the tickets to go visit family out west, we thought, “What a great rate we’re getting! No big deal that it’s a night flight with kids. After all, they’ll sleep, right?”
Um … sure. Sure, they’ll sleep.
That’s what all delusional parents such as ourselves later discover isn’t true when our unrealistic expectations jarringly meet with reality. Budget airline seats, crying babies, and men who snort and cough louder than you knew was humanly possible.
Our red-eye flight served as one of many reminders that as fun as family travel can be, it also has its challenges. For us, these challenges are often the hardest on our marriage. We’ve learned that it can be difficult to work together as a united team when we’re out of our everyday environment and normal patterns. And sleep deprived. That’s why when we travel, we now pack these 5 marriage survival tips.
5 Marriage Survival Tips for Family Travel
1. Accurately Assess Your Situation …. and Realize Sometimes It’ll Bring Out Your Worst
Whether it’s a red-eye flight, multi-day road trip, or the cramped quarters of a hotel room, certain travel situations have the ability to bring out the worst in us. At least, this is the case in our marriage. As a result, we now accurately access our situation. Ted and I understand that each of us will have at least one, if not more, bad moments … and we poise ourselves to be quick to both repent and forgive.
2. Remember That You’ll Be Home Soon … and Back To Those Regular, Comfortable Habits
Ted and I connect best through the regular habits and shared activities we have in place at home. Regular tuck-in procedure. Regular nightly Netflix-binge watching. When we travel, those habits and activities don’t happen. As a result, it can leave us feeling disconnected. We make a point of reminding ourselves and each other, that those everyday comfortable interactions will soon be back in place. And, in the meantime, we look for other ways to stay connected while away.