How to Have a Great Vacation With Your Boo (Without Arguing)

BY: - 21 Jul '11 | Marriage

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What’s the point of going on vacation with your spouse if you are going to argue and fuss the entire time? Vacations are supposed to be relaxing. They’re supposed to be a time where you and your spouse can reconnect and rekindle the flame.

When we returned from our vacation last week, my husband said: “Thank you for an awesome trip. I had a great time. I think it was one of our best trips so far. And I love you.” No lie…..he really said that!

Before I tell you how we got to this point, I have to tell you that things were not always this way. We used to argue on our vacations. I would waste valuable vacation time on being mad.

He would say: “You’re always getting mad about something while we are on vacation.” And I would say: “You’re always doing something to make me mad while we are on vacation.” But if it is a 3 or 4 day vacation, why in the world would I spend 1 day or even 1 hour on being mad?

If I am really honest with myself, most of the problems came from me. (I said most not all Lamar……as I know you are reading this and laughing and thinking I knew it!!!!)

So we made a few simple changes that have allowed us to truly enjoy being together on vacation. The first thing we did was to communicate. We actually talked about why I was getting mad at him on vacation. I told him that he was not showing me enough attention and affection on the trips. He is very affectionate at home (way more than me). But when we are on vacation, it’s like we flip and I want to be all lovey dovey. It seems that my love language completely changes when I am on vacation from acts of service to quantity time. And when I do not get the attention I want, my attitude kicks in.

So just talking about what an ideal vacation looks like with each other helped tremendously. Now, I totally appreciate his efforts to make me feel special on vacation. And if he gets distracted by work for short periods, I am not so annoyed.

I also noticed that there were things that I was doing before the trip that contributed to my attitude. I was stressing myself out trying to get a million things done before leaving, such as cleaning the house, packing clothes, paying bills and balancing accounts, washing and combing hair, working late hours because everyone wants something before you leave as if you are not coming back to work.

I did two things that to cut down on my stress before the trip. First, I shortened my to-do list and only did the things that were essential. Really”...the house does not have to be dusted and vacuumed before you leave. Although it is nice to come home to a pristine home, I would much rather be relaxed on my vacation.)

Secondly, I asked for help which my family was very willing to give. I just had to open my mouth and ask. Lamar and I now work together to prepare for our vacations. We make a list of all that needs to be done, we cross off the unnecessary items, and then we tackle that list together.

It goes like this now:

Me: “I’ll get the oil changed.”

Him: “No I got it”... I will get it changed when I run out later.”

Him: Hey babe, don’t worry about doing that it doesn’t need to be done before we go.”

Me: “OK.”

Before we left on our last trip Lamar asked me what needed to be done. I told him my biggest task was to comb our three girls’ hair. He offered to help comb their hair. “Ahhhhh that’s nice boo……but no…I have seen your pony tails.” So he did other things to prepare for our trip.

Cutting down on my stress before we left, made a huge difference in how we interacted during our vacation.

Finally, keep a positive attitude. Be nice to each other and find ways to make each other happy. Don’t argue or worry about things that you cannot change on the vacation such as bills or past hurts or annoying habits. Vacation is no place for discussing those things, unless you are going on vacation specifically to address them.

Hold hands, hug, kiss, and have plenty of sex (if the kids aren’t in the bed next yours.) If you do these things, work together, and communicate, you too will have your boo thanking you for an awesome time on vacation.

BMWK Family – Do you argue on your vacations…why? Please provide additional tips to minimize the arguing and increase the loving on vacations.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 519 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.


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14 WordPress comments on “How to Have a Great Vacation With Your Boo (Without Arguing)

  1. Angelic A

    Great article.   I found that hubby and I didn’t argue on vacation but I would be so wiped out by trying to DO EVERYTHING that we would waste a couple vacation days with me JUST SLEEPING.   Relaxation is one thing… being comatose from not sleeping 48 hours prior to boarding the plane is another… KUDOS to you for this blog!

  2. Angelic A

    Great article.   I found that hubby and I didn’t argue on vacation but I would be so wiped out by trying to DO EVERYTHING that we would waste a couple vacation days with me JUST SLEEPING.   Relaxation is one thing… being comatose from not sleeping 48 hours prior to boarding the plane is another… KUDOS to you for this blog!

    1. Ronnie_BMWK

      While it is great to get some me time with the girlfriends, there is no one that I would want to vacation with more than my spouse. He is my best friend and we have so much fun together. Perhaps your next vacation with your spouse could be to a marriage retreat. You can get some much needed alone time and some tools to deal with conflict and to increase communication. We try to attend at least one every year.

    1. Ronnie_BMWK

      Too bad! It’s a pet name or a term of endearment. I love being a boo and having a boo. But we all have our own preferences. Do you use pet names?

  3. Kristen R. Harris

    Just got back from a cruise and we argued twice! You are so right; that was valuable time WASTED that we can never get back. I will definitely try to implement your tactics next time. I know about being stressed out trying to prepare before you leave. I have girls as well and getting heads washed and combed and packing their clothes is a HUGE task! Im tired before I leave! Thanks for a great article!

    1. Ronnie_BMWK

      Thanks Kristen. Getting the kids ready is a major task that has to be done. So I have learned to ask my husband for help with that besides combing the hair :-). But he does take it lose for me. In have also taken things off of my list like having the house pristine when we leave.

  4. Dlynne73

    This makes so much sense and I have already applied one of your principles mentioned.  As our vacation is set to begin next week, and it’s the first time traveling with our new baby, I wanted to be sure we have a smooth trip.  Last night I mentioned some things that need to be done and asked what he wanted me to make sure got done from that list.  It’s far less than I would have done without asking.  Additionally, he has already done some of the things that he usually does at the last minute that causes stress.  Looks like we’re off to a great start.  Thanks for this article.  I am smart enough to learn from the mistakes of others…and not make all of them myself.  Who has that kind of time?

  5. Execumama

    You were really writing about me and Kris, and pretending it was about you and Lamar, huh? LOL!   We definitely had a similar story, only Kris was the one who’d get cranky during our road trips, and then I’d get offended by his crankiness and get all I-am-woman-hear-me-roar, which only fanned the flames.

    Like you, I saw how I didn’t make things easy, and I decided to do something about it. Communicating my feelings to Kris without making it an “I’m right,   you’re wrong” situation, was what led us to the point we’re at now.

    Really the road-trip issues were a microcosm for larger issues that stemmed from our expectations not being communicated in a respectful and fully honest manner.   Nowadays, we look forward to time on the road, because it’s truly a time to change scenes and value our life together even more.

    Thanks for sharing, Ronnie. This was a refreshing read.

  6. Tiya

    Great article Ronnie! I am not   sure why but my husband and I used to argue on vacation too. It was in the beginning, I would get mad over the smallest things (like he takes longer than me to get ready and I hate waiting) lol and that would waste a whole day with us walking around not speaking. It was crazy. In addition to the time wasted, we had to think about the money being wasted too. We were able to nip that in the bud, just by releasing the pettiness, the need for control and staying focused on having a good time.

    1. Ronnie_BMWK

      Tiya are so right… I used to get mad over the smallest things.   But I too had to learn to release the pettiness and the need for control…… and to relax and have fun.

  7. Pingback: How To Not Argue On Vacation | Shoppingshow1

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Wedded Bliss: Lesley & Kamau

BY: - 22 Jul '11 | Marriage

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Creating a loving blended family can be a challenge for most couples, but it didn’t scare Lesley and Kamau Ware. The newlyweds admit it was a struggle at times for Lesley to connect with Kamau’s son, Asis, but the reward was so worth it.


Lesley, a Michigan native, had recently moved to Pittsburgh for a new job and wanted to purchase a painting for her place.

“It was my first time buying artwork so several friends suggested I check out a gallery near my apartment,” she explains. When she finally made her way to said gallery, Lesley met Kamau who was running the space along with a friend. Kamau helped Lesley choose a painting and shortly after stopped by her abode to drop it off.

“We stayed up until 5:00AM the next morning talking,” recalls Kamau. Needless to say the twosome hit it off but were strictly platonic in the beginning. “We denied being a couple at first. Our friends saw [our relationship blooming] before we did,” remembers Lesley.

Read more of their love story (and see why they decided to get tattoo rings!) at the link.

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