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Irritable Travel Syndrome-Do you have it, too?

Irritable Travel Syndrome-Do you have it, too?

Aug 3rd, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Irritable Travel Syndrome-Do you have it, too?

My husband and I ( 26+ years married!) don't argue that much at home. But somehow when we go on vacation, we act like kids coming home from a bad playdate. We're cranky, we whine, we egg each other on.

Some actual lines that have come out of our mouths over the years include: "Stop pretending to be French and just ask for the frigging directions!", "Remind me. Why did you think it would be fun to retrace Caesar's footsteps during a heatwave?!"Does it really matter if the wine sucked?" and finally, from me, I admit: "If you disappear one more time to get coffee during the final boarding call, I'm going to ask for sole custody of the kids!"

What about you? Does travel bring out the best in you? The worst? Or a little bit of both?

Thanks, from a traveler who's often NOT on her best behavior!
Weadles is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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lol! Wait until you've got 44 years
under your backpack! It's the combo
of too much togetherness, stress of
trying to comprehend rapid talk in an unfamiliar tongue plus the strains of travel period. Plus no
newspaper delivery every morning.

After many trips to Europe DH finally lost his patience w/ 'those'
people not speaking 'his' language -
he yelled "Speak English!" to an
innocent train conductor. It was
hot, he is old, tant pis....time to
consider cruising. Not.

I think a good rule of thumb would
be crankiness increases with each
degree of celsius and each time your
VISA is rejected at a peage port.
llamalady is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 12:42 PM
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I usually travel solo, so I have no one to complain to but myself. And that gets old quick.

It IS hard not to feel a bit superior when I hear couples squabbling over nothing, like you mention in your OP. And I'm here to say you are NOT alone in the irritable travel syndrome, seems like every other couple I pass is bickering with each other about something.
suze is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 12:47 PM
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True, true...the favorite line the boys and I keep hearing is..."I can travel the world and not have xxxxx happen". We finally started finishing the sentence and DH got the message! He does travel internationally a lot solo for business and travelling with the family was usually a different experience all together!
cmeyer54 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 12:51 PM
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Actually, we do pretty well when we travel together. I think after all these years, we realize that things will go wrong and we just try to accept that.

I use to stress alot because I was the map reader and navigator while DH did the driving. That caused more squabbles than anything else. But now we use our GPS when we go to Europe and it has made a world of difference!

Also, we know not to try to cram too much into the time we have and allow enough down time. We also have to be careful to eat at regular times because I can get cranky when I'm hungry.

I think it just comes down to having reasonable expectations but you BOTH have to know that going in.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:05 PM
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I leave my husband at home and travel with a friend who has interests similar to mine. We didn't squabble when traveling together but we were getting close.
Barbara_in_CT is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:19 PM
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We ususally do pretty good, but he is the 'We have plenty of time' guy and I'm the 'We'll never make it!' girl. I believe that if you are not at the station/airport hours in advance you are taking a risk. He feels there is only a problem if they won't let him onto the plane/train as they are closing the door.
rbnwdln is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:20 PM
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I think it's hard not to have moments of annoyance any time you're with someone all day and all night, married or not. You're out of your home (comfort zone), making decisions you don't normally make, trying to find your way around strange places. Plus you're trying to get the most out of your vacation. Somewhere in your mind (whether you know it or not) you're thinking about all the money you're spending for this vacation and you want the best time, restaurant, hotel, etc. for your money. It's all stressful! I think we all have these moments. I find there's less stress when I have some time by myself.
adrienne is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:23 PM
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I think it's easily understandable: hot, not sure which way to go, being hungry for the last 2 hours, who knows how much longer and what you will get - the list goes on forever. We had it all and it was mostly me going nuts, must confess. But being away lately so often and for so long I've learned to enjoy us being together and realized that it goes into no comparison with what we'll see and what we'll miss, what and when we eat, when we get where we are going - as long as my wife is with me.
mian11224 is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:30 PM
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We usually do pretty well too, although we do have our moments from time to time. The most recent event happened on our last trip to Germany, when we both failed to do our research and thus ended up walking for almost two hours to Dachau concentration camp from the train station instead of taking the bus like normal people. We were both tired and crabby (we are both active, but neither of us were prepared) and got lost a couple of times. But in the end it always works itself out.

I think we actually squabble less on vacation, even though we are spending more time together than usual, because we are just happy to be there. We usually have that "woo hoo, we're on vacation" vibe and let things roll off our backs that would probably annoy us if we were at home.

tcreath is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:32 PM
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Actually I find that we hardly ever argue or disagree when we are travelling.

Maybe it's because we are away from the stresses that usually cause differences. It's the "us against the world" syndrome.

Royal is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 01:39 PM
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I leave my husband at home too. We sometimes still argue over the phone, but I have never had a disagreement with the friends or family who sometimes travel with me. Like suze, I travel solo many times now. I think it's the best way-for me anyway.
scatcat is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 02:11 PM
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Like Betty. I am the navigator and he is the driver AND I have to tell you when we travel it is the ONLY time that he does exactly as I say when driving.

We do have a little problem when parking because he will take the first spot he sees.... even if it is "miles" from our destination. Oh well, guess all the exercise is good for me.

Sometimes plane delays or problems can be so stressful, but we've gotten to the point of just laughing it off and rolling with the changes.

jnjfraz is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 02:48 PM
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jnjfraz, LOL, you must be a better navigator than I am. We got lost quite a few times! DH was usually pretty calm about it, and I was the one freaking out! Then my freaking out would get him upset and everything would go to h*ll after that!
bettyk is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 04:35 PM
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My wife never has been able, cannot now, nor will she ever be able to read a map. When asked a question about anything on a map, she freaks out, starts flipping the paper this way and that, and finally either bursts into tears or merely sulks against her door of the car.

"Don't shout at me!" "You should have asked me 10 miles ago!" "You know I'm no good reading maps!" "Which way is north?"

She never learns. I never learn.
USNR is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 05:02 PM
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We have found the best way to avoid crankiness is to void 24 hour togetherness. Be sure to schedule separate time on a regular basis - doing things you each like for a day or an afternoon. It will give you something to talk about - and lessen the pressure a lot.

As for running off to get coffee when they're boarding = just make up your mind he's going to miss the plane and you'll have a better vacation without him.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 05:14 PM
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Nytraveler, I totally agree with you. After 2+ weeks of togetherness on a trip, the bloom is well off the rose. But do you think that we would travel less than 2 weeks at a time? Oh, noooo! The easiest thing for DH and I to do is to have separate days or afternoons; by then, we start to miss each other and can't wait to tell the other what we saw that day during dinner. Also, it saves on the nagging (I can only see Les Invalides in Paris once a year, for 2-3 hours hours at most; DH thinks it's a day event). After 21+ years, it hasn't gotten any better and we still get lost in any city we go to (we crossed 7 bridges in Cologne one time, trying to find our hotel), but we just chalk it up to the "experience" and laugh about it years later.
Bellarosa is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2008, 05:20 PM
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Since DH is retired, we're already together 24/7 so being on vacation isn't any different. Never has occurred to us to schedule separate time on vacation.
bettyk is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 03:56 AM
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Hi W,

> somehow when we go on vacation, we act like kids coming home from a bad playdate.<

Because you are trying too hard to have the perfect vacation.

Relax. Slow down. Don't try to see everything in one visit.

Have a glass of wine - just enough for relaxation, not enough to make you tipsy.

If DH wants to go for a cuppa at the final boarding call, let him.

You can meet him at the next hotel, if he arrives.

ira is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 07:00 AM
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I get stressed out on the journey there and back and liable to bite my companions heads off, but once I'm there I'm fine. I just worry worry worry about being late, missing the flight/train, losing my passport/tickets/money/hotel address, the hotel turning out to be a dump, the town turning out to be a dump, and EVERYONE BLAMING ME!
nona1 is offline  

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