Editor’s note: Honestly, this post title sounds just a little bit like it could be on the cover of Cosmopolitan magazine circa 2003. That’s not really what I was going for. I recognize it and will be accountable.
But, more importantly, about today’s post. When my husband, Mr. Belle Voyage, offered to write a guest post on what goes on inside a guy’s when he’s traveling with a significant other, I have to say that I was pretty intrigued. I figured I had a pretty decent working knowledge on this topic, but since travel has all of the perfect ingredients to be a breeding ground for getting in a fight, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to glean something truly groundbreaking.
Turns out: traveling with a guy and keeping the peace all boils down to one little secret. Without further ado…
Traveling with a Guy: Part One
Hello ladies, Mr. Belle Voyage here. Recently, Jessica asked me if I could give you a male perspective on traveling with a guy. The goal? Helping you readers jump inside your significant other’s head so you can avoid some classic travel fights.
I’ll be breaking this post up into three parts to discuss the biggest pain points in couples travel: The plane, the hotel room, and daily activities. The only rule given by my loving wife? No crude humor. Which is pretty much the same rule she gives me whenever we are out in public so this should be easy.
Flying: Violating Man-Needs
Flying is one of those stressful experiences that can test even the best relationship. Take one part crowded airport, one part rude TSA agent, two doses of overweight, deodorant-challenged row-mates, and 30 minutes of delays and what do you get? Basically your typical flight experience.
I know there are a few people who love flying, but they are weird and I think there are only two of them.
For men, the story is similar but more severe. Every man I know hates flying. It violates so many of our basic man-needs. Space, comfort, quiet, grilled meat, free things…none of these are found on your average flight.
How do we handle this violation of our rights as men? We get angry but don’t have anyone to blame that anger on, which generally makes us retreat into our man-caves.
When I get on a plane I put on my headphones, I fire up my iPad, and I try to disappear into man cave oblivion. To the readers of this blog, it’s important to know that this is a very poor time to discuss our relationship. Or talk about the dogs (or kids). Or decide whether or not you left your hair straightener on. Any deep discussion is going to cause friction by taking us out of our man cave and back to the reality of where we are – on a terrible flight.
Packing: Keep Calm and Carry On
Let’s talk about packing. Yes, the cliche about women packing too much is true (more on that in my 2nd piece). That said, we are more than happy to help you with your bag, to lift it in and out of the car and to put it in the overhead compartment. It gives us an excuse to look strong.
But once the flight takes off, please, please, please let’s keep the “honey, will you get up in my bag and get my [insert random female accessory here] for me?” requests to a minimum. Maybe 1 request for every 4-5 hours of flying. Again, these requests remove us from our man caves, our places of solace.
And when it comes to packing, let’s just eliminate the checked bags. We are trying to get through the flight experience as quickly as possible. Here is how men think about carry ons: If I can’t fit everything in my carry on, I don’t bring something. If I can’t leave anything else out, I bring a slightly bigger “under the seat” carry on. If I can’t fit everything in there, I’ll wear eight layers of clothing. Anything, ANYTHING to avoid having a checked bag.
Traveling with a Guy: The Big Secret
You have probably finished this and are now thinking: That’s it? Just leave you alone? What kind of a tip is that?
Understand that men are very, very simple beings. His needs are few, but woe to those who violate those needs.
I’m a lucky one, I married someone who has mastered the art of flying and is even quicker than I am to don her headphones and free her mind from the trappings of the smelly metal tube we are forced to endure. However if you find yourself constantly arriving at your destination in the middle of a relationship dustup, it might be time to let your other enjoy his man cave time.
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