Vacations are supposed to be the time you enjoy yourself and recharge your energy. Taking a vacation with your loved one can sometimes fail to live up to that expectation. Sometimes that's because the two of you squabble over "little things" - at least they're little for one of you. Maybe you have two different ideas about what you want to do with your time. You might just have to take turns and decide to do one thing this year and another next year.
If you only have one week for a joint vacation and one of you wants a relaxing time at the beach while the other wants a fast-paced city trip to visit friends, you are dealing more with affective preferences than conative differences. Remember, conation kicks in when you're striving to accomplish something, not during downtime. Planning and preparing for your vacation will bring out your conative strengths, even if you're getting ready to "do nothing" or for a "staycation." If your vacation is designed for more than downtime, then your MO will also come into play. In particular, we're going to look at your approaches to planning and organization (Follow Thru) and how the two of you deal with risk and uncertainty (Quick Start).
Kyle, you should start with an itinerary that covers all the bases and considers any possible hiccups to your plans. Make sure that you can get your physically experience your destination - the countryside, the food, the architecture - these kinds of things are essential to a successful trip for you. But be prepared, for example - if you go hiking, make sure you have trail maps and charts.
Kathy, vacations with you have lots of possibilities. You need to keep things fresh, but that doesn't mean that you won't enjoy visiting a traditional destination. Make sure to look into the amenities and attractions your destination offers ahead of time even though you're likely to find something new to do when you get to talk to the locals.
The two of you don't follow systematic plans, or at least if you do, you don't for very long. And Kathy, you're the one who is first to deviate from the plan. And if you aren't the one messing with the travel plans, you should be the one taking the lead when the plan breaks down on its own. Let's face it, when you travel, things can, and eventually will, go wrong. With your natural adaptability you are best suited to finding straightforward solutions. In fact, if everything on your trip is keeping on schedule, you'll probably suggest doing something unplanned or swapping a new activity for something you've already done before.
Kyle, between the two of you, you're better suited to do the pre-planning for your vacation. You can put together the itinerary and activities, keeping in mind that for the two of you, a vacation shouldn't be about doing everything you planned to do, but about doing the things that seems right while you're on vacation. You only have so much energy for planning and logistics so get help from others, whether that's family or a travel agent, before the stress is too great. And don't let those other people over plan your trip.
Make your vacation about having fun, not stress over plans.
You guys have the makings for great vacation collaboration. Kathy will come up with tons of ideas for new things to try. Kyle will fit in the things you've always loved. Of course, this dynamic also has the seeds of vacation conflict. Kathy needs an outlet for trying new things, while Kyle needs to get back to the tried-and-true. The best advice: you'll need to cooperate and compromise. If possible, maybe one trip every year stays the same (rent the same beach house, go to the same family cabin) while another trip is set aside for something new and unexpected. Perhaps you plan a weekend every year when you go on separate trips so each of you can have the trip best suited to you. If you only get one trip, you could balance the time between adventure and tradition.
Also, understand that your different strengths aren't a matter of better or worse, they're just different. If you remember this, your differences will help make your trips better rather than more stressful.
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