Summer is officially here and while many military families are off vacationing together or turning a PCS cross country drive into a mini vacation, there are many of us with our spouse away from home, whether on deployment, underway or TAD / TDY.


So, I'm wondering if your spouse is away, do you still take a summer vacation?


It doesn't take long for this hot topic to spark great conversation with my military spouse friends. This year since my husband is only gone part of the summer, we are waiting for his return to take a long weekend "vacation". However, there have been times when I've opted for the full-on vacation.


One summer I took a two-week vacation to visit family and drove 1600 miles by myself. There was also the summer that I planned a trip to Florida. After watching the boat sail out to sea, I headed straight for the "Most Magical Place on Earth". Yes, I went to Disney World.


This no doubt caused a bit of controversy among certain spouses in our command. A few of them thought I was crazy for taking a vacation without my husband. Regarding my cross-country drive, one of my friends said they wouldn't feel safe driving that far on their own. In both cases, I always had friends who were taking vacations of their own and didn't see the big deal. In the end, I felt the time away would offer a much-needed break from the stress of preparing for deployment and frankly, the deployment / separation. Talking to my spouse was key and we always made the decision together, something I highly recommend vs. announcing to your spouse, "Guess what, I'm going on vacation."


If you do decide to go, be sure to make them feel apart of the adventure by keeping a travel journal, sending regular email with daily highlights and don't forget to take lots of pictures and videos.


If you decide to stay, here are some ways to get creative and have fun close to home:


  • Opt for stay-cation and have a themed party complete with decorations. (think luau or "foreign country" night and make a creative menu)
  • Visit the local water park.
  • Find out what the nearest amusement parks or attractions are in your area and take a day trip to visit one.
  • If you live near the beach and have little kids, plan a morning outing. Bring plenty of plastic pales and shovels for castle building and race car tracks. Get home by naptime and everyone is happy.
  • For older kids try camping in the backyard, a small tent can be less than $50. Might I recommend an air mattress to go with the tent or without it, like me, you might end up back in the house before sunrise.
  • Invite a girlfriend(s) over for a pajama party, watch a chick-flick or two and have a themed potluck party.

Whether you decide to stay or go, I encourage you to make the most you can out of this summer. It's important to create and build friendships, stay positive and have a little a fun even if you feel like you miss your spouse so much you think you could never enjoy yourself. By giving yourself something to look forward to, you just might find the time will go by faster! Remember, your spouse wants you to be happy. They want to know you are taking care of yourself, that you are making the most of your time apart and yes, that includes having a little fun.


How are you spending your summer?



New Member
Everytime my husband deploys I go to Brazil so I can spend sometime with my family, to bad is winter here!
New Member
As a mother of 4 young children, when my husband was deployed, i took them on vacations. In fact i tried to do extra things with them in the summer to make the time fly. His deployment was up in September. So I figured i would keep our summer as packed with fun things to do. My husband encouraged me to do so as well. I hope this helps with your decision. God Bless.
Busy Wife
Occasional Visitor
I travel quite frequently with my kids and every year I take a "GIRLS" trip with other wives. Is this wrong I don't think so...When my husband is deployed I am expected to tend to the kids, go to work, pay the bills, maintain the vehicles, prepare the house for different seasons, cut the grass, fix the plumbing, flats, water heater get the point.. So yes I think I can take a vaction by myself and it not be a problem.
Wendy Poling USAA

It's so great to hear all of your perspectives. I do think it is important we find ways to rest and recover!! Thanks for sharing your insights and wisdom.