Do All Us Travelers Suck At This, Or Is It Just My Family?

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Travelers Suck At This

Do All Us Travelers Suck At This Or Is It Just My Family?

I made a joke with some others on our Miles to Memories team when I was thinking of booking a trip. And a little bit to my surprise pretty much everyone else could relate to it. I figured it was just me but maybe many of us travelers are terrible at this too?

The comment I made was that I would talk to my wife about a trip I was thinking about taking in the future. I will give her all of the details and we will agree that it works and there should be no issues. Then she will forget about it when it is time for me to actually leave.  She will even say you never talked to me about this, even though I for sure did!  I have even had her look at me as I was packing my backpack for my flight the next day and say what are you doing?  She had completely forgot I was flying the very next day!

Why Does This Happen?

I had figured it was just my wife’s baby brain (she blames her deteriorating memory on having our children 😂).  I have to admit my memory isn’t quite what it used to be after kids either…they kind of suck out many of our brain cells.  Or maybe it is just us getting older and busier?  But I figured it was somewhat unique to us.

That wasn’t the case at all.  Pretty much everyone on our MtM team and “extended MtM family” (hi Bethany and Joe) chimed in that they have the same problem.

My wife will usually say, well you take so many damn trips how I am supposed to remember them all?! I do think our chaotic travel lives make it hard on our partners if you travel solo or for work often like many of us do.

Travelers Suck At This

How Can We Fix This?

I may have mentioned a time or two, do you need me to start having you sign contracts for these trips so you have proof we discussed them 🤣? We have tried to do the Google Calendar sync thing but it usually falls to the wayside after jotting them all down at one time.  The pop up trips or last minute work related things get missed in between our planning sessions.

I do try to remind her as it is approaching to, like yeah in 3 weeks I will be here etc. But even then sometimes a few days out it is already forgotten.  I swear I get a message once a week from her that says are you going to be home this weekend? She isn’t quite sure when that trip to New Orleans meetup is again.

So the digital calendar thing doesn’t work so well. I know Bethany said she bought a paper calendar that they write the trips on so they can easily check it.  That could be a great addition for sure but what about when your spouse is at work or trying to plan something when they are not home?

I don’t want to simply merge our online calendars since mine is already jammed up with travel and work reminders, adding hers in would only clutter it even more.  Maybe we should start new accounts or download a new app that is only for travel that we can easily access?

I Need Your Help

Maybe I should say, WE need your help.  Let’s group think this thing because to be honest I am somewhat at a loss. I think I will add the paper “old school” calendar into the mix but is there something better I could be doing? Let me know what has worked for you and what hasn’t in the comments. Hopefully there is some amazing gadget or app that I have completely overlooked. Otherwise I will have to resort to my wife signing travel contracts in blood! And that just sounds really messy 😉😁.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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    • It has been too messy in the past with everything else we have on the calendar. Leaning towards shared Google Spreadsheet though.

      • With soccer games we go to, my wife’s school events, etc. on the calendar, our Google Calendar gets really messy also, so now my wife doesn’t even look at it. :/

  1. Love the post!
    Actually, I think a lot of this is the product of the fact that this endeavor is a passion for the ones who are likely to be reading this blog, while our partners both literally and figuratively are “just along for the ride,” and have other priorities.
    Award Wallet has been a fantastic tool, but, I do constantly remind my wife of upcoming plans that seemed like such a wonderful idea, but when the trip is imminent, I get the combination of the deep sigh and the rolling eyes…

  2. Haha, I experience the same thing and our kid is out of the house with her own kids. My wife always says “you didn’t tell me” So I TEXT her…and that solves that for me….

  3. We just send each other emails about any future plans. That way we can at least say I told you so. And since our computers are right next to our calendars (paper – shocking to you youngsters), they usually get on the latter.

  4. If it makes it onto my wife’s paper calendar, I’m golden. On the other side of the coin, we struggle with things like “is New Orleans in Florida?” and “where is Helsinki?”. But that’s going to continue to be a struggle, LOL.

  5. I’m with Sol, Autumnmist and Zia – Google Calendar and/or Tripit. We use both.

    Create a separate Google Calendar that is a color different from both your wife’s and your regular calendars, name it “Mark’s Trips,” share it with both of your accounts and check it off on both of your regular Google calendars in the left side bar. It will show up as the color you selected in both of your calendars. Your wife should let you know what alerts to set so she has time to be reminded about each trip. How many days or weeks ahead does she want to be reminded?

    Also, we use Tripit. You can share your trips with “Viewers.” Our daughter is our house/pet sitter, so I always share with her. If it is a big trip, I share with all 5 kids (all adults) so they have our itinerary. Tripit won’t remind your wife that you’re leaving. It will just tell her that you booked. Tripit can share reservations with Google Calendar. It will just save it to your regular calendar though, not a special one.

  6. You can try to use Award Wallet. Add your spouse to the emails it sends. It finds your flights and itineraries from your FF accounts and adds them. When it does it sends an email to let you know it did. Your spouse would then get these.

  7. If you use Google Calendar you can just create additional shared calendars and then you can easily select on the left hand menu which ones you want to have visible at a given time. Every member of our family (2 adults, 3 kids) has a calendar of their own and then we have a shared family calendar as well for things that everyone needs to know about.

    • I will have to check that out – thanks Sol. I just worry about it getting cluttered with everything else. Is there a way to designate what shows on it – like travel only etc?

  8. I´m the non-traveling spouse. I have to write things down on my calendar myself to remember what´s going on-I keep google calendar open on the first tab while I´m at the computer all the time. For me, the key is to actively write the info I need (not what he needs and not just merging) while we´re talking (¨John in NY¨¨John home overnight only¨). The act of writing forces me to pay attention and makes me think about how the scheduling affects me (can I pick him up at the airport?, will he be home at dinner?). His schedule changes a lot, and I need to see it while out and about, so I prefer the online option.

    • That is a great point – when you write yourself you digest the info better, remember it better and write out the info that is most important to you. I may have to work that into our plan. Thanks Sara!

  9. Nope, you’re not the only family who struggles with this. Between my husband’s work trips and our family vacations, we can’t keep track of when we’re coming and going. Last month, we ordered a huge dry erase wall calendar for the entire year. We filled it up with our trips and other commitments. It’s made a big difference. My husband took a photo of it so he can reference it while he’s at the office.

  10. this is very simple. use Tripit and have her add your Tripit calendar to yours (you can send her the .ics feed by copying the link in your account). If you can’t remember to forward all your trip info to Tripit, have it scan your email for trip info. And of course keep adding your overall trips to your family calendar (presumably there must be one since you have kids and those kids have events that you both attend).

  11. We tried the digital merging, but it became too messy. We now have a huge paper wall calendar in the office. Our rule is: it is not OFFICIAL until somebody writes it on that calendar.


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