Separate Vacations For Married Folks? Why Not, I Guess

Mountains or the beach? Vegas or Disney? Manhattan Island or Manhattan Kansas? Where to go this year, and who got their way last year, and how do we resolve the vacation destination riddle? Is there a married couple who hasn’t had this discussion? Likely there isn’t, and the answer, though somewhat puzzling, and perhaps a bit controversial, maybe separate vacations altogether. It’s happening with increasing frequency, particularly with two career families, and so-called working vacations.
The practice is gaining in popularity, and for several reasons. Some of them have to do with time, of course, some with money, some revolve around kid care and some with a combination of all the above. Let’s explore a few of the reasons, advantages, disadvantages, and considerations for taking a vacation alone, leaving your mate behind, or on their own separate trip.
You’ve been dying to see wine country, and the offerings of Napa Valley, the B& Bs, the lush, verdant landscapes in and around fabled northern California towns. Your mate? Forget it. No interest. If there’s not a baseball game or an outlet mall nearby, they’re really not interested in going. Besides, wine gives them a headache–not good for a vacation with your spouse, and cheese gives them gas, ahem, not good either.
They, on the other hand, have been itching to get to the new Camden Yards to see the Orioles play, hopefully, the Yankees, then to catch a harborside dinner of crabs and all the seafood fixings, then take in Fort McHenry and revel in all the history there. Your mate? Baseball gives them a headache, history is boring, and crabs give them gas, but well, there’s hope for both of you. These are just a few of the dilemmas we face when it comes time to select a vacation spot. Here are a few more, including some legitimate reasons to vacation by yourself.
It’s been thirty years since High School graduation, and you’d really like to reconnect with the old crowd. You want to see if BT really started that bowling alley, or if JS really did marry that goofball PD and they had seven kids! Your mate never even knew BT, only from scurrilous rumors of what he did as a pinspotter, and she’d been nuts about JS, and couldn’t believe he ran off with that goofball PD and they had all those kids! So no, thank you very much, she’s not going to the reunion. Separate vacations? Why not?
This is the year all your sisters are getting together on the Oregon coast, and your mate isn’t even invited–girls only. Separate trips are in order.
Your daughter has an audition at Juilliard, and only one of you can go because the other has a critical business deal. Take your daughter to New York and enjoy the place for three or four days? Why not?
You have vacation time that you’ll lose if you don’t take it, and your spouse can’t go? Why not take off, catch some of the sights he or she doesn’t care to, and bring them back a nice gift?
Maybe your job title is changing, and the boss requires some updated training that can only be found in Monterey, or New Orleans, or Martha’s Vineyard. Hey, we can all dream of things like this, can’t we? The training is two weeks of intense, eight to five indoor, hands-on work, and your mate has their own work, so–separate vacations? Why not?
Finally, perhaps you just want some time alone. Maybe the kids have worn you down, a life change has left you questioning a lot of things, or a certain birthday looms and you’d like to meditate on it, free of the need to interact, even with your mate. We all need this from time to time, and they’ll understand. Go ahead; getaway; you’ll feel better, and that may be a welcome relief for both of you.
It’s happening a lot more, for a lot more reasons. Separate vacations for married folks are less rare all the time. Even certain resorts are beginning to cater to the single-married set. The practice can be more restful and refreshing than any trip together just because it’s the norm, the way you’ve always done it. As Tara Fass, a therapist in Los Angeles says: “Going away on your own gives you and your partner the experience of autonomy, and also allows you to reflect on your marriage.”
One thing to consider, though, as the experts all agree, separate vacations should not take the place of shared vacations with one another. It’s important that you save time and money for both at some point. It’s also very important to understand why you want to travel separately. If there’s a challenge in your marriage, it may not be the best time to go it alone.

Car Repairs: A Little Now or A Lot Later

In today’s economy, we are all watching every single dollar down to the pennies in order to stretch it as far as we possibly can. This extends right down to the vehicles we are driving every day. We are letting basic maintenance of these important necessities lapse and trying to get as far as we can without spending any money. Unfortunately, this can really come back and bite us in the long run and can cost a tremendous amount more than we can afford. Sometimes trying to make our dollar stretch isn’t the best answer, it can cost us far more than a simple prevention appointment would have cost, to begin with.
There are five decisions or regular maintenance appointments that can actually help us to keep our money in our pocket instead of giving it to the auto repair centers. If we simply keep up on these appointments our vehicles will run better and for longer, if we let them slide we may end up walking or hitching rides while our vehicle sits in the repair shop.
When the weather turns colder we all want to start the car and let it warm up before we climb in, however, if you go out and the car won’t even crank, you know the battery gave up the ghost. It is best to check the battery every so often and pay attention to how the vehicle is starting, is it cranking for a long time or is it normal? When choosing a battery, don’t just go for the cheapest thing you can find. The cheaper batteries are usually not designed as well and can cause problems with the terminals and cables making a repair that is even more costly than just choosing a better battery would have been. These cheap batteries release gas while they are in use which corrodes the battery cable terminals and will eventually eat away at the actual cables. This makes the alternator work harder and generally causes the entire charging system to be overloaded. It is possible to go from a measly cost of $75 for a decent battery to ten times that to repair the entire mess that a cheap battery can cause.
Another system that requires a little maintenance is the engine cooling system. It is important that we take the time to flush the coolant system it can save our vehicle a lot of headache in a literal sense. Using the wrong coolant or simply neglecting the system can cause the head gasket to fail. The proper coolant keeps the dissimilar metals in the cooling system from being eroded by electrolysis. Using the wrong coolant can cause the necessary pH balance to be off and bring about the failure of the head gasket. This simple flushing costs a little over $100 while the head gasket failure can cause a $1000.00 a headache.
There is one more flush that should be done on any vehicle, the transmission fluid. This particular flush is maybe one of the last ones that people would think of. Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of the transmission; it cleans cools and lubricates the moving parts of the transmission. Time breaks the fluid down and makes it less effective. Being informed on what a transmission flush entails and what is recommended could save your transmission completely. Also knowing the proper fluid to put in your vehicle is very important. Not all transmission fluids are created equal. Know what your vehicle needs and get it taken care of on a maintenance level instead of a repair level, this can save you over $1500.00.
Another quick and easy maintenance item involves your tires. We have all heard that so much is riding on our tires, it is so true because the condition of the tires effects how the brakes work, the traction on the road safely to the destination. The safety of the vehicle also somewhat rests on the tires. Tires that are almost worn out can blow out at any time and cause an accident. Simply making sure the tires are rotated and have the proper air pressure can actually increase the life of the tires. The last place we want to be changing a tire is alongside the road in a storm.
A vehicle without an engine is just a metal shell that is worth very little. An engine without oil will bring about the metal shell of a vehicle in very little time. Oil is the blood of the engine and without it, an engine will seize up. A blown engine isn’t repairable without a complete overhaul; it can require an entirely new engine. That is a pretty expensive repair when you compare it to a simple oil change at $29.99 every 3000 miles. That is pretty cheap insurance in the long run. While it is most likely not engine threatening to let the oil change slide by 1000 miles, it isn’t smart to let it go further than that. Most people would rather pay $30 than $3000.00. It just makes good sense to keep the oil in good condition thus keeping the engine in good condition.
Preventative maintenance no matter how we look at it is good insurance. It is cheaper to keep up with the maintenance of our vehicles than to be forced to deal with the expense of a major repair. We all know that we can’t go very far without our vehicles; we use them to get everywhere and anywhere. The newer vehicles are not as easy to maintain at home as they used to be. That is why the large auto repair centers are available to change the oil, check the tires and take care of everything under the hood. These professionals know just what it takes and they have all the tools to maintain any vehicle and keep it running good so we can stay on the go. Spending a little money on our vehicle at important times in its life can keep it from spending days and weeks in a repair center. Spend a little to save a lot because a lot is riding on the dependability of our vehicles.