How to Surprise Your Wife on Vacation

By now you probably have your summer vacation already planned, and the only thing left to do is wait for the day to come – right?

Wrong! If you want to go the full distance – whether you’re traveling far or not – there’s plenty yet to be done. How about planning some vacation surprises along the way? You know, those romantic things you used to do to make your wife feel special? With just a little preparation and not much money, you can do plenty to surprise your wife and remind her how much she means to you.

happily married couple

Contact the hotel – One time as the trip neared, I contacted hotel guest services to see if there was anything they could do. Essentially, I put the ball in their court. I explained that we didn’t travel much, and I was eager to grace my wife with some surprises during our stay. They happily upgraded our room and had some snacks waiting in the room, as well. It’s not like you can expect this treatment every time, but it just goes to show that sometimes all you need to do is ask.

Feed those cravings – There’s nothing my wife loves more on a warm, summer day than a cool 7-Eleven Slurpee. However, in our Midwestern locale, many of the 7-Elevens have disappeared, making its iconic treat hard to come by. But once before traveling in the south, long before Google Maps made finding stores so easy, I conducted some research and ended up driving out of our way to score her one. The point is, do some homework ahead of time and make a pit stop at those regional shops and eateries to make memories all the tastier.

Special stops – My wife used to be a regular Oprah viewer, so once before visiting Chicago I contacted the studio about visiting the set. The outing was nearly a go until a sudden studio renovation made that stop problematic, although they honored her with plenty of goodies anyway. But the idea here is that even vacations within a vacation can make for a fun time. Look for out-of-the-ordinary destinations that she’ll particularly enjoy.

Treat bags – Admittedly, this tactic works just as good with children, and it works especially well when driving long distances. Fill up a simple brown lunch bag with some of your wife’s favorite, go-to snacks that she doesn’t enjoy as often as she used to:  gum, candy bars, drinks, etc. and hide it under your seat. Then, pull it out when she has the munchies. The sugar rush will only be rivaled by the love stare she heralds in your direction for the next leg of the trip. 

{ MORE: Traveling for the Holidays? You Need This Gear. }

Handle the bulk of the driving – There such a huge upside to being a passenger in a car. You can immerse yourself in scanning the scenery. You can eat and drink without worry of being distracted. You can read. And having to the ability to nap whenever you like is pure heaven. So without putting your passengers in danger by falling asleep at the wheel, let your wife feel really special and try to handle most of the driving. It will give her energy for whatever else is planned later, and that’s what’s called putting your wife first.

Bring some sweet reads – Call me old-fashioned, but there’s nothing like having an actual hard copy of a book or newspaper in your hand. Stop by a bookstore or newsstand and grab the latest print of whatever, or a classic novel. You could even buy some comic books, which the kids might enjoy, too. However you do it, unplugging and reading actual print material just might make it feel like you’re vacationing all the more.

Make some special travel music – In today’s world of readily available digital music, you may not have purchased or used an actual CD in quite a while. But why not download some of her fave tunes or music related to cruising, burn them to a CD, and jam to a special collection devised solely for your trip? Then, whenever you listen to it later, you’ll have a fond memory of that vacation. An added bonus of burning a CD is that you can design your own CD jacket with a photo of her on the cover, give the CD a fun name, and you have a keepsake cementing your status as Best Guy Ever. Besides, who wouldn’t love jamming to songs from yesteryear with the windows rolled down and cruising down the highway on a sunny day?

Sing! – My wife loves music and she’s a fantastic singer, and although I’m not the latter, I don’t mind joining her and our children in some amusing sing-alongs. During those long treks it helps to pass the time, but it also hearkens to a simpler time when families spent time together, actually conversed and enjoyed pleasurable, modest, and down-to-earth entertainment. 

{ MORE: Encouraging Kindness to Younger Siblings }

Everybody likes surprises, and with just a little bit of effort, you’ll remind your wife how much she means to you while supercharging an already fantastic vacation destined to give you memories forever. It only takes small sacrifices and generosity to make her feel special even while you’re vacationing. 

What do you think?

How to Surprise Your Wife on Vacation

Tom Konecny is a dad of four children and husband to wife, Erika. Tom currently serves as a private consultant in writing, communications and marketing. In 2013, Tom founded Dad Marketing, a site dedicated to exploring the world of marketing to dads. He previously worked in sports marketing, served as an associate editor and writer for several publications, and directed an award-winning corporate marketing department. His first book, "DADLY Dollar$" will be published this summer, and he is c ... More

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