11 Ways to Make Having a Traveling Spouse Less Suckish

Janine Snyder

I know first-hand that keeping your life running smoothly when your other half is traveling for work can be hard, but it doesn’t have to totally suck. Time to pull on your big girl (or guy) panties and start planning for your routine that is not your routine. Here are 11 ways I make the times my husband travels suck less.


Plan something fun for their first night away

The first night is the hardest. You have the next few days looming in front of you and you are wondering what could you possibly look forward to after the kids are asleep aside from Netflixing and chilling with your significant other. Plan a fun day with your littles, let them stay up an extra 30 minutes and indulge in a special treat. When they are asleep, you can check out that series that your partner probably wouldn’t like anyway or  just keep refreshing your flight tracker until you get the landed call.


Make coffee the night before

You know all of those things your partner took care of in the morning? It’s all you now! You may have to rearrange how you prep for the next day. Make the coffee, prep the lunches, lay out the clothes. It’s all you, so arm yourself accordingly. What can you skip? Shaving your legs (or the male equivalent). No one is there to notice, so you can slack a little bit here.


Don’t make the bed

Speaking of slacking, when my husband travels, I will sometimes let the dishes go an extra day (or use paper) and let the laundry sit in the dryer a little longer than normal. It may seem small, but it feels good to not do that extra chore. It also gives you something to look forward to. Yes, my partner is gone, but a least I don’t have to do those things I hate!



Maybe you have a friend or acquaintance who feels your traveling spouse pain. Maybe they too have a traveling spouse and wouldn’t mind carpooling to the kids’ school and activities. It can help lessen the change in your routine and keep things as seamless as possible with your job as well.


Get live-in child care

If you need more than an occasional carpool or favor, you need to consider your child care options. Nothing would make things run more smoothly and give you flexibility in your schedule like hosting an Au Pair. You will like that there is another adult in the house when your spouse is away and the reality is that they are probably already helping with the carpooling and dinners so it’s pretty much business as usual whether your partner is home or traveling.


Plan a date night with the kids

We all know that it is important to build relationships with the kids separately from the relationship that you share as a whole family unit. It’s fun to see how everything changes when one member of the family is missing. Are your kids sillier when your spouse isn’t around? Do they try to get away with an extra cookie? What about you? Maybe you offer that extra cookie. Go nuts! Maybe start a tradition of a special thing that you do every time your significant other travels. It will give you all something to look forward to.


Plan a night out

Change up your routine by planning a night out without your partner. Replace your date night by seeing your old friend that you have been meaning to get together with sans spouses. Yes, your meal isn’t on the company dime, but you can enjoy yourself a bit and not feel jealous about all of the comp meals your partner is enjoying.


Plan a surprise

Planning a surprise gives you something to focus on instead of that cold spot on the bed. Since you can’t watch the latest Ray Donovan until your spouse returns, focus your thoughts elsewhere. I usually rearrange the furniture or organize something. This also may require purchasing a few new items. Yay!


Retail therapy

If there is an item I have my eye on, I usually wait until my husband travels so I have something to look forward to. I try not to run out and buy it the first day he is gone so I can keep the excitement going for a little while into his trip, but sometimes I just can’t wait! Usually, the item is part of the “the whole house has been rearranged!” surprise, but sometimes it is a little something just for me.


Total makeover mode

Get excited for your spouse’s return by planning a big reveal of the new, pampered you. Schedule a haircut, use a clay mask every night and whiten your teeth. Now would be a good time to try that cleanse and try some PM yoga. While it won’t be a total transformation, your spouse will not be able to take their eyes off of you!


Change up your bedtime routine

After the kids are asleep, do something different during the time that you would normally be hanging out with your partner. Think about what YOU really want to do. Do you want to read a book? Workout? Go to bed early? Do it!!! Enjoy it.

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Janine Snyder is a wife, mom, stepmom and ambassador for the cultural exchange program. She supports parents and nannies from all over the world and enjoys writing about their experiences as well as her own. She lives with her family in New Jersey and enjoys moving around her furniture.