When my husband went on his first deployment in 2011, we decided that after he got back we would go on vacation. We hadn’t been on a vacation since our honeymoon three years prior and with the extra money we would make from the deployment we figured we deserved a break!
During that time he was away, I had fun planning our vacation. There were so many different options and it kept me busy throughout his time away. Planning a post-deployment vacation doesn’t have to be stressful, it can be easy and fun too!
Planning a Post-Deployment Vacation:
1. Make Your Decisions
Kids or no kids? Beach vacation, wooded cabin vacation, or something else? Leave the country or go somewhere local? There are a lot of decisions that need to be made before you start planning your vacation. You can talk about these things before your spouse leaves or wait until later in the deployment. Want to keep it a surprise? Then plan these decisions by yourself!
For our post-deployment vacation we decided not to bring my son. We hadn’t ever spent time away from him and thought a vacation would be good to have some time alone for our marriage and with each other. We discussed things before he left and during the deployment and we decided that we were going to stay local. We also discussed who would be watching our son and made plans for that ahead of time.
2. Set Your Budget
After you have discussed the ins and outs of your post-deployment vacation, start discussing your vacation budget. Remember to include enough for travel, food, hotel, excursions, and even souvenirs! We did well with our budget and were able to do a lot of fun stuff. We used some of my husband’s deployment money and also some money I saved up while he was away.
3. Picking a Date
This next step can be a little tricky as deployment homecoming dates change and if you have already reserved something you could lose money or lose your reservation. I suggest planning your vacation several months after the anticipated homecoming date. My husband’s deployment was extended by a month and I was glad that we had planned for something like that happening just in case!
Keep in mind the time of year that your husband will be coming home. Will it be summer? Winter? The kind of vacation you go on may depend on which season it is during that time.
4. Find the Best Deals
Start researching ahead of time for the best deals. If it’s close to a holiday such as Christmas, plane tickets and hotels will be more expensive. Look online for the best deals and rates, or ask each place if there are any specials going on. Don’t forget to ask for a military discount!
How about YOU? Have you ever planned a post-deployment vacation? Where did you go?