One out of every four marriages end during the empty nest years. Does this percentage astound you? It did me. How can a couple that has devoted their lives to being together, survive when the kids move out?
When it comes to risk factors, my husband and I have numerous strikes against us. We lived together, married young (we weren’t quite 21 yet), don’t have college educations and for much of our early married life, we were considered to be in a somewhat low-income bracket. By the grace of God, we’ve managed to hold our marriage together for nearly 24 years. I’m not about to become a statistic now and I don’t want that future for you either, which is why I’m making a case for empty nest travel.
Why Empty Nest Travel?
1. Empty Nest Travel is Easier.
Gone are the days when you must juggle everyone’s school schedule, sports schedule, and work schedules in the hopes of squeezing in a summer vacation. Logistically, planning and scheduling for two people is so much easier than planning for a family. You’re no longer tied to a summer vacation, school break window to travel. This opens up many possibilities- and fewer crowds!
2. Empty Nest Travel is Less Expensive.
When you’re traveling as a couple as compared to a family, costs can greatly be reduced. No longer do you need to book two hotel rooms, large vacation homes, or rental vehicles to seat a family of five and all their travel gear. And I’ve not even mentioned how much you can shave off your food bill when traveling!
3. Empty Nest Travel Allows Plenty of Time to Communicate.
If you haven’t talked to your spouse about future plans now that it’s just the two of you, travel is a great time to do that (think long road trip).
4. Empty Nest Travel Allows You to Grow Together.
Early in my marriage, a wise friend told me to make sure that I grew with my husband. This meant when I learned something new, I needed to share with him. What better way to grow together, than by experiencing something new together? Take a cruise and try ballroom dancing. Visit wine country and take a wine tasting class. Go on vacation and take a cooking class together. These are just a few ideas of ways you can learn together when you travel.
5. Empty Nest Travel Allows You to Cultivate Your Friendship.
Ideally, before you married, your spouse was a friend. Cultivate that relationship and treat him as a friend. Make time for him, listen to him and have fun with him and what better way to do that then while traveling?
While I make a case for empty nest travel, I urge you not to wait until your children have left the house to explore the world with that special someone. Plan a night or weekend away from the kids, at least once a year (if not much more frequently). An anniversary is a good place to start.
Where would you like to travel with your spouse?
Tonya’s appetite for travel was born during a trip she took to Chincoteague, Virginia with her mom, dad and brother when she was in the 2nd grade. One of only a handful of vacations she took with her family, that trip introduced her to the wonders beyond the border of her small Ohio town. When she became a parent, travel became a way of life as she and her husband homeschooled their three children while traveling as frequently as possible, and for a while, living in a motorhome