These pre-deployment vacations aren't stressful and don't suck

By Julie Provost

The deployment orders have been issued, you know the date they are going to leave, and you want to plan some time together before your spouse goes. A pre-deployment vacation is a good way to make some extra memories and spend time together. Planning a stressful trip is a big no-go, but here are some ideas for some pre-deployment vacations that you and your family will enjoy.

Hit the beach

Beach from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Sean MacEntee, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Rent a condo by the beach, bring your own food, some books, sunscreen, and take a time-out together. What’s more relaxing than falling asleep to the sound of the waves? Don’t forget to pack your beach towel.

Explore the mountains

Mountains from Flickr via Wylio
© 2012 Abdul Rahman, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Rent a cabin, go hiking, pitch a tent, and enjoy the mountain air. Enjoy time together, play cards, make s’mores and enjoy that fresh mountain air. Cabins can be perfect for families, especially if they include an indoor bathroom.

Ride the coasters

The carousel from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Alessandro Caproni, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

There are some complicated amusement park trips out there–think Disney World–but your trip doesn’t have to be that way. Take a day or two to have fun at a lesser-known amusement park. Don’t do a lot of planning; just go and enjoy yourselves.

Get on the road

Road trip to the mountains from Flickr via Wylio
© 2017 Thank you for visiting my page, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Pack up the car, get out your GPS, and go for a road trip. You don’t have to go far–just get out, get driving, and see what your country has to offer. If you are overseas, you can explore another country, one you have never visited but always wanted to see.

Go on a cruise

cruise from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 danzil raines, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

A cruise will allow you to see multiple places in the easiest way possible. The boat will take you to different ports that you can get out and explore. You won’t have to think about what to make for dinner. You can enjoy the buffets and restaurants on-board. They even have childcare and kid’s programs. It’s perfect for a relaxing adventure.

Take a staycation

Arcadia County Park from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Brian, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Don’t want to mess with packing and traveling? Visit your city. Go to a park. Take in a movie. Make a plan for each day that takes you out of your everyday routine. Enjoy meals together and have fun. You will also learn more about your community and generate ideas to fill your deployment calendar.

Have a second honeymoon

Honeymoon from Flickr via Wylio
© 2014 Mack Male, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

Find someone to watch your kids and get romantic. Go back to where you went on your first honeymoon. Never had one? Now is your chance. No matter what you do, find something that you both enjoy that you would find romantic and relaxing. You will be glad to have those memories after they leave.

Don’t think about a thing

Kurumba Maldives from Flickr via Wylio
© 2017 Simon_sees, Flickr | CC-BY | via Wylio

Like a cruise, being able to stay in one place is handy. With an all-inclusive resort, you don’t have to worry about paying for every little thing you do. Everything will be included in the price that you have paid, and this can take a lot of the stress away from your vacation.

Go home

Mom from Flickr via Wylio
© 2010 Mike Miller, Flickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

If you get along with your mom or your mother-in-law, going to their house can be a relaxing experience. You can visit your hometown, eat homemade food, and enjoy time with your family before deployment. If you have kids, you will have people willing to babysit so you and your spouse can have a few nights out to yourselves.

Julie Provost is an associate editor at Military One Click and a National Guard spouse. She can be reached at