Obsessive Trip Planning Disorder

Jennifer suffers from OTPD. Obessive Trip Planning Disorder.

I would write a longer post tonight, but we got entirely side-tracked with the booking of our summer vacation. I feel a bit funny posting exactly when my house will be vacant on the Internet, so will recap it after the fact.


I can visibly see her going small scale crazy on me if she doesn’t go somewhere on vacation each year. She really likes traveling about and seeing new things and places. It’s not even like it’s something ultra expensive she wants to happen, we’re not flying first class or staying in penthouse suites. Doesn’t have to be weeks away either. But if she doesn’t go somewhere, she’s quietly disappointed for the remainder of the year.

Okay. So she nags about it lol.

But I can see her nagging about it in a trying-very-hard-to-not-nag-about-it way.

Now for the most part I’m just teasing Jennifer with this post, because having actually booked hotels, transportation, two events and basically set the trip in stone on the calendar, she looks visibly perkier. She’s sitting across from me now and going flat-out on her laptop looking up yet more things to do, deals to find and places to eat. As I’m writing this post I’ve already been told five different things that are either free or cost next to nothing to do.

Overall I think this is a genuine need she has to just go do something. But I have certainly noticed that it can easily turn into a Fitness Test by pushing the limits of affordability. I can think of a single instance where I did actually get rather blunt with Jennifer about that. In that instance we had just cashed out my 401k early with penalties to pay off credit cards and put money aside for producing the book, but for a while there we had several thousand dollars sitting in the checking account… whereupon she informed me she was getting antsy for a vacation… whereupon I said I thought we just gutted my life savings because we were totally broke, there would be no possible way we could go on vacation anywhere for any reason. She did apologize to me for that. Then we went to New Zealand to say goodbye to dad before he passed on. Oy.

I’ve also noticed that all the women in my family like trips. Eldest daughter “just wants to stay in a hotel”. Youngest daughter “just wants to go on a plane”. When the book money started coming in, my mother-in-law slipped in the idea that I could take everyone on a cruise. Oh real-ee.

Anyway… the trick is watching affordability. If you can afford it, it’s fun and all good. Points to you. If it’s going to make you work overtime for months to pay it off, it’s you failing a Fitness Test. This summer our trip is actually a Plan B after our Plan A idea looked good on paper but I just felt funny about it laying awake at night. Plan B costs half of Plan A and I feel fine about it. Eldest is getting her wish as we will stay in a hotel. Youngest is out of luck as we’ll be driving. MIL is going on a cruise somewhere else on her own nickel. So whatever your budget is, there’s always something that you can find your way to do for a vacation. Even if it’s just a single night away, it’s better than nothing.

And despite my gentle teasing of Jennifer in this post, I thought she took the Plan A vacation getting deep sixed fantastically well a few weeks back. And her OTPD really does work to everyones advantage finding great things to do and deals.

Jennifer: In my defense lol…Plan A was your idea to begin with  :-)   I appreciate that we can spend some “let’s build some memories” time with the kiddies once a year when Athol is mostly content being a home body.  I’m happy being the one who runs the errands and takes the children where they want to go because I need that external stimulation, while Athol is the ideas man who is happy being home writing and reading and thinking big thoughts.  And while he pokes fun at me a bit, the looking for deals thing is my way of helping to keep things affordable.  (youngest daughter’s friend calls me “the Coupon Queen”…it’s true and I’m not ashamed lol)


  1. Raise your hand if you like to travel…..meeee!!!! :)

    It can be in a hotel but I quite dig camping as well. Travel, whether 2 hours away or 5 or 13, is just fun as far as I am concerned. I hope you all have a blast with your Summer trip! Safe travels!

  2. I am In Regina, Sask. this weekend for a buddy’s wedding. Talk abound plan g. Although we are hitting Disneyland this fall. Any tips?

  3. My SO gets holiday envy if her friends are travelling.
    Luckily a camper van trip with three children under six is her idea of a good time. I’m working out that she needs me to take the lead in planning the itinerary, while she is happiest writing endless lists of everything we have to take.
    She is also much more interested in sex when on vacation (does anyone else get that?). I’m looking at our upcoming trip as a good testing ground for my MAP progress – a change of scenery and a chance to see each other in a different light.
    Of course the 3 kids camper van scenario will make the sex quite a challenge…

  4. I think that a lot of women really need to get away somewhere with the family once in a while. A “staycation” just doesn’t cut it, because it doesn’t create a break from the daily grind. We are taking a modest vacation this year to a place we have been many times, but I am still looking forward to it. And yes on better vacation sex – I think that’s related to getting away from daily responsibilities too. Although that camper thing might make it tricky – lol.

  5. Try to plan vacations reasonably far in advance — anticipation is half of the benefit of the experience. And that costs nothing.

  6. RedPillAwakening says:

    I’ve never understood why my wife feels like whatever we do to spend time together doesn’t count unless it somehow drains our bank account. Suggestions I make for activities that don’t cost anything (or don’t cost much) always get shot down, without fail. Sometimes I think if she had to bust her ass to earn the money she might learn to be a lot more careful with it. I finally got us out of credit card debt after many years, but I have had to become a hard-ass just to make ends meet.

  7. RedPillNewb says:


    My wife is the opposite. I once spent less than $50 online to facilitate a nice surprise for her (part of a larger get-away-from-kids-together scheme) and she yelled at me when she saw the charge on the online statement (which was before the surprise.) She said I was being “disrespectful” to her by spending money without her permission. I think it rather disrespectful of her to think I need her permission to spend money, but in fairness I’ve trained her to think that way. She has some adjusting to do still.

  8. Vacation sex. Great before marriage. Now it’s such a let down I don’t even want to go anywhere, since I’m the one paying & using my (pre-marriage) hotel & airline points. Can anyone say ‘star fish’ ? Guess that’s why I’m here.

  9. Beta Tester says:

    The problem I have with vacation is there is virtually NO sex. I have 2 little cock blockers around day and night. If we go camping we have to wait till they are asleep and it is late enough so none of the other campers will hear (I bet they still do). If we go to a hotel or stay with someone, forget it. The kids are in the room or we can’t have sex in a bed that is not our own.
    That said there has been the rare adventure. Once in a rental minivan outside Disney. Another time on a remote beach in a northern state. Another time we did it on a couch in a basement cause ya can’t use the bed in someone else house.
    I do have a question with letting her plan the vacations though. Are you giving up your Captain’s seat to the First Officer? My wife also likes to go on vacations. When I was all beta, she would take the kids and her mother on vacations without me. Since I have been running the MAP, my wife has been running fewer shit tests. This year I made the vacation plans and am making the arrangements. She will still have to do her fair share of the packing, I am just taking my command back. I have limited days off from work. I am making dam sure I get to use them how I want.

  10. Likewise, my wife suffers from this affliction as well, I refer to it as her “wanderlust”. Athol is absolutely correct about them spending you broke if you let them. I do find that I open up the purse strings a little more than I should, but I’m so beta I want to give her whatever she wants, and since vacation is ALL luxury in my mind, then whats the argument against a luxury she wants? I can see I lose serious alpha points for how I handle this, I need to sweep her away on a surprise vacation where everything is planned out by me but shows consideration for her tastes. I think our biggest gap here is that I want to go see NATURE on my vacation, somewhere I cannot see another human being anywhere, and couldn’t hit any sign of civilization with a long range rifle. She likes CULTURE and PEOPLE and is interested in going to more people-related sites.

    After having recently found this blog, its funny looking back at all the good alpha things I did “accidentally”. Stuff I really was uncomfortable with doing at the time was actually what caught my wife for me in the first place. I can see now that coercing her to go snowboarding, and boating even though it received a lot of push back are things she really enjoys going to do now.

  11. holdingallthecards says:

    @Jennifer: I know you work, so don’t you have your own savings account for things like weekend getaways with girlfriends or just your daughters? Time apart is healthy in a marriage (the amount varies per couple), and there is no rule that says every vacation has to be spent with a spouse (especially when they’re the homebody). Besides, if the money comes from your own savings, it’s your budget, too. The only one to say yes or no is you.

  12. Jennifer aka The Wife says:

    @holdingallthecards From the beginning of our marriage we’ve always had joint finances…I mean even if we had “separate” accounts we’re legally joined in all things financial etc. when it all comes down to it anyway. I personally would see it as divisive to have a “this is mine, this is yours” setup to our finances. We are a team, we make financial decisions as a team, we have team finances.

    I prefer to spend our hard earned money on vacations as a family…sure we both like an afternoon to ourselves once in a while (the introvert thing) but I have no interest in going away without Athol. I enjoy spending time with him and our daughters, and it really wouldn’t be any fun obsessively planning a trip that I couldn’t experience with them. And realistically, the one to say yes or no is the budget…if I plan some sort of blow-a-lot-of-money weekend, whether for myself/friends or the family, that’s not responsible of me and I wouldn’t end up having fun.

  13. “MIL is going on a cruise somewhere else on her own nickel”

    That my friend is what they call a two-fer…

  14. It sounds like there are lots of women out there who spend money like it’s burning a hole in their husbands pocket. I wouldn’t care we went, what we did, or how much it cost (or didn’t), if it was his idea and he did the planning. I hate always being the one to make the suggestion that maybe a vacation would be nice. Then I’m the one has decide where to go, where to stay, what to do, how it’s going to be paid for, who is taking care of the animals or the kids or both. I would follow him on weekends and sit quietly by watching him while he participated in his hobby if he would only make the preparations. I hate being in charge of everything damn thing.

  15. Dreadpiratkevin says:

    My name is Kevin and I have OTPD. I start planning our September vacation in January. It lets me enjoy the vacation vicariously for half the year. The advantage is that you can squeeze quite a lot of vacation out of a small budget if you do it right. I show my wife the occasional web page or potential rental property to judge her reactions, and get her input before finalizing, but I do all the leg work. She’s willing to go along with anything as long as the kids will have fun, and we stay within budget. And we have enough bedrooms.

    Beta Tester: We learned a long time ago that the best kind of vacation, in fact the only thing I consider an actual vacation is to rent a house with enough bedrooms for everyone wherever we go. Putting the whole family in one hotel room or tent for more than one night en route just ain’t happening. If we don’t have more than average ‘alone time’ it isn’t vacation. Even when we camped the kids slept in their own tents. Renting a house is actually cheaper than a hotel, and way way more fun, especially if extended family is involved. Our family vacations are a big deal for us, we’ve always made it a priority, but I’m pretty sure we would have killed each other long ago if we had to all stay in the same room. Vacation sex is the best kind of sex (except possibly make up sex). Without it, it’s not really a vacation.

  16. Hoo! This is me and my lady. In our case it’s somewhat more understandable; I was an Army brat and got to see all different parts of the country as a kid ’cause we moved every three years, plus we got crazy good deals on things like national parks and campgrounds thanks to Dad’s military discount, so I’ve already seen a lot of what I’d want to see. Whereas she never lived anywhere but the same tiny little town until going away to college and never went on a vacation farther away than a family reunion the next state over, so she’s constantly jonesing to travel. In her case it’s not the planning that she gets obsessive about, it’s just getting the hell out of Dodge every once in a while. She’ll do the planning if I don’t take charge myself, but it’s not the part that she loves.

    We’re planning a big trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls for our ten-year next year. It’s shaping up to be an expensive one, but fortunately we have a year to save and we’ve already put a fair bit away.

    As far as vacation sex goes, we don’t have kids so that particular cockblock factor isn’t there, but there is the issue of being so beat from doing whatever we’ve been doing all day that we forget to leave enough energy at the end of the day for some serious boning. For longer (1+ week) vacations, I have to remember to schedule a day for rest and recuperation (read: a furious boning session, then lunch, then nap, then another long, leisurely boning session) somewhere in the middle. (-:

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