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Vacations apart might be way to go Carlos R. Davalos | Fri, Jun 18 2010 05:12 PM

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, then it must wend through the purgatory known as vacationing together.

From May through August millions of couples and families will make plans to travel together to get away from it all.

They should be planning to get away from each other.

In theory, embarking on an adventure with your husband, wife, loved one or child is a grand idea. Life's richest moments are made of shared experiences.

But in practice, travelling with a significant other is a wonderful prelude to couples counseling and the shared experience of sleeping alone.

What makes you think that if you don't like the way he tailgates and curses when he drives to the market, you will suddenly grow fond of his driving skills during a 14-hour road trip up the coast? A drive he wants to make with only one five-minute bathroom break along the way?

And if her "15 minutes" to get ready for a simple, casual dinner with friends at a pizza joint is -in human time - really an hour and 17 minutes, do you think she will primp any faster in a strange city where thousands of strangers will "judge" her for what she's wearing?

It's not that couples, or families, can't successfully travel together. They can. But that's only if success is defined as everyone coming back alive and relatively free of emotional baggage that two years of therapy can fix.

Travel experts say communication is key to successful vacationing. While that may be true, isn't communicating or having a "discussion" with your spouse, one of the things you are trying to escape?

Really, who wants to talk on their vacation? Isn't there enough of that done at home? Why pay thousands of dollars to discuss how selfish, unreasonable and stupid your partner is while standing in a line waiting for a tour bus to arrive?

Besides, what's usually agreed to during these discussions (most likely after the third day and a considerable bar tab) is that it's OK if the couple doesn't do every thing together.

If he wants to rise at dawn, learn the local language, have an authentic local breakfast, go snorkeling and mountain biking by 10 a.m., don't count her in. Let her sleep until 10:30 a.m., lounge around in the room until 11 a.m., grab lunch at 12:30 p.m. and then mosey down to the pool for an afternoon mimosa or two followed by a massage and a nap.

So why not streamline the process? Travel alone, take plenty of pictures and send frequent text messages saying "Wish you were here." Just hold your breath that that particular wish doesn't come true.

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