Travel: The Businessman versus the Businesswoman

Man with red bags at the airport

I thought I’d have a little fun today with the differences we experience in our house when getting ready for a business trip.

My husband preparing for travel:

1.) Make sure hair is freshly cut.

2.) The night before, pack bags. Wife has already ironed shirts and will be folding them to pack.

Me preparing for travel:

1.) Wash all clothes down to the last item so family will have clean laundry while I am away.

2.) Iron husband’s shirts so he will have them for work.

3.) Pack husband’s lunches for the week.

4.) Make special trip to grocery store to buy food to prepare for absence.

5.) Prepare dinners so all they will need is to be reheated. Be sure to include detailed instructions on reheating so as not to receive a phone call asking questions during a meeting. This week’s menu: Vegetarian pizza, tuna rollup, barbeque chicken, baked tacos.

6.) Trip to salon.

7.) Errands that cannot wait.

Your turn:

How about you? Does this sound like your house?

40 Responses to Travel: The Businessman versus the Businesswoman

  1. Avatar
    Diana Harkness July 18, 2013 at 5:10 am #

    It’s the opposite at my house. I’m the early light packer: pack the essentials during the week before (i.e. throw everything I think I need into my duffle and backpack and don’t worry about food. My husband packs everything he, the dog, and I might possibly need including snacks, drinks, and perishables and dog treats and bones. The result: I have run short on shirts, pants, and socks. Fortunately I can wear his extra t shirts and we always have plenty to eat. And yes, we don’t take “business” trips.

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    Connie Stevens July 18, 2013 at 5:15 am #

    I can relate. My DH doesn’t even do his own packing because he is colorblind! In preparation for my recent travels, I had to prepare 2 weeks worth of diabetic-friendly meals and stash them in the freezer with full instructions. I am commonly doing laundry (for him) the night before I leave because the man does not even know that we OWN a washer and dryer.

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    Georgianne Moisan July 18, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    I drive my husband nuts whenever we leave on a trip! Not only do I need ALL the laundry done, I have to change sheets, make sure the bathrooms are all cleaned, clean out the refrigerator, and have a meal planned for when we get back. I mean, what if we had an accident and friends and family came into my house to pack clothes! Or, heaven forbid, we died and they had to come and empty out our house … can’t have them seeing a messy closet! No matter how hard I try, I never seem to make his “we’re definitely leaving at ____!” deadline. I’m sure there’s a name for this….

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    Jennifer Major July 18, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    My husband has piece of high tech heaven at his lab that weighs ONE dried pine needle. ONE. He actually works with DNA. And cells. And 50 foot trees.
    A few weeks ago, I stood by the washing machine and pointed at each dial and talked very slowly to make sure he understood what I was saying.

    “Do not wash dark clothes in hot water. Okay, what did I just say?”
    “Something something…water?”
    Slaps forehead.
    “Okay! Don’t wash the clothes?”
    Tosses laundry at him and walks away.

    *Hubby can cook and clean just fine. The 3 boys are fine as well, but right before I leave, they like to pretend they’re useless. They find that amusing. I do not. They like to watch me turn red and sputter. Brats, all of them!!

    • Avatar
      Dakota Rae Smits July 18, 2013 at 6:46 am #

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      Pam Hillman July 18, 2013 at 7:49 am #

      Jennifer, ROFLOL!

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      Karen Ball July 18, 2013 at 11:38 am #

      LOLOL! Okay, Jennifer, please tell me you’re writing humor!

      • Avatar
        Jennifer Major July 18, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

        Not YET. I figured I’d leave that to Patsy Clairmont, for now. I write hist/fic, but I do have some rather snappy dialogue between two grown brothers. And a husband and wife. And a hawt-ay and his sweetie.

        I’ve written some truly eville Fake Christmas Letters that made respectable people weep.

        And, ohhhh, I DREAM of writing the Stupidest Query Letter Ever.
        I can hear it in my head whenever I send a real one.


  5. Avatar
    Connie Almony July 18, 2013 at 5:35 am #

    Oh, so true!

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    Karen Robbins July 18, 2013 at 5:54 am #

    We usually travel together but it starts with me getting the house clean to come home to, making sure all the laundry is done so we have clothes to pack, being sure we have all the toiletries we need as well as the med/first aid pack we carry (I’m a wannabe Boy Scout–be prepared), and then going through all the clothes he’s set out to pack to be sure he’s picked shirts without stains that are pressed. We travel so much that we have it down to a routine and usually pack the night before we leave.

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    Cecelia Dowdy July 18, 2013 at 6:26 am #

    Oh my goodness…ironing shirts! I’m afraid that I have not used an iron in about six years! I usually make sure that the laundry is done, go to hair salon to get my unruly hair fixed, get eyebrows waxed, maybe get some new makeup, maybe go shopping for some new clothes. As far as food, I usually stock up on freezer-type things that hubby can make himself while I’m gone. He’ll also order a lot of delivery food.

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    Carrie Stuart Parks July 18, 2013 at 6:34 am #

    I team-teach with my husband on the road–sometimes as often as every other week. Like Karen and Georgianne, I make sure the house is clean. I have a travel kit of toiletries, so it’s a matter of packing my “usual” clothes. I do make long lists, starting a week out, for the dog sitters/help (right now my nephew.) Hair, cash for the trip, and extra nylons. I’m set.

    A week before the trip, Hubbie removes all his clothes from the closet and drawers, spreading them out in piles in either the living room (glack!) or the man cave. He’ll pack two or three coats, at least one location-appropriate hockey jersey, three or more baseball hats, and two changes of clothes for every day. The rest of the outfits will remain wherever he dumped them as if they were now invisible.

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    Elaine Stock July 18, 2013 at 6:47 am #

    Tamela, thank you, thank you, thank you! And here I thought I was the only one to go through this. No wonder why I’m so tired when I arrive at conferences ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Dakota Rae Smits July 18, 2013 at 6:53 am #

    I’m laughing out loud.
    Our men are conquerors and brilliant in the boardroom, lab, or office (mine is!). Mine can even tune up our cars, budget money, renovate a whole house, and take care of three kids under five.
    But finding dinner in a full fridge? Now that’s tricky.
    When he has deadlines for research (and I know he will be up all night – for days), I have been known to put post-it notes on the shelves of the fridge and cupboards.
    1) “Casserole (warm up in microwave)”
    2) “Chicken”
    3) “Rice (combine with chicken)”
    4) “Snacks in here”

    I’m sure he feels the same way when he sends me to a computer store to pick up RAM.

    • Avatar
      Jennifer Major July 18, 2013 at 9:10 am #

      Why would you buy an animal at a computer store?

      Blinks all innocent-like and then runs fast.

      I tell my husband to wear a nametag (with our address on it and the kid’s cell phone numbers) upside down if he gets too stressed and can’t find the front door.

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    Kathryn Barker July 18, 2013 at 6:54 am #

    In our earlier life, my Sweet Husband traveled almost every month for his job, so he’s a great packer…as long as everything is ready for him. He’s also a “light” traveler. He once told me I could take whatever I wanted in my suitcase as long as I could carry it or lift it into the trunk of the car. He said he might not always be there to help me. And, he’s never understood needing more than one pair of shoes.

    I bought a rolling suitcase, but alas, haven’t found a lift to hoist it into a vehicle. I started lifting weights…and yes, I can, but haven’t had to throw that suitcase anywhere. He’s so sweet.

    When our children were home, and I traveled alone, the scenario you described looked like my list. Now, we’re empty-nesters and travel together, but we like to come home to a clean home.

    Thanks for a fun post, Tamela!

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    Deb Elkink July 18, 2013 at 7:09 am #

    I just returned home from travelling alone to Paris and Southern France to do a bit of research and visit girlfriends (a trip I’d usually take with husband or one of my three children). I did toss a few leftovers into the freezer for my man before I took off (untouched when I returned), but your post, Tamela, brings back vivid memories of earlier years on our isolated Canadian cattle ranch, when a “business trip” meant attending the provincial stockgrowers convention. This event took me months to prepare for, as it involved not only an exhaustive house cleaning and complete restocking of freezer with homemade bread and soup and casseroles and pies for the kids and babysitter, but also my sewing of half a wardrobe of cowgirl-themed sundresses to transform my urban persona.

    My husband might toss a clean pair of jeans and one t-shirt into the suitcase after his toothbrush. Period.

    Since then, we’ve both moderated our habits. Now I make him supplement his riding boots with a pair of walking shoes for European cobblestone, and he convinces me I can buy along the way anything I might forget to pack. So whether we’re talking business trips or pleasure vacays, all I say about the gender thing is: Vive la diffรฉrence!

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    Shannon McNear July 18, 2013 at 7:16 am #

    Yes. Oh, yes. ๐Ÿ˜€ My teens are actually a bit more self sufficient now, they can cook and even do some of the shopping themselves, but I still have to plan the meals and make sure we have most of the ingredients. And inevitably, despite all the preparation, we still have moments like last year’s conference, when I’d just received my first contract, and my husband’s only question upon receiving that news was, “Where did you put the chicken breasts?” (He was thrilled for me, honest, but I caught him in the throes of assembling dinner.) And I have to step down from that incredible high long enough to realize that the chicken must have been shuffled off to the deep freeze, and think through the options, and suggest an alternative. That done, my husband told me congratulations. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Meghan Carver July 18, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Definitely, Tamela!

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    Ane Mulligan July 18, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    This is exactly the way it was before the hubs retired. Now, for me when I go to the ACFW or any conference, I’m more the first. LOL Maybe it’s because I’ve gone to so many over the years, I have my travel pants and know exactly what I’m taking, so packing is a breeze. ;o)

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    Ann Shorey July 18, 2013 at 9:36 am #

    Big smile here, Tamela! I iron my husband’s shirts, too. And fold them for him when he packs, since he tends to stuff them in the suitcase. I also shop, prepare meals (w/instructions attached) in advance, etc. etc. Everything you said. ๐Ÿ™‚
    So glad I’m not the only one.

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    Dina Sleiman July 18, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Hmm…now I’m wondering when both of your husband’s arms were broken. Give him my condolences. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I do relate somewhat, though. For me it’s scheduling all the kids and their activities and planning meals that husband or daughter can easily cook.

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    Karen Ball July 18, 2013 at 11:53 am #

    I’ve found that the most strategic thing I can do is commandeer the TV remote, then stand in front of the big screen until I get my dad and hubby to make eye-contact. Then threaten to take the remote with me unless they prove they’ve heard what I’m telling them!

    Here’s an actual conversation with my poor hubby from this week:

    Me: “So, do you remember I’m leaving for a trip next week?”
    Him: “Sure, you’re leaving next Tuesday.”
    “No, I leave on Wednesday. You’re driving me to Eugene to catch the plane.”
    “I thought YOU were driving to Portland.”
    “No,I don’t go to Portland until August. This is the trip I take next week. I told you I found a better flight that goes out of Eugene.”
    “And the flight leaves at 11 am?”
    “3:45 pm.”
    Then you get home on Tuesday.”
    “On Monday.”
    “I thought you were going to be gone a week?”
    “I’m gone from Wed thru Monday. When I go to Portland I’ll be gone a week.”
    “And I’m picking you up at the airport in Portland?”
    “In Eugene. I’m flying in and out of Eugene.”
    Frown. “What happened to Portland?”
    “That’s my August trip. I’m driving to Portland in August. You and I are driving to Eugene next week.”
    “What time does your flight leave?”
    More silence.
    Sigh… “Never mind. I’ll just print all the information out for you.”

    Honestly, though, I can’t blame the guy. I’m doing 11 trips this year, and I can hardly keep ’em all straight!

    • Avatar
      Jennifer Major July 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm #

      “What happened to Portland?”

      *I* would have said …”Well, there was this alien invasion and Portland was taken to the planet Areyouevenlisteningtome!!”

      • Avatar
        karen ball July 21, 2013 at 10:19 pm #


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    Judith Robl July 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Tamela, that was precisely why I didn’t travel when the children were small. The only time I left, I pressed my mother into service to tend the house, husband and four kids.

    Now that I’m retired, it’s not a lot better — one reason I don’t go much.

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    Andrea Cox July 18, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    So fun, Tamela! Generally, when I’m packing for a trip I start packing at least a week in advance. The last two trips, though, I threw everything together at the last minute. It was a lot less stressful that way, much to my surprise. The only things I forgot were my case of CDs (thankfully there were a few in the car already) and my journal (my laptop works fine for that, anyway).

    Safe travels!

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    Peter DeHaan July 18, 2013 at 2:29 pm #

    I prefer to pack the morning of my trip, while my bride will start filling her suitcase days ahead.

    And I, too, like a fresh haircut.

    My only other consideration is adjusting the lawn mowing schedule so it won’t need to be cut when I’m gone. (My wife has run over trees and clipped the house a couple times, so she’s banned from the riding lawnmower — maybe that was her plan.)

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      Jennifer Major July 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm #

      I’ll tell you this little secret…I LET things burn on the grill. I do. I let ’em fry like an egg on a black car in Santa Fe in July.
      Because the whole grilling gig is too hot. It wrecks my hair and makes me feel like I’m in a toaster.
      And I’m afraid of blowing up my house.
      Go ahead and judge!!
      You think my husband doesn’t know that?

      Maybe. Maybe not.

      But I ain’t asking!!!

  22. Avatar
    Tamela Hancock Murray July 18, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    I am having the BEST time reading all your stories! Keep ’em coming!

  23. Avatar
    Linda Clare (@Lindasclare) July 18, 2013 at 3:04 pm #

    I once was at an Oregon Christian Writers meeting in Salem. During the early morning introductory stuff, someone asked the members in attendance, “When is the last time you wrote?” The presenter was giving away a book to the person who’d written something closest to the meeting’s start time.
    A man stood up and said just before he got in his car to come to the meeting. He won the book.
    Why? All the women in the room had been way too busy to write: they were all cooking breakfast, packing lunches and ironing shirts.

  24. Avatar
    Richard Barnett July 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

    I take my wife to writers meetings. They are a treat for both of us.

  25. Avatar
    Candy July 19, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    I decided a long time ago I do too much for everyone!

    My husband usually waits until the morning he is leaving to pack and then gets frustrated because it is talking longer than he expected and he is running late. I used to try to help or encourage him to pack the night before. Now I kiss him goodbye and go to the gym ๐Ÿ™‚

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    Amelia Rhodes July 19, 2013 at 8:40 am #

    This is so my house! And then that list quadruples when the whole family is getting ready to go on a trip together, yet the husband’s list stays strangely the same – haircut and a few clothes. I wonder if this varies by personality type, since I already tend to be the list maker, planner, organizer, type A anyway.

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    marci Seither July 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

    I am almost convinced that my family thinks the “Tooth Fairy” has a twin sister named..”Packing Fairy”. My husband and kids put a few things in a bag that they need, but all the other items such as..where we are going..when are we stopping..and most importantly..what are we something that magically happens with a wave of a wand and some glittery “ta-da”!

  28. Avatar
    Rachel Muller July 20, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    So true!!

    In our leaving preparations the house MUST BE CLEAN! I cannot come home to an unkept house after being away. But yes, my husband packs the night before while I finish up the laundry and make the kids drink the last of the milk.

  29. Avatar
    Carol Moncado July 21, 2013 at 10:43 pm #

    What’s an iron? /puzzled glance around house/ I have one. It’s from Lord-only-knows-when. The kind you set on the stove to heat up. Or a pretty decent defense weapon in a pinch. You’d have to get pretty close up to use it, but the thing weighs a ton.

    I pack early. I pack a lot. I take everything I might need. And the kitchen sink.

    Or at least the laser jet.

    Except for when we took seven of us to Florida, then I seriously considered the sink.

    But for ACFW [the only conference I go to and only remotely “business trip” I’ve ever been on], I take more outfits than I could possibly need, because what could be worse than spilling purple mashed potatoes and gravy all over you twenty minutes before you’re the hostess for a session and have nothing clean to change into?

    My husband? His first real business trip is the week after I get back from Indy. We’ll find out what he’s like as a packer. As the one staying home, he’s wonderful – though my kids did end up in some buffalo wing bar last year. And since we both drive, no flight times to remember ;). Easy peasy.


  1. Blogging Success | The Steve Laube Agency - July 25, 2013

    […] week, I had a lot of fun reading the responses to my post on men versus women getting ready for travel. I appreciate my husband’s sense of humor in not minding that I posted it, and in reality, I […]

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